Technologies in Sports

The world of sports is continually changing over the years, and the use of technology is just one of those areas that has made an impact on many sports in the modern day. One criticism of the use of technology is that it can slow down the speed of the game, but on the other hand for many people it makes watching it more enjoyable to see the correct decisions being made.

What are sport technologies? Sport technologies are manmade means developed to reach human interests or goals in or relating to a particular sport. Technology in sports is a technical means by which athletes attempt to improve their training and competitive advantage in order to enhance their overall athletic performance. It is the knowledge and application of using specialized equipment and the latest modern technologies to perform tasks more efficiently. Examples of sporting technologies include athletic sports gear, advance computer simulation, area real time views and motion capture.

What are the benefits of advance sports technologies? Recent developments in sports technologies have created a variety of products aimed at improving and increasing athletic performance.  Athletic health can be maintained and observed, and injuries treated, through the production of modern sporting technologies such as heart rate monitors, pedometers and body-fat monitors.  Through this, a greater deepened knowledge of the human body and its potential has been recognized, allowing athletes to train and compete in sports at a higher level and to a much older age.  Participant safety at all times has also been made possible through the development of certain sporting equipment, such as helmets and body protection which are used in football, boxing and ice hockey to help prevent injuries.  Modern sports technologies have also made competition judging easier and more accurate, and spectator interest and excitement is enhanced by broadcasting and in-stadium displays (scoreboards or jumbo-trons).

Sport Specific

  • Tennis – it is now standard at the major tennis tournaments for a line review system to be in place, with players given power to review contentious line calls. It is powered by the Hawk-Eye ball tracking
  • Soccer – is looking at joining the 21st century, looking at various technologies for the goal line to determine if the pass passes over the line or not.
  • Basketball – the NBA uses replay vision to review ‘last touch’ decisions in the final two minutes of games, and also to determine whether players release the ball before the shot clock expires.
  • Cricket – technology in cricket has been driven by advances in the TV coverage. Things that were once extra information provided by the TV networks are now being incorporated into the decision referral system (DRS), such as hawk-eye and hot spot, and maybe even the old favorite snicko.
  • Football – referee review system has also been implemented in the NFL, with an off field umpire in a booth above the field in certain circumstances adjudicating on whether the ball passes over the goal-line or not, if the ball was fumbled or if the catch was made using video evidence via multiple camera angles including overhead hawk-eye technology.
  • Baseball – In 2014, a challenge system was put in place for the MLB to use replays to challenge certain umpiring decisions.
  • Rugby League – The NRL was an early implementer of using the video referee to help adjudicate questionable tries.