Growing influence of technology in sport

The world of sport continually changes and grows and one of the main areas that have seen enhancement is the use of technology and it is starting to play a much more prominent role within many major sports.

The use of technology within the sport is sometimes criticised by fans for slowing games down, however, it is in the main part seen as positive as can often help to ensure that correct decision are made, which can make it more enjoyable for both participants and viewers alike. Technology is also used in other aspects of the sport, not just to assist with the correct decisions being made but is also used to improve training methods and monitoring of performance.

Technology is now used in football in many different ways. Player tracking devices are used to record statistics on their performances, such as distance covered during matches or training and amount of calories burned etc. It is also used to improve training methods, for example, the German team Hoffenheim have recently introduced a 6×3 meter screen on the halfway line of their training pitch, with 4 cameras, any of which can be shown on the screen. This enables the coaches to control them and explain situations in training much easier and in more detail.

Goal line technology is now used in many major football leagues worldwide and involves the use of an electronic aid to determine whether or not the ball has crossed the line and therefore a goal has been scored. VAR (video assistant referee) is also something that is being introduced on a more wider scale within the sport. This involves the VAR reviewing video footage during a game and feeding back to the referee via a headset. The referee can then decide to take the advice or review on a video screen at the side of the pitch before deciding what is the correct decision to take for example in the instance of a red card or a penalty.

Hawk eye is a computer system that is now being used in many different sports, such as tennis, cricket, rugby and volleyball to visually track the trajectory of a ball and provide a profile of the most statistically likely path the ball took. There are 6 or 7 cameras usually placed around the pitch or court; with the video so as to triangulated and create a 3D representation of the ball’s trajectory, which is accurate to 3.6mm. Hawkeye is now used as an impartial second opinion within these sports and is used as a method of adjudication.

Technology is also transforming other sports such as horse racing in many different ways, for example, artificial intelligence, which enables information to be gathered from many different sources like sensors on the horses. A wearable device can be placed on a horse that can provide data and analysis on the performance of horses and also conditions of the track. This info can be used to maximize the chance of a horse performing well. There has been a marked increase in race times and recovery after races, which online horse racing betting specialist, Unibet has already noticed in recent years.

It is clear that technology is starting to play an increasingly important role within the sport and even though sometimes it may slightly delay proceedings at present, it is safe to say that is it is serving to enhance the experience of sport for participants and viewers in many ways.


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