Technology is nowadays all around us. Every day we interact with technology without a blink of an eye, since it has come so natural that we are taking it for granted.
What are the major impacts of technology in sports?
Technology is basically changing our way of life, and just like our daily routine, these innovations are having an effect on the sporting world as well.
Not just in the form of services people use on a daily basis like the best sportsbooks, or news being found on popular websites, but the actual events themselves.
Technological advancements in the sporting field have altered the way that everyone approaches their discipline; be it in training, on the field or off of it.
Taking the most dominant example in today’s football, VAR, or Video Assistant Referee, is revolutionising the sport in an incredible manner.
Whenever a dubious decision is called, instead of falling back to the chance of human error, a team of referees will analyse any given episode with different angles and incredible care, to be sure that the on-field officer has made the right call.
Upon realising the chance of an incorrect call, the VAR team will inform the official who will then have the chance to check the episode replays and make a more accurate decision with more information.
Such VAR episodes have ranged from changing a yellow card to a red, to even reverting a goal at one end to award a penalty to the other.
Another example of technology in sports as football, albeit not as drastic as VAR, is Goal Line technology, which was introduced quite a few years ago.
Football fans in Europe will definitely remember the goal unawarded to Frank Lampard against Germany in the World Cup 2010 Finals, where the ball had clearly crossed the goal line but none of the officials saw it.
That incident spurned the research which ended up with the implementation of this technology, which basically works like this: whenever the ball crosses the goal line, a watch being worn by the match official will vibrate, indicating the ball has effectively crossed the line.
Such a feature has helped immeasurably in the games since the advent of this technology, as it will determine once and for all if a goal is to be awarded or not.
Moving away from football, examples of technology in sports can be found even in combat sports like Mixed Martial Arts, UFC primarily. The UFC have a replay system, which although very rarely used, is in place and set up at every event.
The replay system is basically used to determine if a fighter should be DQ’d based on what had just happened in the fight. Disqualification incidents are few and far between in the UFC, but there is always a chance for them to happen, like the infamous only loss on Jon Jones’ record or the Chris Weidman vs Gegard Mousasi knee incident in 2010.
The instant replay is deemed to be a fight-ending sequence, meaning once this is consulted, the match is definitely stopped and the result will be decided once the video is consulted.
Tennis has been working together with technology for a lot of years now, with the implementation of smart courts which display on a screen where the ball has touched before going out.
With a ball so tiny and at the speeds you normally see it going about, it is a no brainer how much technology is needed.
This is why it was implemented as soon as it did, as I honestly cannot recall professional tournaments conducted in any other way.
We are talking about the effects of technology in sports itself, but we are leaving out the effect technology has on athletes before they step onto the field.
Analytical data such as heartbeat monitoring and other physical data has become incredibly important in the valuation of an athlete’s conditioning and physical wellbeing.
Some sporting federations even conduct regular tests to keep their data as updated as possible to ensure they know any measures they may need to take in regards to their athletes.
It is safe to say that technology not only affects sports but has completely revolutionised the way in which many if not all events are conducted.
One cannot leave the human element out of sports obviously since it is human athletes who are competing, but nowadays one cannot either deny the importance or efficiency which technology brings to sports.