Technology has become an integral part of sports. It has revolutionized how a sport’s stakeholders conduct and manage sporting activities on and off the sporting grounds. Advancement in technology has improved match and player data collection, data analysis, accurate reporting, and enhanced decision-making accuracy.
Sporting fans, gamblers and sporting websites have also developed an online betting guide for new players by using database technology to compile teams, matches and players data. The data is then analyzed, and reports help players place bets on available markets.
Advancement in technology has also contributed to other areas of sporting which include but are not limited to:
Advanced match officiating
All sports have a match official or a referee who arbitrates on on-field conflicts and ensures competitors adhere to the sport’s rules and regulations. However, the match official may miss some player actions which, upon a close look, are illegal. In other cases, the match official may make a wrong decision, and technology helps correct these inefficiencies. Technology has helped match officials in:
- Time Management
Sometimes, match officials may be too engaged in supervising the players that they forget to check the time. Current technologies enable players, coaches, referees and even players to check the remaining time by observing a digital clock on the wall or listening to automated time monitoring systems
- On-Field Communication
In football, the assistant referees and the third official often communicate with the referee through communication devices they must put on before the match starts. On-field communication improves match officiating and helps reduce conflicts resulting from judgments made by the officials.
- Line technology
Most sporting activities happen within a certain boundary. If a player, the ball, or any other item used in the sport cross those boundaries, a point is awarded to the other player. Since the lines marking these boundaries are thin and often far from the match official, on-field and intelligent camera’s and sensors help provide visual replays. The replays help the match official to make an informed and timely decision. This concept is common in football (Goal-line technology) and tennis.
- Video Assistant Referee
VAR is primarily used in football to provide a referee with a replay of what happened during a match. The referee gets a close and enhanced view from different directions and helps him sustain or revert a decision among other decisions.
Enhanced Development of Sportswear
Big companies that manufacture sportswear use technology to collect player data and develop high-quality sporting attire. Quality sporting attire enhances player performance. High performing players attract large crowds and improve the spectator experience. Thru higher the number of spectators, the higher the revenues from tickets, advertisers, and commercial sponsors. Increased revenue helps improve the sport.
Health Technology Improves Player’s health.
Players often get injured during a match. When this happens, players must get urgent and quality health care to return to the same or future game. Advancement in health technology has enhanced diagnosis, treatment and monitoring of player health. For example, in athletics, leg amputees use prosthetics equipment to participate in the sport.
Doping has been a grey area for a long time. However, technology has improved player testing and generation of doping results within a few hours or minutes. The advanced monitoring and testing of players have reduced doping cases and improved fairness in sports.
Improved Performance Monitoring
Coaches, team managers, sporting associations, among other stakeholders, require data about various aspects of the match to improve decision-making. Coaches, trainers and team managers collect player data using wearable sensors, GPS, among other technologies.
The data helps evaluate players’ acceleration, speed, exact location, distance covered, among others. Analysis of this data helps to measure player performance and strategize on how they can enhance it.
Coaches can reduce player weariness and self-inflicted injuries by monitoring their training progress and defining improved individual training for optimal performance.
Improved Record Keeping
Record keeping is a critical aspect of sports. Sports officials must collect data about matches, players, spectator attendance, match officials, venue, and start and stoppage time, among others. All this data is used in managing the sport. For example, in football, match officials must keep a record of players’ yellow cards and red cards to determine if they are eligible to play in a match. Advertisers and sponsors also use team or player data to determine if they will invest in them.
The future of technology in Sports
Technology will continue to play a crucial role in sports. Modern technologies such as nanotechnologies, artificial intelligence and speech recognition, and machine learning will play a key role in sports management.
Enhanced technology will also help improve player performance, reduce player cheating, improve decision making and sport management. All these technology-backed factors will enhance sports across the world.