Sport is continually changing and evolving and as technology moves at an ever-rapid pace, the crossover between the two is becoming less distinct. There are several areas of the world of sport where technology is now playing an important role, impacting how we play and view games, even making us focus on the news more, as sites like this awesome blog can provide us with up to date news 24/7. One criticism of the inclusion of technology is that it can actually slow down the speed of a game but for many people, technology is improving the viewing of sport and making it more enjoyable by witnessing the correct decisions being made for a more accurate and trustworthy outcome. Here are some of the main areas where tech is improving sport as we know it.
VAR in Football
VAR, also known as Video Assistant Referee, is football’s first integration of video technology. After an overwhelming approval from the International Football Association Board last year, it has been voted to be a permanent fixture in the sport to allow video replays. The technology works by a video referee speaking to the on-field referee through an ear piece who informs the players that there is a decision being reviewed. The VAR decides and with more subjective decisions, the video referee will instruct the referee to watch a replay on the pitch-side screen. From making off-side decisions to judging whether a ball passes over the goal line and clarifying penalty decisions, VAR is deemed a valuable resource in sport to help referees make more accurate in-game decisions.
Hawk-eye technology refers to a computer and camera system which traces the trajectory of a ball in a match. It’s used in cricket and tennis, and many other sports are considering adding it in to their games as well. The Premier League has agreed to introduce goal-line sensors in order to give a definitive decision on whether a ball has crossed the line. Hawk-eye cameras take 600 frames per second of the goal-line, where the information processed is then analysed by a computer and sent to the referee’s headset or a device on their wrist. This technology was introduced back in 2015 for the Rugby World Cup to improve decision-making by the television match official, as well as to help out with player safety. Since then, the accuracy has become a popular addition to other sports and will no doubt become a key supplement as the technology becomes ever-more accurate and precise.
There are now several types of software packages which are designed for fitness and nutrition professionals in order for them to organise data and create reports. For example, Team Beep Test is a versatile system that conducts and records results and can send data directly to the computer for analysis. Similarly, BodyByte is a standalone computer software programme which has been specifically designed to organise and manage all information associated with nutrition, training and fitness. As a method of keeping players fit and as healthy as possible, software is a great addition to the behind-the-scenes of sport teams and matches.