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Technology In Sports

Technology has completely changed the way in which we as humans function and go through everyday life. Its effect also extends to sports, and has entirely revolutionised the field, making them effective and more convenient, not only for sportspersons, but also for people who enjoy watching them.


Take, for example, the 2022 FIFA World Cup, a majestic tournament that countries around the globe took part in, and watched. In an article released in July 2022, Adidas revealed that the official match ball of the FIFA World Cup 2022 would feature a unique connected ball technology, which, according to the article "will be used to enhance the VAR(Video Assistant Referee) system by providing an unprecedented level of data and information to match officials for making faster and more accurate decisions on the biggest stage of all." (Courtesy : news.adidas.com).

The ball used at the 2022 FIFA World Cup at Qatar

The article states that a new Suspension System in the centre of the ball hosts and stabilises a 500Hz inertil measurement unit (IMU) motion sensor, which will provide unprecedented understanding into every aspect of the movement of the ball, while making this technology unnoticeable for players and not affecting its performance whatsoever.


It will help inform offside situations as well as assist in detecting unclear touches thereby ultimately improving the quality and speed of the VAR decision-making process.


Another example of just how beneficial technology and developments have assisted in smooth functioning of sport can be seen in the Decision Review System or the DRS system in cricket. Thirty years ago, long before this system was introduced in 2008, the sport of cricket allowed on-field umpires to refer some decisions to the third umpire with the help of TV replays, but they weren't necessarily accurate or dependable.



The Decision Review System(DRS) at play during a cricket match

Now, with the help of the DRS, decisions are taken based on three main components - plotting the trajectory of the delivery of the ball which has been interrupted by the batsman(as seen in the picture), known as Hawk-eye or Eagle-eye, Ultra Edge technology which indicates whether the ball was hit or not based on audio spikes, and the Hotspot, which uses infrared technology to show where the ball has been in contact with the bat or the pad.


To say that technology in sport has only advantages would be wrong, because while it has indeed enhanced athlete performance as well as improved decision making, it has increased costs substantially in sport due to the requirement of regular maintenance and updates required for the technology to function efficiently.


However, it is safe to say that technology in sport has changed it for the better.



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