February 24, 2020

Gadgets in Sport – Is Technology Transforming Sport for the Better?

Gadgets have transformed the way in which we live our daily lives, and it’s also true that technology has had a large role to play in the evolution of the modern sport.

From the use of Hawk-eye technology in cricket to the rise of the video-assisted referee in football matches, it seems that gadgets are starting to have a significant impact on the outcome of many sporting encounters. So here’s a brief look at how technology could be affecting your favorite sport.

Technology Comes to Cricket

While the sport of cricket has been with us for nearly 500 years, it was one of the first major sports to take full advantage of all that technology could offer. This covers everything from helping umpires make correct decisions to assisting bowlers refine their deliveries. Plus technology has helped fans get a greater understanding of the game, and the rise of betting resource sites has aided in providing a lot of options for betting on cricket in India, Australia, England and anywhere else that the game is played.

But the most visible use of gadgets in cricket is probably the Umpire Decision Review System. This enables the umpires to use television replays that use Hawk-eye technology to predict the path of the ball accurately. As a result, it has helped clarify many important moments in any cricket match such as a pivotal LBW decision or a close-call on a run-out.

Such technology doesn’t just provide visual help, as an audio waveform is also produced of a batsman’s stroke so that the umpire can see a ‘clip’ in the waveform that could indicate whether the ball hit the bat or their pads. This is incredibly important for clarifying whether a batsman would be declared out or not.

The VAR Controversy in Football

Football may be ‘the beautiful game’, but that hasn’t stopped the sport from falling under the spell of technology. Nowhere has this been better seen than through the advent of the video assistant referee.

This got its main unveiling at the 2018 World Cup, and it instantly became one of the most controversial aspects of the tournament. The video assistant referee (VAR) was supposed to clarify important refereeing decisions such as spotting offsides, determining whether a player was fouled, whether there was a handball, and so on.

But as VAR has been implemented into football leagues like the Premier League, it has seemingly only become more hated. With important goals now getting disallowed due to a player’s toe being offside, many people are suggesting that VAR is killing football, and they are hoping for a return to the match events being refereed on the pitch rather than in a sterile studio far away from the action.

Technology to Improve an Athlete’s Performance

So far we’ve concentrated on how gadgets can help judge important decisions in a sporting encounter. But it’s also true that technology has been used to help many sports stars improve their performances. The same Hawk-eye technology that could be used to judge where a tennis ball lands have proven to be very useful in helping tennis players improve their game.

Similarly, technology has reaped many benefits in other sports such as being able to produce lighter and more durable cricket bats, safer American football helmets, and obviously much faster Formula 1 racing cars.

However, the recent controversy over the Nike Vaporfly running shoes proves the fact that there may be moments where technology is being seen to give certain athletes an unfair advantage.

But as technology starts to permeate more areas of our lives, then it will start to have a bigger role to play in sport. Plus with the rise of esports starting to take our use of technology in sport to a whole new level, it’s going to be interesting to see where this trend goes from here.

About the author 

Imran Uddin

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