Technology in Sport

Advances in technology have had a profound impact on sport including:

The video camera became commonplace in the 1980's and provided sports coaches with a way to capture and analyse sport performance like never before. The video camera is perhaps the single most important development in coaching in the modern era of sport.

Electronic timing controlled by computers is employed to measure performance times of athletes in a great many sports including Athletics, Cycling, Skiing, Bobsled, Triathlon and many more. In the case of Athletics, the electronic timing also measures the athlete's reaction time to the start gun in case the athlete moves too early in the blocks.

The Force Platform is an apparatus placed under the feet of the athlete and measures their 'ground reaction force'. This is useful in sports such as Weightlifting and enables measurement of force and acceleration throughout the athlete's performance of a lift. Curiously, the measurement of force is due to the miniscule change in properties of crystals upon which the platform rests.

Hawkeye TechnologyHawkeye, a computer system first used in 2001 for showing the trajectory of a cricket ball has made an immeasurable difference to the sport of Cricket. Hawkeye produces all manner of statistical analysis such as ball speed, ball pitch on the wicket and trajectory of the ball after bounce. Hawkeye is now used in Tennis to assist in determining whether a shot is "in" or "out". The analysis of sport performance provided by Hawkeye has greatly enhanced the spectator's knowledge and involvement.

As a result of miniaturized video cameras, spectators are also now able to witness sport performance in ways that previously was not possible. Video cameras can be placed in places such as racing cars, cricket stumps, goal posts, and even on the athlete themselves.

Sporting equipment continually undergoing research and development to improve sporting performance. Some of the best examples include:

Some people decry the use of technology to improve sports performance but in reality it is inevitable. The research and development of sport apparatus and apparel is an industry in itself which creates opportunity for investment and employment.

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