Technology and sports go hand in hand. You could say that sports have progressed because of the advancements made in the tech world. This has allowed multiple areas to improve, from keeping players safe to tracking performance and ensuring correct decisions are made by officials.
One of the critical roles of technology in sports is to ensure that players are kept safe and will not come to harm at any stage. So, for example, we saw at the European Championships in 2021 on the pitch how a defibrillator was used to save the life of Denmark footballer Christian Eriksen. The defibrillator and the communication tech used allowed the right people to stay in touch. And judging by the recent market odds, most online sports betting operators had all expected the player to sign for Manchester United, and tech has played a role in making that possible.
Another piece of tech that often gets overlooked in sports are helmets. Taking a knock to the head can have disastrous consequences, and many sports rely on helmets to keep participants safe. Take Formula 1, for example. How often have we seen crashes occur where a driver has been in a car that has rolled and crashed? But they’ve been able to get up and walk away largely unscathed. A lot is down to the technology that goes into making helmets. Other sports, such as ice hockey and American football, also reap the rewards that helmets provide to players.
When people think about technology in sports, they will often think about how it’s capable of impacting performance, primarily in team sports. And what we mean by this is that usually, footballers, for example, will have their performance tracked in a training session or matchday situation. This allows performance analysts who understand data to work out areas of weakness or specifics where improvements can be made. So making these adjustments will lead to gains for the individual and the team.
A big talking point on the technology on the sports front for the last couple of years has been VAR, which stands for Video Assistant Referee. It all relates to decisions happening in football made by on-pitch referees and their assistants that have proven to be incorrect and have gone on to have disastrous consequences. So by introducing first goal line hawk-eye technology and then VAR, it was thought that it would ensure the correct decisions were always arrived at in the end.
What’s evident is that technology can positively impact all areas of sport. And, in doing so, it naturally makes things better. Whether that is keeping players safe by monitoring things such as heart rate or improving performance using trackers and sensors. Or, it could be a case of looking at how the games, matches, races and more can be made better and fairer, with proceedings monitored to ensure everything is transparent and the correct decisions are always the ones taken.