Technology in Sports

Outside of the computer science realm, one of my interests/hobbies is sports. In particular I have a bit of an obsession with football (soccer) and hockey. Over the past few years most sports have seen an increase in the way technology is used both during and outside of game situations. This increase hasn’t been without controversy though.

A prime example of new technology being used in a game situation – football now uses “goal-line technology.” The rule has always been the entirety of the ball must cross the entirety of the line for it to be a goal. This had always been at the ref’s discretion and at some point certain leagues even had refs standing by the goal whose sole responsibility was watching to see whether or not a ball crossed the line entirely! There was still human error. Now there are two main forms of goal-line technology being used: cameras following the ball and a ball with a microchip and a series of cables creating a magnetic field. Technology like this might’ve changed the outcomes of extremely significant games in history. Many make the argument that interventions like this make the game lose its “magic.”

Wherever you stand on the topic, it is extremely fascinating to see what this could lead to next. The offside call is one that is often found to be incorrect so now they use Video Assistant Referee (VAR) who sit in a room with multiple monitors watching replays and advise the main referee live. I don’t think we’re far away from different technology such as sensors or chips inside of jerseys to determine whether a player is offside or not. Outside of the game there is now so much data analysis going on that recruitment and signing of players is nothing like what it used to be. For those of you sport fans do you think all of these technological advancements create a more “fair” game or is it causing sports to lose their magic?

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