Animal or Sport Equipment? – The Downsides of Horsebackriding

As much as I love horseback riding and the relationship between humans and horses, there are times when I wish that humans would have never started to use and bond with those pretty and intelligent animals. Of course the majority of us would never even think about harming them, but there are too many that see the horse as sport equipment instead of an animal. (more…)

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The Role of Technology in Sports

The Role of Technology in Sports

From early on sport has always been very important to humans. You can enjoy it either by playing or watching it but either way it is about winning or seeing someone (or some team) win. To be that winning one an athlete, his/her team, his/her sponsors and whoever might have an influence on the athlete’s career, will keep improving his/her condition, training methods and, very important, the equipment that is being used. And here comes a major conflict point in today’s sports: Until which point should technology be used in sports? And what is its role?

Technology as a part of society and sport – or not?

This blog I found, is from the sport and technology debate at the British science festival in 2011 and the videos of the speakers are very powerful. Professor Haake claims that sport and technology have always coexisted and that technology has always been a part of sports. It started with starting heels for the sprints at the Olympics, the sports equipment like a soccer ball, a lawn mower which promoted lawn sports and a timer, and ended (for now) with portable 3D cameras, high speed videos and mew materials like Titanium, to make sport equipment lighter.

According to Professor Haake sport and technology reflect society and those advancement should be allowed – at least up to a certain point. Dr. Parry, also participating in the debate, also claims that technology changes the sporting events into better ones but for him it is a question of which bits of technology WE want. The people want to see the best athlete and not the best equipment, which can turn the competition into an “unfair” game.

Technology as an unnecessary intervention into natural justice

And then there are the more concrete anti-technology opinions. M_Campbell23 states that decision reviews, video replays and goal-line technology ruin the spectacle of games, and reduce them to clinical, quasi-legal inquiries. The administrators always want to get everything right 100% of the time. This though takes the fun out of the game and up to this point sport had survived as the spectacle, which enthralls us without a sub-committee forming to discuss every contentious decision.

Furthermore the blog explains that what these legal guys will never understand is that sport embraces natural justice; their intervention is not necessary. But they stand behind the argument around “well you’ve got the technology there, doesn’t do any harm to use it”. But according to the author it does do harm.

Technology as a modern tool in sports

According to Lionjkt the RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) can enhance the games themselves, secure ticketing and boost the quality of the in-stadium spectator experience. It can add value and visibility to different kinds of sporting events and can avoid bad offside decisions. But not only in soccer but also in other sports, like tennis, or marathon racing, RFID is used. It provides a very accurate timing of each athlete (as in the marathon racing) and also helpful video evidence when it comes to off decisions in tennis and similar sports (which are also enhanced by different methods like the Hawk-Eye line-calling system).

Hawk-Eye line-calling system

Technology in Sports – A Conflict in Society

Sport is very important to most of the people in our society, which makes the conflict about technology even more passionate. Some think that technology leads to better decisions and accuracy but on the other side people find themselves angry with all that technology that destroys the real competition that should be about what humans can do, and replaces it with a competition of “who has the better technology”. I think that up to a certain point technology helps to keep the game fair (in the case of offside decisions for example), but when it comes to the equipment the importance of technology should be limited.