Sport Chases Technology

In the start, technology and sports did not always look like the most natural pairing. What did you need in baseball aside from a bat and a ball? Or in basketball aside from a ball and a hoop? How much could you really change? As we’ve seen through time, however, there is always room for improvement with our most cherished pastimes. Whether it is for the purpose of earning a fantastic thing great, or repairing a broken system altogether, technology has played a significant role in perfecting the sport that we love to test and agonize over. Out of all of the changes, which were made, however, here is a list of the biggest technology improvements in sports history.

The Shot Clock
Year Introduced: 1954
Sport: Basketball

Before the shot clock was introduced, basketball was unable to get any traction as a major, mainstream game in the USA. Along with the fan support for the sport and the trending custom basketball jerseys everyone is wearing now.

Scoring was reduced and, much to the fans’ disappointment, teams would often opt to hold the ball and stall after they were in front. After one especially lackluster competition between the Fort Wayne Pistons and the Minneapolis Lakers finished in 19-18 “success” for Fort Wayne, the NBA realized that they were going to be in serious trouble unless they made some changes to the sport, fan culture, and basketball jerseys. In 1954, the Syracuse Nationals’ owner, Danny Biasone, introduced the 24-second shot clock after experimenting with the idea during his group’s scrimmages. In 1953, the year prior to the league adopted the clock, scoring averaged a mere 79 PPG. As a result of the change, that number jumped to 93 PPG just 1 year afterwards, and the NBA hasn’t looked back since.

Composite Tennis Racquets
Year Introduced: 1980
Sport: Tennis

Recall these wooden nightmares? In comparison to the slick, composite models that Rafa and Roger are playing with now, most tennis stores in Melbourne now stock the technological model, which enhances players durability. As a result of a lighter, sturdier frame and a larger hitting surface, the more recent racquets allowed for more twist, harder hitting and much better control than their wooden counterparts, quickly making them obsolete. Prelli tennis shop now also stocks modern new racquets.

Lighter, Flatter Track Shoes
Year Introduced: 1950s
Sport: Track and field

The alterations to monitor shoes have been subtle through time, but even the tiniest additions can help when the gap between first and last can be only a couple of seconds. Through years of experience and testing, athletes and sports scientists have labored to discover the ideal mix of light-weight shoes with optimum grip which permits you to reach the corners harder and quicker. Usain Bolt uses synthetic microfibers and smoother spike plates to help him get the job done.

Goal-Line Technology
Year Introduced: 1993
Sport: Hockey, Soccer

Football continues to be criminally late in embracing goal-line technology, but the NHL has been on top of this invention since ’93. By using an overhead camera, referees can consult immediate replay to decide whether or not the ball (or puck) crossed the goal line–a vital determinant in the outcome of every match. It’s always great to see when an organization is committed to getting things right. FIFA, what is taking you so long?

Breakaway Rims
Year Introduced: 1978
Sport: Basketball

With the 1970s came high-flying athletes such as Dr. J, Daryl Dawkins and David Thompson who were not afraid to play above the rim. Regrettably, their show-stopping highlights also had the capability to be precisely that: show-stopping. Breaking a rim is no doubt legendary, but the flaws they generated during games were beginning to become a problem. In 1978, the NCAA was the first to utilize a breakaway rim, together with the NBA after in 1981.

The Golf Ball
Year Introduced: Early 1900s
Sport: Golf

The NBA’s effort to change up their playing ball might have ended in failure, but for golfing, changes like this have been critical to the game, most notably in design and material. The change to dimpled golf balls made from surlyn or urethane material, as an instance, has been useful in enhancing driving distances and precision.

Carbon Fiber Skis and Snowboards
Year Introduced: 1990
Sport: Skiing, Snowboarding

Skis and snowboards have experienced numerous design changes over the last couple of decades, with materials like metal, wood, fiberglass and, eventually, carbon fiber being used by riders hit the slopes.

Hawk-Eye and Cyclops Machines
Year Introduced: 2006
Sport: Tennis

Implemented to tackle a long history of disputed line calls, Hawk-Eye and Cyclops machines utilize a group of cameras and ball-tracking technologies to accurately forecast where a tennis ball has landed on the court. The technology has been a success so far, with only marginal criticism coming from players and spectators. It was especially influential during the 2008 Wimbledon final when Rafael Nadal utilized his challenges to overturn several important points, leaving Roger Federer visibly frustrated.