When it comes to developments in the sport, technology has been a real game-changer. Everything from measuring whether or not a goal has occurred to the way that footage of live matches is distributed has been revolutionized. And that’s before looking at gambling online – which, according to the SugarHouse sportsbook at least, has massively taken off. This blog post will delve into these issues, and it will also look at some important questions. Which developments have been the best? Who benefits from the changing technological face of sport? And what might be coming next?
It’s long since been the case that sport has been governed by rules. Every sport has its own rulebook, and the rules need to be stuck to in order to ensure a fair match. In some ways, this commitment to the rules is perhaps one reason why sports players play and fans watch, as it’s a great way to indulge in competition and passion in a regulated environment.
However, the problems arise when the rules cannot be interpreted for whatever reason. Step forward technology, which is now offering up ways to fix the problem. It can, for example, marshal the best of the physics world and use electromagnetic fields – as is the case in goal-line technology, which has been a real problem-solver in the world of soccer.
Internet gambling was a little-known concept until relatively recently, and it’s easy to see why. Even in the early days of the web, placing a wager online was next to impossible due to the restrictive laws around sports betting. Now, however, this has changed – leaps and bounds in the worlds of design and computing have made it possible to gamble on the net. For sports fans, it’s now possible to do this in a stimulating online environment. Sportsbooks cover everything from major sports such as baseball to niche sports or lower-league sports.
Streaming vs cable
Another way that technology has radically altered the sporting world is in terms of the media. These days, streaming a sports game online is a common practice. Some providers also like to put clips or round-ups of matches on YouTube: one recent posting on the ESPN YouTube channel looking at LeBron James’ performance in a San Antonio Spurs vs Los Angeles Lakers match received over 150,000 views before the day it was posted was out. This is a world away from the age when cable television was the only way to catch a match: now, people can view it in the way they want to, and in a format that fits around their lives.
Social media is also having an interesting impact on the sport. For a start, many players are now online on sites such as Twitter and Instagram: LeBron James, for example, has a whopping 45,000,000 followers on his Twitter account alone, and he regularly uses it to reach out to his fans! Sometimes, this kind of presence can backfire – especially in an age when everything is recorded, and nothing is forgotten. The case of Trea Turner, who plays for the Washington Nationals as a shortstop, is one such example. Turner was accused of having posted comments on social media many years ago that were racist and homophobic in nature.
The same fate has also befallen other baseball players, such as Atlanta Braves player Sean Newcomb: the PR consequences of this sort of tech is clear to see, especially given that Newcomb’s team came straight out and called the post “hurtful and incredibly disappointing”. Perhaps a more sedate way that social media can be used in sport is for fans to connect and bond over their team. With many fan clubs operating online discussion spaces in which the latest transfer or match can be discussed, meanwhile, there’s a big positive role for social media to play in the world of sport.
Thanks to technology, sports of all varieties have seen changes in recent years. It’s now the case, for example, that matches can be tracked and monitored down to the most precise possible second, and used to adjudicate in the event of a dispute about a goal or an action. And with social media also playing a role in shaping what it means to be either a player or a fan, there’s no sign of technology’s influence on sport waning any time soon.