Modern Technology In Sports
What is it about sport that makes it so attractive to people? Is it the adrenaline rush of competitive and/or dangerous sport? Is it the feel good factor of recreational sport; is it the opportunity of socialising with others, or perhaps all of the above? Whatever the reasons may be, sport is certainly getting more and more popular, especially in the developed world.
A major factor in the popularity of sport is the role of modern technology. Improvements in modern technology have resulted in better playing conditions and equipment for players as well as greater viewing pleasure for spectators.
Perhaps the greatest changes have taken place in the designing of sporting facilities – such as modern sports surfaces and improved artificial lighting that offer increased opportunity to play. Modern sports surfaces are low maintenance, therefore low cost, and allow year round use. Professional technical expertise is needed to design and install a modern sports surface. Properties such as its rebound resistance, slip resistance, and shock absorption are measured to ensure that the surface is going to provide optimum playing conditions for that sport, whilst giving players ease of movement and adequate protection from injury. Regular maintenance of sports surfaces, both outdoor and indoor is recommended to ensure safety of players.
Along with an increased number of players there are also an increased number of viewers all over the globe. With the spread of satellite TV, events in one part of the world can be watched real time, in another. Modern flood lighting has not only allowed greater use of sports facilities at the recreational level, but also made possible higher-level competition fixtures such as day-night cricket matches, night-time football matches etc. Electronic score boards, photo-finish timing devices, slow motion replays and large viewing screens have also added to the viewing pleasure of spectators.
Modern materials are used in the manufacture of synthetic sports surfaces as well as sports equipment. Third generation synthetic grass is made from polymers and provides a maintenance free all-weather surface for sports. The use of composite materials makes sports equipment such as rackets and protective gear, lighter and more durable, enabling athletes to further improve their performance. Advances in modern technology have also led to improvements in the design of sports equipment such as trainers and sports shoes, starting blocks for use in athletics, pole vaults etc.
Whilst it is difficult for the average user of sporting equipment to keep up with the latest developments, as a guide in the UK sports equipment and sports facilities and surfaces should comply with British standards. Some governing bodies of individual sports also offer certification to demonstrate compliance with international standards.