9 Game-Changing Ways Technology Benefits Sports

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We can all recall that World Cup soccer match game when our favorite team lost because the referee wrongfully awarded a goal scored from an offside position. Or the time you had to queue for hours to buy tickets for an upcoming baseball game, only to finally get to the front, and it was all sold out.

Frustrating, right?

Inevitably, technology made its way into the world of sports over the past two decades, changing the game forever. But what are the actual benefits from a supporter’s perspective?

1. Better Viewing Experience

Technology has a tremendous influence on the way we watch sports. As a spectator enjoying the Super Bowl on an enormous flatscreen television from the comfort of your couch with a basket of chips and a beer in hand, it’s easy to forget all the behind-the-scenes and on-screen tech involved.

From high-definition video cameras capturing top-speed action at multiple angles to the constantly updating score and game time on the screen’s top or bottom. You also have access to numerous sporting channels, bringing top-class sports to your living room, such as Europe’s Six Nations rugby union tournament and the Indian Premier League.

Related: The Best Live Sports Streaming Sites

2. Practical Ticket Purchasing

Gone are the days of waiting in line to buy a ticket on match day, only to be turned away when it’s all sold out, or having to settle for the only remaining nose-bleed seat. With online ticket purchasing, you can directly buy your tickets for upcoming games from a team’s official website via your smartphone or on your computer.

This way, you can avoid the queues and choose specific seats, putting your vantage point in the palm of your hand.

3. Enhanced Video Gaming

We all remember those classic TV games from the 80s and 90s, including the games Soccer, Golf, Athletics, and Baseball, all in 2D with limited control over the players. As technology developed, so did the accessibility to video games.

When the Nintendo Wii came on the market, sports gaming turned into an interactive event for friends and family. It even became a form of exercise, especially when playing a tennis game.

Today, with the crystal-clear visuals and updated players of the latest football games on the Sony PlayStation and Microsoft Xbox , you can almost imagine being on the field yourself ─ a great way to spend a rainy afternoon with your mates.

Related: The Best Sports Management Games You Can Play Today

4. Advanced Scouting Opportunities

As avid sports fans, we all want the best possible players to represent our teams in the NBA, NFL, and the Olympic Games. But for this to happen, coaches need access to undiscovered talent. In the past, scouting agents had to travel across the country to find hidden gems at club level and rely on their instincts when choosing players.

In the age of technology, agents have access to everything a player has to offer ─ from video footage of previous performances to data on fitness levels, passing ability, speed, and strength. There’s no need to take a stab in the dark when looking for the next quarterback or pitcher anymore, to the delight of fans everywhere.

5. Incredible Player-Fan Interaction

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We had to admire our sporting heroes from a distance at stadiums or on television in the past. Since social media entered the equation, this has all changed. Now, most sports clubs, teams, and players have verified accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram that you can follow and interact with.

These social networks have placed the world of sports in the palm of your hand, giving you instant access to information and keeping you connected to other sports fans. Through social media, you can stay up-to-date on the latest team news, upcoming games, and results, and you can even tag your favorite player in the awesome selfie you took with them after last week’s match.

6. Partaking in Fantasy Leagues

Yes, we all want to be in the thick of things but might not have the time or necessary skills to play our favorite sport. Technology bridges this gap perfectly with fantasy sports leagues ─ a billion-dollar industry available at the click of a button.

When the new football or baseball seasons start, millions of fans worldwide join fantasy leagues to share in the spoils. You had to calculate and keep your score on paper while predicting upcoming results in the past. Now, you can pick your team at the start of a season and join in the fun with your friends or co-workers, while specially designed algorithms and apps do all the heavy lifting.

Related: The Best Fantasy Sports Online Resources

7. Improved Stadiums

Stadiums have always been impressive structures, but it needs to be upgraded once in a while like all forms of architecture. Technology has definitely made its mark on modern sports stadiums, turning them into theatrical phenomena with enormous high-definition scoreboards, booming sound systems, and layouts that renders every seat the best one in the house.

Win or lose, the atmosphere of watching a live game surrounded by screaming supporters will be an unforgettable experience.

Related: How to Download Sports Fixtures for Your Google Calendar

8. Availability of Review Systems

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The development of replay technology for in-game review purposes is probably the most significant advancement in the world of sports. A few decades ago, referees and other match officials had to rely on their instincts when making split-second decisions whether a player was offside when he scored a goal during a football match or if the ball was going to hit the wickets when a batsman was hit on his pads during a cricket game.

Unfortunately, the human error element crept into most sports, to the frustration of sports fans everywhere.

Today, most sports have specific in-game review options manned by specialist using technology to review appeals and referrals during games. These systems include the TMO (Television Match Official) during rugby union games, VAR (Video Assistant Referee) during football, and Hawk-Eye technology to track a ball’s trajectory during a tennis, volleyball, or cricket match ─ all to make sports fairer.

9. Optimal Modern Training Options

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Whether you’re practising sports to play competitively, or simply exercise for fitness and health reasons, having the best equipment is crucial. Technology has brought to the fore cutting-edge training equipment with accurate tech-devices that offers unique training methods, such as treadmills and air bikes. Gone are the days of running thousands of laps around a football field or measuring distances with your vehicle after an exhausting jog.

Smartwatches are also a good way of tracking your daily performance based on your heart rate and the amount of steps taken. You can sync your smartwatch to an exercising app to keep a record of your progress.

These days, most smartphones have tracking options too with several fitness apps at your fingertips. And if you like things a little more old school while still using technology, watch an exercise video on YouTube and join in the fun from the comfort of your home.

Does Technology in Sports Have a Downside?

As is the case with everything else in life, technology also has its disadvantages for sports. Besides the latest inventions being highly expensive, they can also be faulty. Numerous replays can interrupt the natural flow of a match, slowing it down unnecessary.

The constant interaction and lack of privacy due to social media also take their toll on professional sports stars.

Why We Love the Game Anyway

People have been following sports since the beginning of time and long before any modern technological developments. Think about the Roman gladiator games at the Colosseum in 264 BC and the first Olympic Games in 1896.

Whether you like basketball, baseball, athletics, or football ─ the fact that technology improves the way we view and interact with our favorite sports is simply the icing on the cake.

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