The debate over whether technology in sport has changed it for better or worse will continue to rage, but there is no question that it is not going to go away.
Video Technology has been a revelation in a few sports but the impact of VAR in soccer is still unclear.
Isn’t It Grown By Now?
It is still in its infancy stage but will surely be a plus once the authorities know how to make best use of what is available to them.
There is no question that technology, as in many other aspects of life, has changed a few sports irrevocably and for the better, with tennis and cricket the best examples.
The days of John McEnroe hurling abuse at umpires and linesmen would never have happened had Hawkeye been available in the 1980s as it provides conclusive proof as to whether a ball was in or out and the players trust it.
It is with ‘line decisions’ that the use of video is at its best and cricket has jumped on the band wagon in no uncertain terms.
Adjudicating on a run-out decision, if it was close, was always one of the toughest jobs for an umpire, but that particular pressure has been taken off his shoulders and handed over to the man with the TV screen.
But cricket has taken it much further than any other sport, with all decisions now available for review.
The Hawkeye ball tracking on lbw decisions has taken away the subjective element of that dismissal method, while cricket also uses heat-sensitive cameras (hot-spot) and audio tech (snickometer) to determine whether the ball has been hit.
The romantics and old-timers might not agree with the change, but there is no doubt that nearly every decision given is now correct.
The problem lies when the element of human opinion is combined with video technology, such as the way soccer uses the VAR system at present.
Decisions are still open to debate and it seems as though that will always be the case, but as long as key rulings such as penalties and whether or not a ball has crossed the line are given correctly, then surely it is a plus.
Tech Has Made Sports Efficient
It is not just on the field of play that technology has changed sport for the better, with training methods and ways of capturing data, both for human and machines, aiding sportsmen.
Formula 1 has been at the forefront of technology for years, with banks and banks of computer screens relaying information on a car’s performance to a team during a Grand Prix, while aerodynamic testing has also helped in that respect.
Great Britain’s cyclists have been the envy of the world for some time and both the bikes they use and helmets worn have been designed with the use of technology to squeeze as much speed as possible out of every rider.
From aiding match officials to the detection of drug cheats, technology is now all over the world of sport and it is hard to argue that it is not for the better.
Football managers have been calling for video technology for years and, although it is still very much suffering teething problems, there are not many who would reject it if they survived relegation or won a title with the help of just one reviewed decision.