The Impact of Technology On Sports Performance: Should Performance-Enhancing Technologies Be Allowed in Competitive Sports?
According to Ratten (2020), the use of technical tools and equipment in sports to increase athletic performance, facilitate coaching and training, and facilitate decision-making during sporting competitions is referred to as sporting technology, according to Ratten (2020). How does technology improve sports? Should we stop using these technologies? Or, as Frevel, N., Beiderbeck, D., and Schmidt, S. L. (2022) argue, can they advance sports?
The contentious claim that technology makes sports unfair and dull has been made in recent conversations regarding how technology is used in sports. Some contend that using technology in some sports makes them unfair and less fun for the athlete because these tools simplify accomplishing athletic feats (Yang & Wu, 2021). However, according to Monteiro-Guerra et al. (2020), others counter that technology in sports has many positive effects, including eliminating bias and blunders, improving strategies, supporting spectators, and developing inventive ads. From this vantage point, technology has more positive effects on sports than negative ones. In sum, the issue is whether technology makes sports unfair or makes them less biased and more attractive.
Technology may be pretty helpful when engaging in sports. It makes it much easier to understand a person’s limitations and see their progress. Technology can also assist sports in becoming more pleasurable and fun by eliminating bias and blunders. Using video-assisted referees (VAR) in football is one example of how technology may help sports become more exciting and engaging by removing bias and mistakes. The number of erroneous decisions made by referees during football games has dramatically decreased due to VAR technology, according to Spitz et al. (2021). This has increased the confidence of the players and spectators in the choices made by the referee since it has increased the accuracy of the decisions. Because supporters can anticipate and enjoy goals with more assurance knowing that they have been scored thanks legitimately to the deployment of VAR, the intensity of games has also increased.
Technology might make sports unfair, and it can result in incorrect judgments. As mentioned above, using video-assisted referees (VAR) in football shows how technology can be unjust and lead to wrong judgments in sports. Although VAR was introduced to help referees make more accurate judgments throughout a game, there have been times when its use led to contentious and wrong decisions. Human decision-making during a match, for instance, could be faulty if the VAR system is malfunctioning or if the referee relies too heavily on technology without taking into account other aspects, like the speed of the game. While humans run VAR, and various people may view the film differently, there is also a chance for bias in interpreting the technology (Spitz et al., 2021). However, it is still superior to humans in providing accurate results and enhancing the fun and fairness of the game. For instance, in football, the line-goal technology shows whether the ball went in or not, and occasionally it makes a mistake. Nevertheless, without VAR, a tool that aids the referee in reviewing the tape, some of the decisions could be incorrect.
Some, however, worry that sports will lose some of their appeal if they become too dependent on technology. Some spectators find that mistakes and disputes add to the excitement of a game or competition even after it has ended. Some spectators may also find it annoying since technological innovations occasionally cause delays in the action or otherwise interrupt the flow of play.
Mistakes made by humans sometimes lead to unethical results in sports, and technological advancements could help level the playing field. Using goal-line technology or hawk-eye technology in sports like soccer or tennis, for instance, helps ensure that goals or shots are precisely judged, decreasing the likelihood of a team losing due to a poorly called decision by a referee or umpire (Spitz et al., 2021). There are valid reasons for and against the use of technology in sports. Even though it is obvious that technology can enhance the precision and fairness of certain facets of sports, it is also essential to weigh the potential drawbacks and ensure that implementing new technologies does not diminish fans’ experiences.
History of Technological Advancements in Sports
The progressive integration of technology into sports has been an evolutionary journey that can be traced back to the dawn of the 20th century. One of the first forays into technological advancements in sports was witnessed with the advent and incorporation of stopwatches, which augmented and revolutionized time-keeping methodologies at athletic events such as track and field competitions (Frevel et al., 2022). As we moved into the epochal decade of the 1960s, video cameras were introduced, which enabled sophisticated analysis of athlete performance and technique.
As we delved deeper into subsequent decades, like the 1970s, the standard scoreboards got a massive makeover as electronic versions debuted. At the same time, instant replay technologies took center stage amongst football enthusiasts in the ensuing decade (that is, the 1980s). It is noteworthy that over the years, modern-day technology has infiltrated nearly every aspect, whether it be athlete training sessions or fan experiences during live sporting action within stadiums. The metamorphosis breathed by sports technology inadvertently paved the way for incredible human performances by surpassing previous world records and thereby catalyzing numerous breakthroughs within this sphere (Perkey, 2012).
Technology in Football
Football, often known as soccer, has developed from its humble beginnings to become one of the world’s most popular sports, largely thanks to astonishing technological breakthroughs. Video assistant referees (VAR) are a game-changing innovation that has completely altered the norm for sports law enforcement. The Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system is used to assess contentious decisions, including goals, penalties, and red card events, on replay with the highest level of scrutiny to guarantee fair findings. The use of video analysis and review (VAR) technology allows for more accurate adjudicating measures and exemplifies a fair basis for ethical play. Wearable technology, such as GPS trackers and heart rate monitors, gives coaches access to players’ real-time performance data, allowing them to create more individualized training plans. A recent meta-analytical study by Spitz et al. (2021) found that using VAR significantly influenced the decision-making processes of association football referees and similarly led to negating errors within the field of play, improving overall representations displayed by sportsmen under scrutiny during gameplay proceedings.
The Revolution of Sporting Technology in Training and Competition
The unprecedented expansion and maturing of athletic technology have resulted in a significant paradigm shift in the global sports arena. This advancement is supported by Ratten’s (2020) research findings, which examine several facets of athletic technology in his discursive work “Sports Technology: A Commentary.” As Ratten points out, cutting-edge technological improvements have resulted in considerable changes in the athletic business, notably wearable technology that measures performance and video analytic tools for technical amplification. These profound technological changes give sportspeople unique options to obtain previously inaccessible data sets and insights into their gameplay. As a result, this transition has significantly altered both athlete training tactics and on-field results.
The evidence adduced by Ratten incontrovertibly supports claims surrounding sports technology’s massive impact on contemporaneous sporting incentives, further cementing its pivotal significance towards greater advancement within future realms yet unexplored. With groundbreaking strides being made every day via technological advancements at an unprecedented rate, it is without uncertainty that the sports world will continue experiencing momentous shifts- providing exceptional opportunities for aspiring athletes aiming to claim more distinguished accolades consecutively (Ratten, 2020).
Sporting Technology For Coaches and Tactics
Sport has experienced a considerable transformation due to the introduction of cutting-edge technology innovations, allowing athletes to achieve unparalleled brilliance. Innovative technologies like virtual reality (VR) and simulation software have allowed athletes to train in surreal environments in their replication of real-world surroundings. Such a pioneering idea has enabled professional athletes from many sports to effectively enhance their cognitive complexity, providing them with appropriate decision-making abilities. Furthermore, Monteiro-Guerra et al.’s comprehensive 2020 study concluded that personalized mobile applications facilitating real-time physical activity coaching could significantly improve physiological behaviors encompassing fitness and overall health-related outcomes. Far more than exercise or training regimens, technology’s multifaceted integration into modern athletics includes nutritional augmentations and recovery mechanisms via sophisticated wearable gadgets investigating sleep patterns alongside hydration cycles while rigorously tracking nutritional intake habits. Indeed, great technological utilization undeniably empowers athletic performances, fully realizing athletic potentialities and, as a result, unequivocally improving holistic well-being indices.
Wearable Technology Can Prevent Injuries and Prolong an Athlete’s Career
Injuries have long been a pressing concern for the athletic community, but fortunately, wearable technology has played an instrumental role in injury prevention and management. In particular, advanced technologies such as smart fabrics, sensors, and cutting-edge biomechanical analysis tools offer an unmatched degree of precision when monitoring athletes’ movement patterns and identifying potential areas of physical vulnerability. This provides early intervention opportunities that can help prevent injuries before they occur and facilitates personalized training regimens designed to minimize future risks (Monteiro-Guerra et al., 2020). Accordingly, recent research by Morrell (2022) suggests that wearables are rapidly gaining credibility among coaches and trainers thanks to their ability to meticulously monitor a wide range of essential metrics. Tracking parameters such as range of motion or joint angles with unparalleled accuracy through wearable devices during practice sessions or games provides valuable insight into the underpinnings behind debilitating injuries before they fester into more significant issues over time.
Wearable technology can help athletes detect potential chronic conditions early, allowing for preventive measures that can prolong their careers. This can reduce the risk of long-term health issues that may develop over multiple seasons of competition. By enabling athletes to maintain their physical resilience, wearable technology can help them compete for more years and improve their longevity in their respective sports (Monteiro-Guerra et al., 2020).
Over-Reliance On Technology Can Hinder Natural Talent and Creativity
The discourse regarding whether an overemphasis on technology may impede natural talent and creativity is a topic that has been greatly scrutinized within the realm of sports. Though it is irrefutable that technology can furnish valuable insights and copious amounts of data, skeptics contend that excessive reliance on such information may stymie an athlete’s innate propensity for innovation and think beyond conventional limits, according to Liu L (2021).
Notwithstanding, this counterargument could be challenged by observing instances whereby athletes use sophisticated technological equipment in conjunction with inherent aptitudes. Consider professional golfers who employ cutting-edge swing analysis devices to dissect their swings meticulously with utmost precision to enhance technique. Still, they have conviction in their intrinsic capability to create and make challenging shots while on the course. Similarly, tennis players utilize advanced video analysis tools as aids to scrutinize opponents and fortify strategic decision-making abilities; nevertheless retain a degree of dependency on instincts immanent within themselves while making decisions instantaneously during a match. These demonstrations highlight how technology could function as an efficacious tool proficient at augmenting rather than thwarting natural gifts for creative expression possessed by athletes.
The Cost of Sports Technology Can Be Prohibitive for Athletes and Teams
The notion that prohibitive costs associated with sports technology may impede athletes and teams from accessing the latest advancements in this field is a valid concern. According to a systematic review by Mazzei and Ravagnani (2019), state-of-the-art sports technologies, such as cutting-edge wearable sensors, high-speed cameras, and sophisticated performance analysis software packages, tend to entail high initial investments regarding procurement and upkeep.
Consequently, it could be challenging for individual athletes or small-scale teams of limited financial means to use these avant-garde technological tools. This creates an environment where cumbersome expenditures become a bottleneck prohibiting fair competition among prominent players of different financial statures. Nevertheless, the foregoing argument can be debunked by referring to critical pieces of evidence showcasing a decrease in the overall cost of sporting tech over time. Significantly advanced pieces of equipment that were once exclusive to elite-level athletes have now come within reach at considerably lower prices, thus enabling amateur sports enthusiasts with meager resources to partake in them in tandem with their more well-funded counterparts. Since rising demand grows in tandem with increasing innovations, it is clear that this discrepancy only lasts for a while. Eventually, economies of scale yield significant savings, distributed to consumers through lower prices, creating a level playing field across all market segments.
The Accuracy And Reliability Of Some Sports Technology Can Be Questionable
Questionable accuracy and reliability in specific sports technology is a pressing concern that many athletes and coaches have prominently raised. Instances have emerged whereby technologies, including extraordinary sensors and advanced cameras alike, have furnished erroneous or untrustworthy data, thus leading to the improper analysis of performance as well as misguided training strategies. This predicament can be rendered highly precarious in high-stakes competitions where athletes undeniably hinge on their success on these technological advancements that mandate instant decisions with fleeting implications (Lord et al., 2020). However, when one carefully examines the medical data supporting cutting-edge technology and quality assurance regulatory requirements, this claim may be refuted.
Manufacturers increasingly use strict control methods to ensure unprecedented product precision, making them completely dependable in this constantly expanding field characterized by unceasing innovation (Lai & Qin, 2021). Unprecedentedly sophisticated sensor technology is designed in tandem with multiplex redundancy characteristics that are intended to prevent any unanticipated alterations in relation to malfunctions that could result in aberrant data output. So, before being released, the software intended for careful performance analysis goes through specific screening procedures. Additionally, regulatory bodies that work to standardize sports engineering establish stringent requirements regarding its accuracy and dependability. Overall, it is evident that, despite long-standing worries about the aforementioned issues, outstanding progress is still being made at a constantly astonishing rate to improve both impeccability and functionality. These great technological developments indisputably demonstrate that we are entering an era deserving of idealistic levels of dependability, which translates into unparalleled utility for all parties concerned, from gamers all the way up to chief strategists.
Technology Makes Some Sports Unfair
Many in the fishing industry have voiced worry about the disruptive effects of new technologies in recent years. More and more people are worried that technological advancements facilitate inequality in the industry. Many fishermen feel that people in their industry with access to cutting-edge technology have a significant advantage over others without. Because of this, many small-scale fishermen are worried that technological advancements are creating an unfair playing field. A select group of anglers has been able to locate and capture aquatic species with great facility and efficiency, giving them an unjustifiable edge over those who adhere to conventional techniques. Indeed, advancements such as fish-finding apparatuses, GPS tracking mechanisms, and cutting-edge underwater cameras have come to the forefront of modern-day fishing. This development has unintentionally led some people in this industry to argue that using cutting-edge digital equipment may fundamentally change the fundamental principles governing traditional recreational fishing standards, which previously placed paramount emphasis on skillsets rather than merely having access to instruments or tools. These claims are indisputably supported by academic research presented by Hummel et al. (1986), as well as additional research conducted by The National Recreation and Park Association, which demonstrates that advanced technological applications significantly reduce barriers even for those who are relatively new to remedial angling activities and thus give them better chances. In contrast, experienced counterparts who rigidly adhere to classical inclusionary models stand to lose.
In summation, the gradual infusion of innovative technology within sports has radically transformed how athletes train and compete and how sporting events are supervised. An ongoing discourse persists regarding whether technological advancements promote an inequitable playing field or serve as a catalyst for less prejudiced decision-making processes and more entertaining athletic showcases. Compelling empirical evidence from various academic studies, such as Ratten’s (2020) inquiry and that by Monteiro-Guerra et al. (2020), unequivocally vindicates proponents positing that sophisticated sports technologies have revolutionized game strategies to enable coaches to navigate performance enhancement nuances deftly. This trend is thereby resulting in competitors reaching novel heights hitherto unimaginable, which ultimately leads to advanced training techniques culminating in superior on-field outcomes.
With regards to transparency during matches and unbiased determinations favoring neither team nor athlete, referees equipped with video assistant apparatuses (VARs) have streamlined operational efficiency allowing for increased accuracy during gameplay- affording just calls throughout competitions. Technology’s growing role in sports means that it must be carefully weighed against raw talent. Cost-effective solutions that promote dependability and fairness for all parties involved should be implemented. This method will promote development and expansion in sports while preserving participants’ enthusiasm for these pursuits. The ultimate objective is to encourage people all around the world to appreciate and enjoy sports through the use of cutting-edge technologies.
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