The US sports scene has been developing rapidly ever since the 1950s when the 24 second shot clock was introduced in the NBA. It’s hard to imagine basketball today without this iconic piece of technology. The sports industry has benefitted from the impressive developments in technology over the past 60 years, leading to some of these important sports innovations.
It’s hard to imagine watching any sporting event today without the luxury of being able to see a great goal or tackle played back to you with instant replay. This was introduced over 30 years ago and was first used in a 1986 NFL game between the Chicago Bears and Cleveland Browns. The instant replay was used virtually straight away in only the third play of the game!
Above The Net Camera
You might be thinking that this is such a simple piece of technology but this was definitely an important development for the National Hockey League. Having cameras above the net allows officials to see whether the puck definitely passed the line and has actually resulted in a change in the outcome of many games.
Precision Time Sensors
This is definitely one of the most complex and impressive developments US sport has seen. The NBA introduced a sensor which was added to the referee’s whistle to make the clock stop automatically whenever the whistle is blown. This means more precise decisions can be made on whether a shot was made in time or not. The referee can always restart the clock by pressing a button on his waist belt. Very impressive technology.
Anyone keeping up with the NFL over the past couple of years will have noticed the headsets worn by coaches on the sidelines and in the press box. Since they can all see different views of the game, they use the headsets to communicate with each other, suggesting different tactics and ways to get ahead. The quarterback also has a speaker in his helmet so he can take advice from coaches and relay it to his team. Quite a clever piece of kit.
A more recent development for the NBA came in 2013 with player tracking. All pro players are now tracked on court during games to provide statistics on distance covered, steals and touches per game. Most of the stats are available to the general public for fans who want to understand more about the logistics of the game.
These innovations have really changed the face of US sports, allowing for much more precise decisions and a better viewing experience for fans. Technology is still evolving all the time so there’s sure to be many more to come.