Innovations in the Sports World

Innovation has certainly become the need of the hour. The ever-increasing competition in any field has made people give priority to innovation. These days, if we ask kids, “Which games do you play?” they most likely would give a list of mobile games such as Pokemon, Candy Crush, or Bubble Shooter. Till a few years ago, however, kids used to play more on the playgrounds outside their homes. They could play with just anything they could lay their hands on - be it on the playgrounds or the streets in their neighborhood. Slowly and steadily, the game Cricket replaced these random outdoor games. Kids didn’t have enough space to follow the rules of professional Cricket, which led them to create their own innovative rules. For example, if the ball hits the balcony on the ground floor, then it is 2 runs; or if the ball goes in the balcony on the first floor, then it's 4 runs. The game of Cricket got extremely popular with kids and adults alike when ‘Television’ entered into our lives.    
Technology entered the sports arena and completely changed the world of players as well as spectators. There are many instances where technology has played a significant role in deciding the fate of the player or the game itself. Let us see one such example from the game of Cricket. In 1992, for the first time in Cricket history, a ‘Third Umpire’ was appointed for the maiden test match played between India and South Africa. His very first decision declared Indian batting legend Sachin Tendulkar run out. After that, the action replay technology was introduced, which could have solved countless ‘Out or Not-out’ quarrels between friends. Now people can actually measure the angles by which the particular bowler turns his balls. This enables them to discuss and learn a lot about his style. In the years to come, Snickometer sensors will be installed on the pitches, which will eliminate all other sounds except the sound waves created by the ball and the bat. In Football too, the use of goal-line technology has improved the decision-making accuracy. The line near a goal post which was not visible earlier can now be clearly seen on television. Spectators can also get involved and enjoy the game more.

In international competitions such as Olympics, the technology that provides accurate results has become indispensable, in addition to players’ abilities and devotion. Players can actually improve their physical capabilities by using various technology-enabled devices during their training. For instance, while practicing, cyclists or rowers attach different sensors to their legs to get the idea about different parameters such as the angle and the distance between legs, or the energy consumed. The technology is being used not only to decide the criteria of the competition but also to give results. In track running races, a speaker is placed at each runner’s position to ensure that every runner starts the race at the exact same time or the sound waves of each runner are heard at the same time. The timings are counted in units as small as milliseconds. In a sport like Taekwondo, sensors are attached to a player’s socks or on the body to measure an actual impact.

In this world of innovation, although we are increasing our technical knowledge, we might have started forgetting the playground. Till a few years ago, parents had to drag children out of the playground. Now, parents have to ask them to stop playing mobile or computer games and play some outdoor games. These mobile games might temporarily improve our confidence. An actual multiplayer game played on the ground, however, will definitely teach us to play without any Hints. If we start enjoying these outdoor games, then we might see new versions of traditional games like Lagori, and Dabba-airspace. Also, as an added advantage, we will successfully maintain our own health and physical fitness.


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