Tech – A Game Changer in Rugby?
In recent years, technology has been a growing presence in the sports we love. Almost all major sports now make use of technology in different ways. Coaches and athletes use tech to monitor and improve their performances, while officials can use it to make better judgements. On top of that, technology has had a growing impact on how fans are able to watch and enjoy their favourite sports.
As with sports like tennis, cricket and soccer, rugby fans have seen the use of technology growing in their sport over the past few years. Technology has been adapted in a variety of ways to help make the sport safer to play and fairer to the players and fans taking part. As technology continues to improve, we’ll no doubt see rugby continue to change over the years. Some recent technological improvements to rugby include:
Live streaming games through the internet has been around for a while, but the last few years have seen rapid improvements in internet speed and the growing availability of streaming platforms. These days, rugby fans that want to watch live games can even find them being streamed on sites offering sports betting in NZ. Fans can watch on their computers, internet-connected TVs and even their mobiles. This allows fans to have greater access to live sport, making it easier for current fans as well as creating new ones. The latest advances in live streaming will most likely involve augmented and virtual reality, making watching sports even more immersive.
Wearable technology such as GPS devices have been in use for several years to track player performances during training sessions and matches. These devices can record lots of invaluable data, including heart rate, location and activity. Through this, coaches can get better insights into the performance of their players, helping them to use them better and make the right team selections. This data can also be used to tailor training programs, improving the weaknesses of athletes. Wearable tech is increasingly being used across major sports, and rugby is no different. Rugby coaches can use the data recorded to improve the performance of their team and get the right results on the field.
Hawk-Eye and Smart Refereeing
Nobody likes a game being marred by poor officiating, which is why technology such as Hawk-Eye is so crucial for the sport. This allows officials to get a better view of incidents, allowing them to make the right judgements and ensure that the game is officiated fairly. Ref cams are also being trialled in rugby, allowing side-line officials to assist in making the right call as well as giving fans new angles to view the action from. As technology continues to improve, the job of being a rugby official gets a lot easier, and we’re seeing far fewer controversial decisions made by refs.
Injury and Concussion Prevention
Injuries and concussions are serious issues in rugby and other contact sports. These injuries can potentially end careers and may lead to further problems down the line. Repeated concussions can lead to traumatic brain injuries, the extent of which is still being studied. As our knowledge of concussions and the damage they cause have improved, the need to prevent them has increased too. Modern technology has developed better testing and diagnosis of concussions, and players are no longer expected to continue in the wake of a head injury. Specialised gum shields that monitor collision force are also being trialled, allowing coaches to see the force sustained in a tackle and providing insights into when a player needs to be substituted.