Sports are in a constant state of change. From rule swaps to an increase in athletic performance to dramatic increases in the implementation of technology, the games of today have little in common with the games of the 1950s.
This trend will only accelerate in the next few years thanks to continued impact from digital technology. No matter your favorite sport nor your favorite team, this article details the radical changes that are coming for players and fans alike.
Already represented in popular media through flicks like Moneyball, the idea of intense statistical analysis is not exactly a surprise. But the increase in tech like miniature cameras and body sensors means that a more futuristic set of analyses are coming.
By moving past strict numbers — sports geeks will recognize the classic implementation of big data by terms like eFG and PER— this data mining will allow teams to analyze every part of a player’s makeup. This means figuring out hidden talents, weak spots, and maximizing every player in various lineups. One could list the possibilities unleashed by this aggressive new approach all day. And this is only the beginning of this type of tech.
Who loves a ref, truly? We’ve all ranted and raved at our TV sets about blown calls, missed fouls and supposed fixes, because, at the end of the day, these on-court judges are human. That means human error, and unhappy fans.
In the next few years, most leagues will most likely implement further tech-assisted refereeing. The goal here is to achieve greater precision and fairness, allowing cameras and sensors to catch the things the human eye misses. You can see the beginnings of this in FIFA and the NBA, who are using advanced review systems to support the referees. But as time goes on, we could see a true shift away from the reliance on human judgment in support of ‘flawless’ AI.