By this time next week I will be sitting in Bangkok having completed the first day of the IASAS Volleyball Tournament.
This ability for students and teachers here to be a part of IASAS while the TIGERS are competing in another country is pretty cool. It started me thinking about the ever-increasing prevalence of tech integration with sports. We see more and more examples of the impact that technology has on sports. Miss the record-breaking 105mph pitch by Red’s pitcher Aroldis Chapman? Thanks to our constantly updated tech, you can watch it now.
In reality, few competitions today are free of infiltration by technology.
Take for example the instant replay. In the good old days we were treated to John McEnroe’s infamous tirades…and we really didn’t know if they were warranted or not.
Now when Serena Williams loses the plot, we have instant replay and computer-generated graphics to tell us how right or wrong she was.
Right or wrong, this one resulted in a suspended ban and a $70,000 fine.
Few sports are missing the instant replay. The best example is soccer, and the World Cup qualifiers indicated that this might be changing in the near future. There were probably 10 game-changing calls or lack of calls during the 2010 World Cup that could easily have been rectified with instant replay.
It’s not just the instant replay, however. Goal line technology in the NHL “sees” the puck cross the line. Thanks to miked-refs, we now know exactly what the call was when watching an NFL game. Not that it keeps me from my part-time profession as Mr. Pro Sports Heckler Guy.
There are literally hundreds of other examples of tech integration in the professional sports realm. But what about closer to home?
At TAS, swimmers have access to underwater video recording and playback equipment for stroke analyzation. Upper School Science classes occasionally interrupt my workspace for measuring trajectory and velocity of thrown objects… and then graph that data on some funky new science software. Our MS teachers utilize the Flip Video Camera for giving students instant feedback regarding their basketball layup, soccer dribble or some other performed skill. The video clip is then attached to their reports files so that parents can see how (un) skilled their child is during parent/teacher conferences in October.
Our Upper School PE classes make frequent use of Heart Rate Monitors to track cardio activity during class. Polar also offers a complete system that allows for all users to be simultaneously tracked and analyzed while the activity is ongoing. This, coupled with some of the new GPS tracking software would allow a teacher to lead an activity and then report to students how active they were on a cardio level and the total distance they moved during the given activity.
I’m pretty sure it would prove a long-held belief of mine…that a hearty game of dodgeball or capture the flag exceeds the cardio output and distance equivalent of the much dreaded mile run.