The Biggest Tech Advancements in the History of Sports

When we think of traditional sports, it can be hard to imagine where technology could fit in. Baseball requires a ball and a bat. Basketball requires a ball and a net. Golf requires a ball, a club and a long luscious green. So what could change? As time has gone on, there have been incremental improvements in every sport. Technology has played a significant role to make games more comfortable to engage with, emphasise, analyse and ultimately enjoy. Read on for some of the most significant tech advancements.

The Basketball Shot Clock

Back in the early 1950s, basketball found it difficult to gain credibility as a major American sport. Teams used to hold onto the ball for too long and score a lot less than what is seen today. Danny Biasone, the owner of Syracuse Nationals, founded the 24-second shot clock in 1954 in an attempt to revolutionise the sport. And that is precisely what happened as, after one year of adoption by the National Basketball Association, the average score made an immense jump from 79 to 92 PPG.

Titanium Golf Clubs

Traditional golf irons were heavy and difficult to wield for some. In the early 1990s, golf clubs started to be manufactured using a new material, titanium. This lighter material allowed for a faster swing and a larger sweet spot. Brands such as TaylorMade and Callaway produced the first drivers made from titanium, and from there the sport of golf did not look back.
Composite Tennis Racquets. Before the 1980s, tennis racquets made of wood were heavy and cumbersome. The introduction of composite tennis racquets made them lighter, stronger and allowed for a larger surface. In turn, improved tennis players ability to hit the ball harder, have better control and put more spin on the ball. As a result, wooden tennis racquets were no longer produced for the market.

Light Track Shoes

Track shoes have been undergoing incremental improvements since the 1950s. Companies hired sports scientists to help develop the latest shoes for athletes using the optimal blend of lightweight material and the best grip. This allowed runners to become faster and have more traction when turning corners and has helped some of the most prominent champions such as Usain Bolt achieve their destiny on the track.

Goal-line Tech

How many times have there been fights between opposing fans on whether the ball was in or out? In 1993, goal-line technology was finally introduced allowing the referee to re-play the moment to help determine if the ball was over the goal line or not. This was truly pioneering and has since been used as a necessary tool to determine the result of many different sports games including football and hockey.

Hockey Helmets

Before 1979, hockey players were not required to play hockey with head protection. After years of several head injuries in the sport, it was time to introduce the hockey helmet. National Hockey League president, John Zeigler, can be thanked for this.