Technological advancements have been at the forefront of sport in the modern age. They have been used to enhance decision-making and the game experience itself. It now has a major role to play in fixtures.
Rugby Union has now taken technology one step further. The game has now introduced a rechargeable ball that contains a micro-tracking chip which communicates up to 20 times per second via radio frequency technology with ten beacons placed around the venue.
Sky Sports has revealed that the technology is set to be trailed in the upcoming six nations tounament. The product has been five years in the making and unsurprisingly, this has consisted of a considerable amount of research, trial and development.
The ‘Smart Ball’ can track ball location and movement within centimetres. It does not affect performance or flight when in game play.
Viewers will be able to have access to the distance, speed, gain and effectiveness of kicks and passes within seconds of broadcast.
The information will be displayed through ‘Snap Stats’ and ‘Story Stats’. The first will be given on screen while the latter will support head-to-head data analysis between players/teams.
Smart Balls will also be able to track whether or not a ball has been grounded by an individual, clearing up any potential doubt over inconclusive evidence, whilst kicks to touch will be more accurately defined.