Technology, as one might safely imagine, continually changes our cultures, societies and lives, thanks to the continual upgrading and innovating that go hand in hand with new ideas and ways of doing things. Everywhere we look we see the signs of new technologies' reach- smartphones, televisions, automobiles- although sports fans may often wonder where and in what ways technology impacts their favourite pastimes. Sports can be sometimes viewed as unchanging, rules having been passed down for centuries, often, although this opinion is far from true.
Live sports are a relatively old phenomenon, although true live is a relatively recent advancement. 'Live' sports ten or twenty years ago could be received often a few minutes later compared to when the actual events took place, compared to nowadays when enormous increases in internet bandwidth and satellite coverage mean that images are broadcast to television sets seconds after they take place!
Millions of people worldwide enjoy placing a little wager on the results of their favourite sports, and the internet has massively improved both the ease and availability of bets for punters. A fan sat in the stands during a game can now turn on their smartphone, head to bookies.com, check out the odds and team news, then make their bet during the game. It's added a heck of a lot of fluidity to the betting world, and fans are ecstatic.
Kits and pieces of equipment went largely unchanged within many sports throughout the twentieth century, however with the advent of materials technology many sports and their players have undergone an enormous change. Today, kits are thinner, lighter and stronger, acting as less of an impediment to the players wearing them and boosting the performance of people using them. Footballs are now equipped with sensors hidden inside that notify referees if they pass past the goal-posts, eliminating messy arguments and fan anguish, and in sports such as hockey, strong, lightweight plastics are now used for sticks instead of traditional woods.
Once, having a discussion about the prowess of sportspeople and teams was done mainly in bars and pubs across the world, but with Facebook and Twitter now incredibly popular, sports discussions are on every news feed and profile. Teams can now create their own pages, posting interesting info, behind the scenes footage and other titbits that massively increase the feeling among fans that they too are part of the team.
Author - Catherine Bush.