One thing is certain off the back of the latest instalment of Six Nations rugby, making use of technology for those 50/50 calls and unsighted moments can be a huge momentum shift for a team. Italy was on the receiving end of some dubious officiating which they did not take too kindly to, as it again had a negative impact on their upward turn in recent form and denied them an elusive Six Nations victory. Several talking points have emerged relating to decision making and the appropriate use of technology by the match officials.
Ahead of the Rugby World Cup 2023 in France, human errors in judgement will have to be examined with the referees coming under increasing pressure. The use of AI technology and automated cameras to increase the accuracy with which the game is being officiated will surely be a key feature of the tournament and this beautiful sport going forward.
The technology already exists and has been tested on the largest and most watched sporting event in the world, the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ where It was massively successful and well received by players and fans alike. In sports like Cricket and Tennis, replay technology and even predictive AI in the case of LBW decisions are now the standard and not only are they accepted by the players, fans, and officials alike they have added an additional dimension of excitement in when teams and players use their limited review options. In many cases the officials’ initial decisions are affirmed by the technology and they enjoy the positive kudos of having made a good officiating call in a split second.
The human element of sport is that it evokes emotion in various forms, both high and low. The one thing everyone who loves sport can agree on, is that there is no worse feeling than that of an official being perceived as biased against you or your team. As a Rugby player the difference between a kick going out on the 50m line or the 22m line has a massive impact on the game state and subsequent decisions that follow. If a ball fully crosses the line for a goal or not in football, it’s the difference between being a champion and a runner up.
The increased commercialisation of sports through sponsorships and broadcast rights has made it increasingly important for accurate decision to be made on the field, as they have huge financial consequences for all stakeholders. The inclusion of technology to help alleviate the pressure on match officials to make huge calls “in the moment” is no longer an issue that can just be brushed off as “oh well”, maybe next time they’ll make the right call. Introducing the correct technologies to help the officials, should be key across several big sporting codes, if they are to keep the product, they are serving to the consumer fair and free of perceived biases.
Another sport that has seen humans and machine merge into a hybrid, symbiotic, high performance “athlete” is Formula One. The way humans and machine must rely on each other to get the best out of one another is testament to the fact that technology and humans can reach an incredible level of accuracy and understanding that provides an incredible spectacle for a huge global audience.
Formula One is back and off to a rip-roaring start with Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing claiming the first race of the season. Sportsnation is an Authorised Ticketing Partner to the Formula 1 Singapore Airlines Grand Prix 2023 (15 – 17 September 2023), for more information on this and our other amazing packages, visit our brand new website on www.sportsnation-travel.co.za or send an e-mail to our team on email@example.com #LetUsTakeYouThere!
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