The world of professional sports is not spared by the ongoing digitalization of our time. Big data, sensors, and artificial intelligence have long been words that are also mentioned on the soccer field or on the F1 racetrack.
For professional athletes, it is often only nuances of a performance variance that can decide whether they win or lose.
The pit stop takes only a few seconds but should be done at exactly the right moment. It is precisely for this reason that footballers and racing cars are now equipped with sensors that continuously collect data and pass them on for processing.
Goal-line technology and video evidence have long since brought technology into football, is AI the next step as a referee?
Technologies Are Progressively Altering Professional Sports
The need for specific data is increasing in professional sports because it provides accurate and objective information in real-time and therefore enables better performance
. In Formula 1, as the Datacenter Insider explains, all information such as tire temperature, wheel speed, engine data, etc. is collected in real-time on the racing car, which is then evaluated directly. In this way, the condition of the car and the race track are recorded down to the smallest detail, so that the right time window for a pit stop can be selected.
By comparing the new with the past data, conclusions can also be drawn about the probability of winning and comparative values.
Especially for calculating odds in real-time in live moneyline betting or other bets at the online sports betting sites, this data is used to make more precise predictions. Prominent online betting service providers like 888sport hire professionals in order to provide live betting odds for the games.
Fans are happy about the more accurate forecasts and the deeper insight into the sport. In addition to Formula 1, the prominent football leagues have also been using sensors in athletes’ shoes for the past few years.
Running distances, speed and many other aspects of performance can be recorded in real-time and used directly for the strategic approach in the game.
How often do football fans feel like they have endless discussions about whether the referee’s decision was right or wrong?
The controversial goal decisions began with the legendary Wembley goal in 1966. It is still unclear whether the ball actually made it behind the goal line or not. Unclear decisions were eliminated by the introduction of the goal line technology in the English Premier League in 2013 and German Soccer Bundesliga in the next year.
With numerous “Hawk Eye” cameras, it is unequivocally determined whether the ball has crossed the goal line or not, so that wrong goal decisions are now a thing of the past. But it is not only when a goal is scored or when it is not scored that there are often disputes over the decisions of the referees. The video evidence is another step to avoid ambiguities.
However, due to the human factor in the decision, there is still room for dispute here. So why not completely eliminate the human factor? After all, who could be more impartial than a machine?
Football is a game with clear rules, so machine learning with an AI could be implemented.
The athletes and fans are not yet ready to banish the human referee from the court and replace it with a robot, but technological developments in sports are already pointing in this direction. Technology and sport are increasingly merging.
Technological support is increasingly being used in professional sports. From data acquisition for strategic decisions and predictions to goal line technology, various technologies are already in use today. The developments clearly show that this will increasingly be the case in the future.
Maybe an AI will soon be on the sidelines. With a rapidly changing world, we are going to witness more and more tech changes that will trend in the sports world.