Technology in Sports

For the progressive and traditional viewers of sports, there is one thing that they will always take a stand on, against one another, and that is the use of television replay in professional sports. According to the traditionalists, human error has always been a factor in professional sports and will continue to do so. If a line call is missed by an umpire in tennis, one has to accept that and move on. The progressives, however, believe that it is imperative that the calls made are the right ones.

Different sports have integrated the use of television replays to varying degrees. For example, the National Football League or the NFL allows the coaches to challenge when they find a play to be questionable. The coaches usually challenge by throwing in a red flag on to the field of play. Each team is allow only two such challenges in a game and if they are wrong with a challenge, they are penalized with a timeout as well.

In the National Basketball Association or the NBA, television replays are used to determine whether the basket was made before the shot clock stopped or whether the points are a three or a two-pointer. The replays also determine which players to throw out from the game in case of a brawl or a foul.

Major League Baseball or the MLB has, so far, resisted integrating the use of technology into the game. Although there have been calls made for the integration of instant replays into the game, at this moment, instant replays in the MLB are only used to determine a home or the foul balls.

In the National Hockey League or the NHL, the officials are given the option of referring a call, in most cases, when it comes to goal scoring opportunities. Furthermore, the officials upstairs can also call back play when they see the referees have missed a call on a reviewable play and this call back must take before the next time the teams face off in the centre.

Although most people agree that the NHL has integrated technology into the game better than any other sport in the United States of America, perhaps the game that has made the most of technology is tennis. The use of Hawk Eye as well as the Mac CAM technologies, replays can be had instantly and most importantly, accurately. As an added bonus for the fans, the ones that come to tennis games can also see the replays on the giant screen and participate along with the match officials. Each player is given three referrals in a set and one more referral in case the set goes into the tie break.

While there is still opposition for the integration of instant replays in sports, the use of high tech gadgets make the games much fairer than on previous occasions. Although it is accepted that replays slow down the pace of a game, I believe that no one can deny the importance of this technology in making the games fair.

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