Things We Might See In The Not To Distant Future – November 2009

Rugby League is unique in that it is always evolving, always moving forward and always looking to the future. Here we will look at some of the advancements we might see in the game as technology takes over!

1. Padding And Helmets
Rugby League players are getting bigger, stronger and faster. Right now some players chose to wear a traditional head gear and a few forwards wear padding, but I can very easily see a time not too long from now where studies on contact sports and repeated concussions see’s the game forced to use head protection of some kind across the game. Padding and helmets would protect players, minimize injuries and, from a clubs standpoint, protect their investments.

2. Electronic Goal Posts
Why have touch judges signaling when a goal is kicked? Why should a referee need to keep an eye out for the drop goal? What if goal posts had sensors on them that could detect when the ball passes between the posts? Imagine a drop goal winning a game and the posts lighting up green as the ball crosses the black dot. Tell me that wouldn’t be cool!

3. GPS Match Stats
Forget the stupid match stats the Poms pull out of their arses during Test matches, or the simple number crunchers in the NRL. It won’t be long before player movements and stats on the field are regularly calculated via GPS. Players already can wear small GPS devices during games via a vest with the GPS between their shoulder blades. It will not be long before we see these used to show a players movement around the field during a game in TV presentations.

4. Electronic Corner Posts
Did he touch the corner post before planting the ball down? What is the corner post could tell us? This would be useful to find out if a player was out when he scored a try and could also be useful on deep kicks to see if the ball grazed the upright.

5. A Wired Match Ball
A GPS in the ball to calculate field position over the course of the match? How about a ball that can tell you if a player really got decent downward pressure in scoring a try? Would we need to set minimum levels of try scoring pressure? Imagine if you could use a wired game ball to calculate what the g forces were in tackles. That would rate off the cool scale!

As we welcome our robot overlords as they take over the world, maybe you should join the web site and then have you say in the discussion box below.

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