Long gone are the days of kicking a fraying leather ball around a muddy pitch in a woolen vest and shorts. Technology has moved on vastly since the early days of the beautiful game, bringing with it some serious advances to the game play. Whether it’s the hotly debated Goal Line Technology, the invention of fake turf or ideas as sophisticated as EPTS, it cannot be argued that technology is changing football. The question is, for better, or for worse?
Match analysis and sports betting
The “who the most effective midfielder is”, or “who’s the most on-target striker” debates could cheerfully last for hours. The story now is a little different. Matches are carefully analysed, and thus, we can answer these ‘who’s the best’ questions with indisputable quantitative data. Companies such as Opta and Prozone employ cameras as well as people to log matches, touch for touch and pass for pass. This kind of insight into how a team is playing is interesting for fans, but even more interesting for sports betters.
Being able to see stats in this way has given fans an insight into the details of the game unlike anything seen before. This kind of information makes sports betting even more stimulating for fans, and when teamed with deals such as the current betway signup offer, it can make the process so much more enjoyable.
Goal line technology
Most fans will remember the advent of Goal Line Technology from that fateful England vs Germany game, yet the technology has progressed since then, and so has its employment. The International Football Association Board now states that goal line technology must never interfere with gameplay. This fundamental rule has taken what was once a troublesome and occasionally annoying piece of technology and made it invaluable. Now match officials receive an alert on a wristwatch which signals whether the whole of the ball has crossed the goal line.
This crucial piece of information is transmitted from the seven capture cameras, or the magnetics system, to the official in less than one second, meaning that the response is delivered almost immediately avoiding stoppages. As aforementioned, this technology either uses seven separate cameras, positioned high up in the stadium to ascertain the position of the ball, or it uses magnetic fields. The magnetic system requires cables to be placed underground and across the goal, which allows the necessary technology to have the ball’s exact location mapped via the magnetic fields.
It wasn’t so long ago that grass did a perfectly adequate job, but nowadays we’re much more accustomed to an artificial surface. The main reason is simple; artificial turf puts up with a lot more use than natural grass. Around the areas of heavy use, grass can get worn and in wet weather, muddy and even dangerous. Artificial turf is entirely weather-resistant and withstands an enormous amount of use.
As with anything, not all artificial turf is made equal and as such FIFA has developed a quality programme which ensures that only genuinely high-quality surfaces can be called ‘football turf’. FIFA awards the FIFA Quality mark to any pitch that is suitable for community and amateur use and the FIFA Quality Pro mark to any pitch that’s suitable for professional-level football. That means it meets all requirements for safety, quality assurance, durability and of course, playing performance.
Electronic performance and tracking systems
Electronic performance and tracking systems or EPTS is a relatively new technology. It enables coaches to see key statistics on each player, by monitoring through a wearable device. It allows those in the box to view fatigue levels, heart rate, distance covered and other vital information. This is precisely the kind of data, though, that truly can change the outcome of a game.
Until now managers were expected to see players flagging and pull them off the pitch, but now a tiny little monitor can achieve that for them, with incredible accuracy. Moreover, these wearable monitors can also work through the already implemented goal line technology systems, enabling us to see how players move around the pitch and to pick apart crucial points in the game. There are a few other ways in which technology is making inroads into the beautiful game, but the ones mentioned above are among the most notable.