I have been asked to write about welsh technology, so obviously i’ll be talking about rugby and the changes made to the game by technology over the past couple of years. The first sign we saw of this was back in 2001 when rugby union announced the introduction of a fourth official during games to help referees with crucial decisions when their visibility is restricted. We can now see this used in the modern game to give final decisions on the grounding of tries, awarding penalties and red and yellow card offences. This has undoubtedly had an effect on the way players are able to play the game and the outcome of countless games.
It hasn’t just changed for the players Though. With the developments made in mobile technology The majority of fans now have smartphones which has made it possible to see live stats during games with the use of mobile analytic apps, which can show statistics such as territory, possession, momentum and individual position battles which are displayed in graph form on a dashboard. This has opened the door for fans to feel closer to the game and to talk nonsense with the backup of their phones at the same time.
The last change i would like to talk about is the more recent GPS tracking that is now commonplace with almost every team. It was started by the Bradford Bulls a rugby league team that introduced in 2010 for training sessions. The GPS trackers are sewn into a vest under the players tops and can monitor players’ position on the pitch, as well as their heart rate. The data is used for assessing the physiological demands on a player during a match and in training in order to prevent injury and aid rehabilitation. This could be where it crosses the line. with less and less teams focusing on playing open expansive rugby and most teams adopting a defensive structured style of play. the technological aspects being brought into the sport are definitely changing the way it’s played, but maybe it’s for the worse .