Uses Of Computers in Sports

Uses of computers in sports
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Research is being conducted over “smart” soccer balls that are fitted with a microchip, and alert the referee via headset when the ball crosses a line. Such application of computer technology has all but eliminated human error from the decision-making process.
Computers define modern lifestyle better than perhaps any other device. They are used as entertainment hubs, knowledge stores, relationship portals, and what not. They are irreplaceable components of the hectic daily grind.

Computers have brought about a revolutionary leap in various sectors; sports, and sports science is no exception. The entry of computers into the world of sports changed it radically and permanently. Ask a modern coach to train his team without showing them video demonstrations, or a fan to lay off his team’s website for a couple of days, and you would be deserving of the punch that you would undoubtedly receive.

Computers are used by coaches to compile databases, compare and analyze their own as well as their opponents’ performance, by fans to keep in touch with their beloved team, and by independent agencies to create virtual likenesses of real players, or for security.

Here are some ways in which computers are employed in sports.

Computers in Sports
Statistics Database
The primary purpose of artificial memory is to store tons of information. These include meticulously arranged records of each and every season of the particular league, records of the best individual performers, team form, etc.

These databases are particularly useful to managers while scouting for new recruits. Statistics represent the effective output of an individual or a team, and, as the old adage goes, numbers never lie. These little nuggets of 1’s and 0’s tell how a player performs in particular conditions, how a team fares with or without a particular player, how it has improved or worsened over a season, etc. Without the advent of computers, goodbye ‘moneyball’, goodbye ‘replacing one player with three’, and maybe goodbye 20 wins in a row (sorry Oakland fans)!

Simulation
Simulators are particularly useful in motorsports. The more a driver/rider gets acclimatized to a particular machine off the track, the more chances he has of making the most on it. Teams spend millions on the most realistic simulator, and not without due cause.
Performance Analysis
Bio-mechanics allow a player to closely scrutinize his workout regimen and his playing style, and make changes to increase performance. Golf swings, pitching, hitting, and sprinting are just a few of the many disciplines which can be massively improved through bio-mechanics.

Performance analysis through bio-mechanics not only fine-tunes an athlete’s performance, but also makes him/her fitter and more resistant to injuries. It can reveal minute abnormalities in the physique before they balloon into serious injuries, and experts can then recommend changes to minimize the risk.

Bio-mechanics also facilitate the life-like imitations of real players in video games. Every nook and cranny of the athlete’s face is scanned, the tiniest action recorded, and is then analyzed and imitated through their virtual selves.

Official Team Websites
Websites of sports teams and sports news networks are among the most visited sites on the Internet. Fans like to keep in touch with their teams even when not using their season tickets, or even if they live thousands of miles away from their favorite team. They need constant updates on the next game, reports about the last game, and every little snippet of the latest transfer rumors.

Sports websites are also home to fantasy leagues, which is a multi-billion-dollar industry. More than 30 million people play fantasy leagues in the US and Canada; the Fantasy Sports Trade Association estimated that 32 million people played fantasy leagues in the US and Canada in 2010! Sports websites are also leading avenues of online sports merchandise sales.

Equipment Design
Computer-aided manufacturing technology has massively improved the standard of equipment and protective gear, and has made contact and risky sports much safer. Crucial equipment such as helmets, balls, bats, skates, or hoops can be made safer, sturdier, and more comfortable through computer technology. Like in bio-mechanical studies regarding players, equipment is also tested extensively before being made available to sportspersons, and is being constantly bettered by sports goods manufacturers.
Telemetry
The word telemetry literally means ‘measurement from distance’. Computers can provide instant information on any piece of action in a game. It can tell us the speed of the latest pitch, the reaction times of sprinters or swimmers, or miscellaneous technical data, like distance covered by a hit or throw.
Telemetry is especially important in sophisticated motorsports, where the balance of the race may shift in favor of the team who is able to analyze the accurately delivered telemetry about their car’s engine performance, acceleration, braking, etc.
Pattern Recognition
This important branch serves a dual purpose. On the playing field, advanced video technology and software can be used to identify weak links in the opponent’s game―individual or team. If a pitcher has a mystery ball up his sleeve, pattern recognition programs will catch up on that; if a soccer team employs a particular formation, pattern recognition can identify weak links in the seemingly impenetrable strategy. However, conveying the results to the players and milking the opponent’s weaknesses depends on the ingenuity and pedigree of the coach.

The other purpose served by pattern recognition technology is stadium security. Cameras at strategic vantage points scan the entire stadium, and if the behavior of any particular fan sets off the alarm bells in the software, major disasters can be averted.

Vital Decisions
Computer technology is widely used in sports such as tennis, cricket, and football to determine ‘line calls’. Hawk-Eye technology, which traces the path or trajectory of a moving object―a ball, in this case―and accurately determines whether the object has crossed a specific line or mark, is a staple in major tennis tournaments and most cricket tournaments. Such technologies eliminate human error in making vital decisions, and unerringly deliver the correct verdict.
Computers have become an irreplaceable component of sports, and have improved countless aspects of sports and athletes to no end.

Role of Computers in Education

Computers have changed the way we work, be it any profession. Therefore, it is only natural that the role of computers in education has been given a lot of importance in the recent years. Computers play a vital role in every field. They aid industrial processes, find applications in medicine; they are the reason why software industries developed and flourished and they play an important role in education. This is also why the education system has made computer education a part of school curriculum. Considering the use of computer technology is almost every sphere of life, it is important for everyone to have at least the basic knowledge of using computers. Let’s look at what role computer technology plays in the education sector.
Computers in Education
Computer technology has had a deep impact on the education sector. Thanks to computers, imparting education has become easier and much more interesting than before. Owing to memory capacities of computers, large chunks of data can be stored in them. They enable quick processing of data with very less or no chances of errors in processing. Networked computers aid quick communication and enable web access. Storing documents on computers in the form of soft copies instead of hard ones, helps save paper.
The advantages of computers in education primarily include:
– Storage of information
– Quick data processing
– Audio-visual aids in teaching
– Better presentation of information
– Access to the Internet
– Quick communication between students, teachers and parents

Computer teaching and interactive learning play a key role in education. Computer technology is integrated into the modern education system.

Computers – A Brilliant Aid in Teaching
Students find it easier to refer to the Internet than searching for information in fat books. The process of learning has gone beyond learning from prescribed textbooks. Internet is a much larger and easier-to-access storehouse of information. When it comes to storing retrieved information, it is easier done on computers than maintaining hand-written notes.
Computers Gave Impetus to Distance Education
Online education has revolutionized the education industry. Computer technology has made the dream of distance learning a reality. Education is no longer limited to classrooms. It has reached far and wide, thanks to computers. Physically distant locations have come closer due to Internet accessibility. So, even if students and teachers are not in the same premises, they can very well communicate with one another. There are many online educational courses, whereby students are not required to attend classes or be physically present for lectures. They can learn from the comfort of their homes and adjust timings as per their convenience.
Computers Improve Presentation of Information
Computers facilitate effective presentation of information. Presentation software like PowerPoint and animation software like Flash among others can be of great help to teachers while delivering lectures. Computers facilitate audio-visual representation of information, thus making the process of learning interactive and interesting. Computer-aided teaching adds a fun element to education. Teachers hardly use chalk and board today. They bring presentations on a flash drive, plug it in to a computer in the classroom, and the teaching begins. There’s color, there’s sound, there’s movement – the same old information comes forth in a different way and learning becomes fun. The otherwise not-so-interesting lessons become interesting due to audio-visual effects. Due to the visual aid, difficult subjects can be explained in better ways. Things become easier to follow, thanks to the use of computers in education.
Computers Enable Internet Access
Internet has information on literally everything and computer technology enables easy access to it. Internet can play an important role in education. As it is an enormous information base, it can be harnessed for retrieval of information on a variety of subjects. The Internet can be used to refer to information on different subjects. Both teachers and students benefit from it. Teachers can refer to it for additional information and references on the topics to be taught. Students can refer to web sources for additional information on subjects of their interest. The Internet helps teachers set test papers, frame questions for home assignments and decide project topics. And not just academics, teachers can use web sources for ideas on sports competitions, extracurricular activities, picnics, parties and more.
Computers Allow Efficient Data Storage
Computer hard drives and storage devices are an excellent way to store data. Computers enable storage of data in the electronic format, thereby saving paper. Memory capacities of computer storage devices are in gigabytes. This enables them to store huge chunks of data. Moreover, these devices are compact. They occupy very less space, yet store large amounts of data. Both teachers and students benefit from the use of computer technology. Presentations, notes and test papers can be stored and transferred easily over computer storage devices. Similarly, students can submit homework and assignments as soft copies. The process becomes paperless, thus saving paper. Plus, the electronic format makes data storage more durable. Electronically erasable memory devices can be used repeatedly. They offer robust storage of data and reliable data retrieval.
This was about the role of computers in education. But we know, it’s not just the education sector which computers have impacted. They are of great use in every field. Today, a life without computers is unimaginable. This underlines the importance of computer education. Knowledge of computers can propel one’s career in the right direction. Computers are a part of almost every industry today. They are no longer limited any specific field. They are used in networking, for information access and data storage and also in the processing and presentation of information. Computers should be introduced early in education. It won’t be an overstatement to say that computer education is as fundamental as learning English. Yes, it is.