Clever Balls

Smart rugby ball

You know me and what I think about all the new technology that’s been (and is being) introduced to the game – TMOs, laptops for all the coaches, monitoring players’ every off field move (including bowels probably), knowing when they are shagged and need to be subbed, diet plans plus their training performance and sex lives (okay, so I made that one up – although it would be a damn sight more interesting than how many times they have a poo).

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Now we have a ‘smart’ ball – one that can apparently tell you when a try has been scored – seriously? – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2683166/The-rugby-ball-built-REFEREE-Smart-ball-fitted-electromagnetic-sensor-works-player-scored-try.html

Pretty soon we won’t need refs at all it seems – just a TMO and a ball that can talk. What next? The coaches in combat other on play stations to decide who wins? As far as I can see what the technology doesn’t show is which player is actually touching the ball when it is touched down – so how does that help?  “Hold on a mo ref – sure it was over the line, but I had my pinkie on it first”.

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And yes, pinkie in this context may well be just what you think it is – as long as it was ‘hard downward pressure’. I’m prepared to go along with the idea of a clever ball – and as soon as it’s smart enough to send me an e-mail with the name, address and passport number of the player who scored, I’ll embrace it with all the reticence of Eric Pickles at an all you can eat pizza hut. Until then – long live real life refs – now that’s something neither of us thought I’d ever say

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