Technical innovations that changed the sport


Today the sport is far from what it was in ancient Greece. After all, life has changed a lot. Many technical innovations appeared in it. Today, the achievements of civilization have already become so familiar that we ourselves do not even notice how an integral part of life they have become.

Sport has also changed, becoming not just different, but also more spectacular. We will tell below about those technical innovations that have changed the sport, giving it modern features.

Electronic scoreboard. The first electronic scoreboard appeared in stadiums in 1964, when it was installed by the English football club Coventry. The scoreboards were originally mechanical. They used special plates that were manually rearranged to the right place. Wheels and slats with numbers moving along the windows could be used. Another option was to use loose-leaf solid sheets. In order for such a board to show correct information, it is necessary that there is a constantly serving person next to it. This design had a big drawback - a small amount of information posted. The maximum that such a scoreboard could show is the names of the teams and the current score. Over time, electromechanical designs appeared. They had electric motors or special magnets that made it possible to move mechanical elements at a distance. A new era for scoreboards began in 1961. Then the Americans Robert Bayard and Gary Pittman discovered and then received a patent for infrared LED technology. But in stadiums, along with diodes, outdated incandescent lamps were used for a long time. For example, at the 1980 Olympics in Moscow, such boards with incandescent lamps even showed broadcasts from the competition, although the picture was then black and white. How has sport changed with the arrival of the scoreboard? Today it is unthinkable to imagine any large stadium without this invention. Huge video screens allow you to display a television picture. This is especially important for sports such as cross-country skiing or auto racing. After all, there spectators, in principle, cannot observe the entire track at once. Even today, the scoreboard provides not only information about the current account, but also a lot of statistical information about teams or players. Video screens even show information or a picture of the progress of other matches. Of course, you can't do without advertising. Modern screens are so versatile that there are many ways to use them.

Timing. For the first time, people began measuring time in seconds at sporting events in 1731. It happened in England. However, it took almost a hundred years until the first sport-fit chronograph was created. It was made in 1820 by the Swiss watchmaker Abraham-Louis Breguet. The invention was distinguished by the fact that it had two seconds hands at once, which made it possible to record the results of two athletes at once. Over time, watchmakers made more and more new and improved products. In 1862, the result could already be measured with an accuracy of 0.2 seconds. The speeds grew, and such accuracy was no longer enough. From 1902, results could already be measured with an accuracy of 0.1 seconds. In 1930, timekeeping began to record the results with an accuracy of 0.01. But the watch companies did not think to stop there either. In Mexico City, at the Olympics-68, the accuracy reached 0.001 seconds, and three years later the first electronic stopwatch appeared. This made it possible, since 1973, to register sports records in athletics with an accuracy of ten thousandths of a second. In this case, the radio signal is synchronized by the official chronograph and the quartz oscilloscope. Similar developments began to appear in other sports as well. Today Rado has learned how to measure the speed of a tennis ball as it is served. In 1967, Omega developed touch panels specifically for swimmers. They react only to the hands of the athlete, without being distracted by the waves of the pool. Accurate timing made it possible to determine the winner at the 72 Olympics. Sweden's Gunnar Larsson was just 0.0025 seconds ahead of his American rival Tim Mackes in the 400m freestyle. Thus, it was only through technical means that the winner was identified.

Photo finish. For the first time, cameras were used to determine the winner in 1890. Then the pertinent shot helped identify the horse that crossed the finish line first. In human competitions, the photo finish officially appeared in 1912, at the Stockholm Olympics. Today it is impossible to imagine competitions in athletics, cycling and motor sports, auto racing and competitions with a mass finish without this invention. In 1926, the photo finish experienced a rebirth. In Denmark, the local athletics federation showed a device that allowed shooting in accelerated mode. After 5 years, Kirby's camera was born. This high-speed device could combine photo-finish with auto-timing. She had two lenses at once. One was looking at the finish line, and the other was looking at the chronometer, which started with a shot of the starting pistol. Inside the camera, the film was skimmed at a record speed of 128 frames per second. In 1949, the first mass-produced photo-finish system was introduced under the name Racend OMEGA Timer, later called Photosprint. In 1952, it was applied at the Oslo Winter Olympics. Thanks to this novelty, the term "photo finish" appeared. By the beginning of this century, the photo finish had become digital. After all, the Photosprint system, despite its constant improvements, has remained with a number of inherent flaws. Chief among them was the rapid end of the film. In addition, it could tear or hesitate. The digital photo finish appeared in 1990, initially working in parallel with film technologies. However, the novelty quickly got rid of its shortcomings - low memory and information transfer speed. As a result, it was the digital photo finish that reigned in all stadiums, sending its film predecessor to the museum.

Artificial ice. On January 7, 1876, an important event took place in London - the world's first artificial ice rink opened. The first indoor skating rink appeared in Canada only in 1912. The owners, brothers Lester and Joe Patrick, have invested heavily in this innovation. They spent a whopping $ 110,000 on a 4,000-seat ice rink. Later, the brothers created a second arena. For her, engineers have created the largest refrigeration unit in the world. This time the project cost 210 thousand dollars, but it was able to accommodate already 10 thousand people. Many bankers looked critically at such an investment, predicting imminent bankruptcy for the brothers. However, it turned out that indoor ice rinks proved to be very popular. Soon, Patrick was able to open hundreds more ice arenas in the United States and Canada. The technology of freezing ice itself has also been gradually improved. At first it was rolled by hand. This process was quite difficult and lengthy. The water was poured from hoses, then the workers leveled the ice with the help of special shovels, knives and towels. In the 40s of the last century, Canadian Frank Zamboni invented the world's first ice harvester. At first, army jeeps were the basis for it. Today, many ice arenas have already been built in the world, so it became logical to organize the serial production of such necessary machines. Today, the roller is leveled with two combines, which usually takes three minutes. Today, an artificial ice rink is gradually changing into a synthetic one. The new coating consists of polyolefin-based thermoplates. You can also skate on it on ordinary skates with metal blades. Practice has shown that such skates are cheaper than those with artificial ice. After all, their operation is simpler and higher reliability. Therefore, synthetic ice skating rinks are becoming more widespread in Europe, the USA and Canada.

Artificial lighting. The world's first football match using artificial light took place in England in 1878. Until electricity was invented, all competitions were held in stadiums exclusively during daylight hours. The gas lanterns that appeared could not provide enough light for a large sports field. The novelty, the electric lamp, quickly gained recognition not only in everyday life, but also in sports. In 1878, the same historic duel took place in which two teams from Sheffield came together at Bremell Lane. Then the light was given by lamps mounted on nine-meter wooden poles. From them went wires to dynamos. But the light was not enough. In 1892, the Scottish Celtic Club decided to perfect the idea by hanging several dozen strong lamps just above the field. But the idea quickly died - the ball sometimes touched the wires and broke light bulbs. The penetration of electricity into sports facilities was slow; there was no particular need for this for a long time. The massive equipping of stadiums with artificial light sources began only in the second half of the 20th century. Television burst into life, and broadcasts from competitions required high-quality coverage. Today, many people call sports lighting a full-fledged industry, which has its own rules and regulations. Football fields, tennis courts and other areas have their own rules. When designing new stadiums, such an important indicator as the uniformity of lighting is also taken into account. For this, the spotlights have already ceased to be placed on free-standing masts; the light sources are now placed in the upper part of the stadium structures.

Indoor stadium. The world's first indoor ice hockey rink was created in Montreal in 1899. It was required to hide the stadiums from bad weather in those places where the weather does not allow to stay in the stands for a long time. Not every fan can withstand frost, rain and wind. In football, indoor stadiums appeared en masse only in 1950-1960s. Today the largest indoor stadium is located in New Orleans. "Superdome" accommodates almost 73 thousand spectators. This scale implies multi-million dollar costs. But smaller sizes are much cheaper. Therefore, basketball, volleyball, hockey and handball, like many others, have long been moved under the roof. However, there are also directly opposite situations. So, in those countries where the hot sun shines all year round, modern technologies allow the creation of ski slopes. For example, in 1987 in the southern Australian Adelaide, the first such complex was created - Thebarton. It was a curiosity then, but today it is one of the most modest of its kind. The world's largest indoor stadium was recently built in the middle of the Arabian Desert. The head of the emirates of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, decided to erect it in an unusual place. The ski stadium Ski Dubai contains five slopes at once, the length of the longest of which is 400 meters. The stadium also offers bobsleigh and snowboarding, as well as a toboggan track. Children can shoot snowballs here in a special shooting range and walk in an ice cave. Today indoor stadiums are an indispensable attribute of modern sports. Everyone admits it. Therefore, if necessary, a new sports facility is made either immediately covered or equipped with a sliding roof. The most recent example of this kind is the new retractable roof erected over Wimbledon's main court. The British are tired of depending on the capricious nature, enduring matches because of the rain.

Doping. People sometimes stop at nothing to achieve a result. With the development of medicine, she came to big sports. In 1865, a case of doping was recorded for the first time, and Dutch swimmers made history. In fact, the history of doping is much older, it is as old as the sport itself. After all, people have always tried to improve the capabilities of their bodies, studying what substances can contribute to this. Even ancient athletes used doping, however, it was much more harmless than the current one. Then mushrooms, hashish were used, and lamb testicles were supposed to increase the level of male testosterone. Both in ancient Egypt and in ancient Rome they knew about those products that could stimulate the athlete. Throughout the ages, athletes have believed in the power of crushed hooves, bovine blood, honey and dates. But by the beginning of the 20th century, artificial synthesized drugs began to be used - codeine, strychnine and caffeine. At that time, they were simply unsafe, repeatedly leading to the death of athletes. Since 1928, a targeted fight against doping began. Then the International Amateur Athletics Federation banned the use of any stimulants in their disciplines. But only since 1963, the opposition to doping has taken on a broad framework. Then the Council of Europe created its own commission to combat banned sports drugs. The next year, the IOC adopted the Medical Code. The 1968 Mexico City Olympics was the first time doping samples were taken. Since then, pharmacists have come up with more and more new means and tricks, on the other hand, the norms and list of prohibited substances are constantly changing. None of the last Olympics was complete without some kind of doping scandal. They often led to a change in medal owners.

High-tech materials. In sports, the use of new materials began in 1932, when synthetic fibers began to be produced in Germany. New materials became another opportunity to achieve high results, athletes were not limited to doping alone. It turned out that you can significantly improve shoes, clothes, and the sports equipment themselves. New technologies came to sport with the invention of synthetic materials. In the second half of the 20th century, several manufacturers began to actively introduce them into sports at once. So, in 1956, Speedo created the first nylon swimming suits. In 1969, American Bob Gore created the GORE-TEX membrane, which allows steam to escape from the body, but does not allow moisture to enter. This effect is made possible by many microscopic pores. The technology then began to be applied in the production of outer sportswear. The use of new materials in sports equipment has significantly raised the bar of world records. High jumpers began to use fiberglass poles, and rowing boats are now made of plastic. Today, natural fabrics are almost never used in sports. More and more advanced sports materials appear. They improve and enhance the results. Thus, the already legendary Speedo LZR Racer bathing suit reduces water resistance by 24%. It set 182 world swimming records. However, the principles of equality in sports must remain unshakable, which has led to many federations tightening the rules regarding the equipment of athletes. Victories should not be won by an expensive suit or tool.

Media technologies. Today the whole world has the opportunity to follow sports events. The beginning was laid on April 11, 1921, when the first radio broadcast of the sporting event took place. Thousands of listeners watched the boxing match between Johnny Ray and John Dundee. The first broadcasts caused a real boom. A new milestone came in May 1937, when the first preview of clips of the FA Cup final was televised.In September of the same year, a match was shown live between the main team and the back-ups of London's Arsenal. Then it was just a bold experiment, who would have thought that a television camera would not only greatly popularize the whole sport, but would also become an obligatory companion of any championship. Over time, video replays began to play a very important role. The rapid development of television has given rise to a wave of demands to enable referees to address replays of controversial situations right during fights. Today, video replays are already present in tennis, hockey, rugby. Football is adamant, although the authorities have repeatedly used television pictures to disqualify players for violations that were not noticed by the referee during the match. Today, mass media is present in sports not only in the form of television with its innovations in showing championships. Computer programs and technologies are being introduced more and more actively, which are in the service of coaches and athletes. They allow you to improve your technique, plan and organize your training regimen. In the same football, expensive computer programs are already used that allow calculating the tactical and technical actions of the players of both teams right during the match. These numbers allow coaches to better adjust the game.

Trainers. The world's first simulator appeared by accident. It was the Swedish wall, which at the beginning of the 19th century helped the Swedish doctor Henrik Ling to recover from hand paralysis with the help of gymnastics. The doctor's case was continued by Gustav Zander. Several photographs of the second half of the 19th century have even come down to us, which show how his patients learn new simulators. At that time, they outwardly resembled a mixture of a torture weapon from the Middle Ages and a modern strength trainer. Swedish doctors called their new method of restorative physical education mechanotherapy. In 1865, the Medical and Mechanical Institute was even founded under the leadership of Gustav Zander. It was he who later became the author of many devices, which became the first simulators. By 1910, there were already nearly 70 different types of such devices. The doctor came to the conclusion that his simulators are suitable, without exception, for all people, regardless of their age. Zander noted that apparatus gymnastics is best useful for children, as well as for the elderly. After all, these groups do not have sufficient physical strength to do gymnastics as usual. Initially, the purpose of simulators was purely medical, they were used to recover from injuries. But over time, these devices have taken their place in the history of sports. After all, it is the simulators that allow both amateurs and professionals to maintain their sports form between competitions. Special simulators are designed for racers and skiers, which also allow them to improve their skills. Today, progress has reached the point that smart simulators have appeared that do not require any effort from people at all. As a result, "fitness for the lazy" appeared. During the training, the simulators themselves act on the desired muscle groups. It seems that progress will bring a lot of new things into this area.


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