Tackling technology: The 2015 Rugby World Cup
As we run into the fourth week of the 2015 Rugby World Cup, with England this year hosting the tournament between mid-September and the end of October, once again the pressure is on for officials to bring the game, fair-and-square, to the millions of viewers across the globe.
Every year an updated array of technology is rolled out to cover every inch of the game, and ensure that the referees are equipped to call decisions and maintain the welfare of the players at all times. Such a physical sport with its intricate rule book should not be taken lightly, and when push turns to shove and mauls turn to rucks, the assistance of state-of-the-art technology can make all the difference.
This year for the first time ever, Hawk-Eye, a ball-tracking technology used for tennis and cricket, has installed its high-speed cameras around the 13 World Cup stadiums. This amplified camera technology now not only assists the referee with his decision making, but also has the added benefit of providing multiple camera angles for medical ground staff to spot player injuries.
Additional technology which has been lined up for the World Cup includes; audio devices for fans inside the stadium to wear that offer a link to both the referees and the match commentary, and an augmented reality app which allows fans to scan their tickets using their smartphones to access the exact view of the pitch and stadium from their seat.
Player tracking technology is also beginning to have a major impact on measuring sporting athletes’ performance. Tracking systems used by coaches are now able to analyse statistics on each player with live data streamed through software in real-time and logged for post-match or -training analysis.
Whilst the Rugby World Cup is still one of the ultimate British sporting events – celebrated globally – the gentleman’s game has undergone technological advances which will not only improve the experience for spectators and the performance of the team, but will also ultimately assist individual players’ performances and ensure their welfare remains a number one priority.