There’s no denying the fact that rugby is by far the most physically demanding team contact sport in the world. Winning at rugby involves plenty of hard scramble and dirt, requiring the players to have brutal tactility and ruthless tactics.
Fortunately, the technological advancements over the past two decades have had a major impact on rugby. With the biggest rugby tournament round the corner and punters everywhere referring to all kinds of Rugby World Cup odds, the impact of technology on the sport is well-evident both on and off the field. Let’s talk about some important ways in which technology is disrupting Rugby and shaping up its future.
Player tracking with GPS Tech
Considering that every rugby team has 15 players, it becomes pretty important for the coach to micromanage and oversee every individual’s performance. He must assess everyone’s contribution, both in terms of matches as well as training. GPS tracking enabled player kits facilitate next level athletic evaluation. The technology today helps analyse efficiency, speed and movements of players, with laser-targeted, hard and real-time data, including their heart rates, giving insight into plenty of different aspects of a team and its players.
It’s no news that rugby is a pretty hard-hitting sport involving plenty of injuries. Tackles are always risky and scrums are tough. There are GPS systems that track the acceleration level of every tackle and impact on each individual. Such information enables coaches to quickly identify and reduce the chances of potential injuries. On the whole, the modern-day GPS technology puts a wealth of information into the coach’s hand, giving him an edge in both game management and preparation.
Ref Cam for better decisions and a closer look at the action
The match officials have an important role to play in any rugby match and the modern-day referee is equipped with plenty of smart tech to make right decisions on the field. Apart from the Hawkeye, match officials also use something known as a Ref Cam, an observational tech device that confirms every decision made throughout the 80 minutes of the game. It’s a lightweight high definition camera unit which is worn on the chest or head by the referee, enabling not only better decisions, but also providing fans with a better view of the rugby action. To give you a better idea, here are some of the best Ref Cam moments of an earlier Rugby World Cup.
Wind tracking for better kicks
The modern-day technology not only helps in gauging the player fatigue, it also keeps track of the conditions in which rugby is played. The unforgiving heat of the sun, icy temperatures and strong winds all have a major impact on how a game pans out in the end.
Garmin has developed a new technology that helps in dealing with the breezy gusts of the mother Earth. It has created a wind tracking device which is placed on the goal post, which in turn is connected with a GPS watch that enables the teams to measure the direction and speed of the wind. Being aware of these elements can potentially alter the course of a kick and allows teams to plan their efforts accordingly. Many a times, making a minor change to the direction of the last-minute penalty kick can decide the winner and loser of the game.