February 20, 2024

Technologies that rewrite the rules of individual sports

Technologies that rewrite the rules of individual sports

Today, technology plays a critical role inimproving the skills, tactical training and results of athletes. We have collected 9 examples in which innovation forced to change the rules of individual sports or had a significant impact on its further development.


  • Sport: tennis.
  • Year of implementation: 2006.

Until 2006, tennis players and referees constantlyThey argued about whether the ball hit the field. Even on video replay, sometimes it is not possible to determine exactly where the small tennis ball hit.  Hawk-Eye technology was developed fortransforming the video into a clear 3D picture,which shows the point the ball hit the field. After successful tests, Hawk-Eye became a mandatory technology in official matches of major tennis tournaments, rewriting the rules of this sport.

Technologies that rewrite the rules of individual sports

Headphones in a helmet 

  • Sports: American football.
  • Year of implementation: 1994.

Home games are very important in American football.preparations for playing the ball. For the first time, the coaching staff was able to communicate the play number to the quarterbacks through headphones in the helmet in 1994. Previously, coaches had to shout, point, or pass information through other players, which was very inconvenient when there was limited time to make a decision.

Headphones in a helmet have become a significant advantagefor the team, since the idea was to equip all players with the same equipment for better interaction. The rules of American football were forced to be rewritten. Now they said that only one player on a team could be wearing headphones. 

Technologies that rewrite the rules of individual sports

Composite Tennis Rackets

  • Sport: tennis.
  • Year of implementation: 1980.

Before using composites, tennis racquetsmade of heavy wood, in connection with which the athletes spent a lot of effort only on holding the racket in hand. In addition, they had a smaller impact surface and broke at the first throw on the court in the heat of the fight.

Modern composite racquets are not so easy to break, although it is quite possible to bend. Tennis players quickly switched to a new type of rackets due to better control and a stronger blow.

Auto Goal Fix

  • Sports: hockey, football.
  • Year of implementation: 1993.

Hockey ahead of football for 2 decades, introducingautomatic goal fixing back in 1993. Thanks to this technology, immediately after taking the hockey goal, a bright light instantly lights up, which adds entertainment to spectators in the stands and near the screens.

In official matches of the Champions League, automatic goal fixing has become a mandatory technology only since last season. Corresponding changes are spelled out in the UEFA rules.

Technologies that rewrite the rules of individual sports

Swimsuit LZR Racer

  • Sport: swimming.
  • Date of implementation: 2008.

For the first time a swimsuit made of water-repellent fabric,consisting of interwoven yarn of elastane-nylon and polyurethane was tested in 2008. At the same time, the Summer Olympic Games were held in Beijing, at which swimmers in water-repellent equipment showed better results than their competitors without similar suits. An athlete from Sweden even put on two LZR swimsuits, which helped her set a world record. Later this record was canceled and certain rules were established prohibiting swimming suits from any materials other than textiles. However, this did not prevent the creation of new equipment that reduces water resistance by 16%.

Technologies that rewrite the rules of individual sports

Tendon replacement technology 

  • Sport: all active sports.
  • Year of implementation: 1974.

For the first time, a collateral ligament transplant in the elbowThe joint was tested by baseball player Tommy John in 1974, thanks to which his arm healed and was able to perform all the necessary functions at the level required for a pitcher. Later, such an operation began to be called the “Mona Lisa” in the field of sports surgery, although until 1974, baseball players with similar injuries ended their careers. Also, operations of this kind are common for cruciate ligament injuries in football players or any other tendon-related injuries.

Gear shifters on a bicycle

  • Sport: cycling.
  • Year of implementation: 1937.

Shifting your bike todaynot surprise anyone, but back in 1937, cyclists were forced to stop in order to remove the wheel and turn it over to the other side, since an asterisk with a larger or smaller diameter was installed on it. As a result, the bike had only 2 speeds. Invented in 1937, the gear shift system was a real revolution, which later allowed to adjust to 36 speeds due to 3 leading and 12 driven sprockets.

The official rules for cycling on the track prohibit the installation of gear shifters on an athlete’s bike.

Technologies that rewrite the rules of individual sports


  • Sport: skiing, Formula 1.
  • Year of implementation: 2009.

KERS − this is a system of accumulating spentkinetic energy for its subsequent use. KERS collects all the thermal energy that is released when you apply the brakes of a race car, and then releases this power for further acceleration. 

If in Formula 1 cars KERS transmitsaccumulated energy on the shaft, thereby increasing torque, then in skiing this system works on a different principle. The piezoelectric plate is built into the ski, kinetic energy is converted into electrical energy during the folding of the ski, and during the extension the electrical energy is again converted into mechanical energy and accelerates the athlete.

As in the case of swimming suits, KERS technology was banned for use in official ski competitions, as it gives a significant advantage to the athlete.

Carbon fiber skis and snowboards

  • Sport: skiing and water skiing, snowboarding.
  • Year of implementation: 1990.

In pursuit of better glide and durabilitysnowboarders and skiers tested different materials: wood, metal, fiberglass, but nothing better than carbon fiber could be invented. Carbon differs from other materials in its lightness and increased durability, which Dave Good noticed – a former alpine skier whose career ended due to a broken ski in 1975.

Technologies that rewrite the rules of individual sports

Goode created his own production company.equipment for athletes and launched the first carbon fiber sticks in history in 1988. In 1994, the first carbon water skiing appeared.

The list of technologies that have changed the world of sports is not limited to these examples. If the article was interesting and you want to read the second part, like it and it will come out faster.