Many technologies can enhance a fan's enjoyment of sport. Some others are just plain annoying. Here's five that we love and five that we're not so keen on.

When it comes to technology, its had an affect on all aspects of life, including sport. Many technologies can enhance a fan's enjoyment of sports. Some others are just plain annoying. Here's five that we love.

High-tech stadiums

They've not yet made it to the UK yet but in the US sports fans are being treated to some really cool, interactive technology at state-of-the-art arenas that make use of Cisco's StadiumVision, which "allows fans to interact with the event experience by taping and accessing instant replays on a handheld device and sharing it with other participants, or with anyone on the internet".

The Cowboys stadium in Dallas is one such stadium and it also features the world's largest HDTV and 3,000 HD displays featuring customised game footage and real-time information.

Streaming internet video

The problem with being a sports fan, is years ago, you needed to be at home and near your TV (which no doubt that had a subscription to a sports channel) to catch all of your team's games.

But now, with league- and team-sponsored video services, fans can catch live, high-quality game feeds no matter where they are, as long as they've got an connection and a fast enough computer.

Sky Player

Be honest, you've spent a bit of this summer watching the Ashes on Sky Player, right?

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NEXT PAGE: Games on demand

  1. Tech has changed sport, but not always for the better
  2. Games on demand
  3. Fantasy sports websites
  4. Five sports technologies we hate
  5. Crazy swim suits
  6. Twitter

Many technologies can enhance a fan's enjoyment of sport. Some others are just plain annoying. Here's five that we love and five that we're not so keen on.

Games on demand

With the invention of Sky+ and digital video recorders you can now record sports events and watch them when you want. You can even pause watch a live broadcast of a game and pause it mid-way through to grab a beer without worrying about missing any of the action.

It gets even better in the US, where the major sporting leagues offer cable packages that let you watch every single game, all season long, and even watch live action from a half-dozen games at once with a split-screen format.

Thus far in the UK this is available only for Champions League matches.

Electronic pin locators

You won't see Tiger Woods using one, but amateur golfers could shave a few strokes off their scores with new devices that calculate one's distance from the pin.

One such device called the Leica Pinmaster shoots a laser at the pin to measure distance, helping you decide whether to use the six-iron or the seven. With any luck, lost golf balls will someday be a thing of the past as well, with new gizmos that help duffers find balls hit into the rough or woods.

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NEXT PAGE: Fantasy sports websites

  1. Tech has changed sport, but not always for the better
  2. Games on demand
  3. Fantasy sports websites
  4. Five sports technologies we hate
  5. Crazy swim suits
  6. Twitter


Many technologies can enhance a fan's enjoyment of sports. Some others are just plain annoying. Here's five that we love and five that we're not so keen on.

Fantasy sports websites

When fantasy sports leagues were organised with pen and paper they were, frankly, more busy work than fun. But recently, fantasy sports have ballooned in popularity thanks in part to websites such as Yahoo, which offer live scoring, an easy-to-use draft application, injury reports, and detailed statistical analysis and player comparisons.

Most importantly, the sites' chat forums offer a convenient place to hone your trash-talking skills.

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NEXT PAGE: Five sports technologies we hate

  1. Tech has changed sport, but not always for the better
  2. Games on demand
  3. Fantasy sports websites
  4. Five sports technologies we hate
  5. Crazy swim suits
  6. Twitter


Many technologies can enhance a fan's enjoyment of sports. Some others are just plain annoying. Here's five that we love and five that we're not so keen on.


Okay, we've looked at the best sports-related technologies. Now let's examine five that change the fan experience for the worse.

Online ticketing systems

Yes, it's nice that the internet lets sports fans buy tickets from the convenience of their living rooms, and without having to deal with annoying telephone systems.

But too often, fans end up getting shut out or feeling ripped off. Whether that's due outrageous booking fees through legitimate ticket sites, or using online auctions such as eBay to secure tickets, which are normally priced higher than their face value. Or getting tickets online that turn out to be fakes. Bah.

Ineffective drug tests

Fans want to believe sports are free of drugs, or at least that professional leagues are making an honest attempt to catch cheaters. But while some athletes get caught, the evidence in front of our eyes suggests drug-testing technology is at least two steps behind the offenders.

For example, many baseball players aren't tested for steroid use, because no urine test exists and players have lobbied against blood testing.

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NEXT PAGE: Crazy swim suits

  1. Tech has changed sport, but not always for the better
  2. Games on demand
  3. Fantasy sports websites
  4. Five sports technologies we hate
  5. Crazy swim suits
  6. Twitter


Many technologies can enhance a fan's enjoyment of sports. Some others are just plain annoying. Here's five that we love and five that we're not so keen on.

Crazy swim suits

At this year's world swimming championships, 43 new world records were set - not because swimmers suddenly became more talented but because they got better swimsuits. Just as steroids have tainted other sports, swimming competitions have become a joke because of full-body, speed-enhancing swimsuits made from polyurethane.

The suits are water-repellent, reduce drag, improve buoyancy and use a corset-like grip to maintain optimal body position in the water.
American Michael Phelps won eight gold medals and set seven records at last year's Olympics.

He only lost a race this year, after he was pitched against a swimmer wearing a suit even more advanced than the Speedo full-body LZR Racer that helped Phelps rewrite the record books.

Good news, though: the world's top swimming organisation has banned the space-age suits, effective January 1, 2010.

Text your vote

You might think that the only time you'll be urged to text in your vote is for reality TV shows such as The X Factor. However in the US, viewers are asked to text vote for some meaningless, sponsored award, such as Diet Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year.

Similarly, at a game in the US, American's can text a comment for the privilege of seeing it appear on the big screen.

In the UK? Viewers and web surfers are encouraged to text for man of the match, even when they're not at the game. And does anyone really benefit from phone ins and text ins.

No.

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NEXT PAGE: Twitter

  1. Tech has changed sport, but not always for the better
  2. Games on demand
  3. Fantasy sports websites
  4. Five sports technologies we hate
  5. Crazy swim suits
  6. Twitter


Many technologies can enhance a fan's enjoyment of sports. Some others are just plain annoying. Here's five that we love and five that we're not so keen on.

Twitter

When you're a sport fan, you tend to think only the best of your favourite athletes. He's a great player - must be a great guy, right? That seems true until you read the athlete's Twitter feed.

Seemingly lovable US athlete Glen 'Big Baby' Davis recently used his Twitter feed to blast the Boston Celtics for not offering him as much money as he desired, with whiny posts such as "Why is this taking so long!!! I really don't understand!!!!" and "Anybody know what's going on with the Celtics? Cause I don't!"

Former Spurs striker Darren Bent did his negotiating over Twitter when he wanted a move to Sunderland, disparaging Stoke City and Hull City in the process. And Aussie batsman Phil Hughes this summer revealed that he'd been dropped hours before the team was announced. Not clever.

Twitter can be quite useful to sports fans, offering an easy way to track the latest news without obsessively conducting web searches. But we can do without the Twitter feeds narcissistic athletes devote to their favourite topic - themselves.

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See also: 10 things we hate about technology now

  1. Tech has changed sport, but not always for the better
  2. Games on demand
  3. Fantasy sports websites
  4. Five sports technologies we hate
  5. Crazy swim suits
  6. Twitter