Technology

How is AI Being Used in Sport?

AI was the stuff of science fiction just a few years ago. Today, it is taking the world by storm and looks set to completely change the way in which we live our lives.

AI is transforming a number of different industries, including marketing, manufacturing, healthcare, and education. It is also changing the world of sports. This can seem like an odd pairing at first, but the truth is that AI has numerous uses in the sports industry and is paving the way for new philosophies and techniques. Read on to find out more.

AI Refereeing

Referees have a tough job. They have to contend with the ire of the players and what can often be the apoplectic fury of the fans in the stands. Nonetheless, referees play a vital role; they are there to ensure the rules and regulations of the game are upheld.

However, referees aren’t infallible. They can make mistakes just like any of us can, and their errors can have far-reaching consequences for players and teams.

In the 2022 FIFA World Cup, organisers trialled a new AI system designed to help officials identify and flag offsides. The technology was able to automate the process of monitoring offside calls and would present images to human officials for manual reviews and decisions.

Scouting

Scouting is an integral part of team-based sports. The biggest teams will have huge scouting networks that extend across the world, all vying to find the next emerging talent or rising global superstar.

Scouting and recruitment is a tricky process, one that sports teams and organisations need to get right if they want to succeed. It’s exciting for supporters and sports betting fans too, who will eagerly await the next big transfer or sale.

In the past, scouting was more of a subjective process. Players would be selected based on a scout’s opinion of their abilities and future potential. Things couldn’t be more different today, scouting is now more of a science, and AI is being drafted in to automate the process and make it more effective.

AI tools can be used to assess databases of players and rank them based on particular skills, strengths, and weaknesses. This data can then be cross-referenced with team information to find players who fit perfectly into existing systems and tactical structures.

Match Analysis

Post-match analysis is a fundamental part of training and is used in almost all sports, including football, tennis, boxing, and rugby.

In years gone by, managers and coaches would study video footage of matches, making extensive notes and relaying reports back to players. This is still a common approach, but we’re now seeing teams make use of AI software to provide more detailed, accurate, and valuable analytics.

Let’s use football as an example. AI analysis tools can provide detailed reports about tactical efficacy, individual player performances, and key moments that tipped a game one way or another.

Training Plans

No two people are the same. Each of us will respond differently to particular exercise routines and diets. To maximise their performance, we’re seeing an increasing number of athletes turn to AI systems to draw unique, personalised training regimes and dietary plans.

AI software and machine learning technology can take an athlete’s personal details, such as their height and weight, and generate effective training routines and nutritional guidelines. They will also take schedules into account, making changes according to upcoming games or matches to help boost results.

Conclusion

AI technology is changing the sports industry in some truly incredible ways. Everything from refereeing and scouting to post-match analytics and training is being transformed through the power of AI.

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