Technology And Information Systems In Sport Research Paper Samples
Information technology (IT) has become a phenomenon that every organization embraces in the modern society. Many scholars have written articles regarding the same where Information Technology is a do or die scenario (Abiodun, 2011). Sports organizations are not left behind regarding technology. (FIFA) Federation International Football Association is a world football governing body that was established in the year 1904 in Zurich. It uses Swiss law in terms of administration and control (Abiodun, 2011). However, it has 209 members across the globe with majority coming from over 35 nations. Technology has become part of the main objectives the world football governing body focuses on. Information technology has been used in transmitting the video and audio files across the world, goal line technology, vanishing spray, online fantasy football, using decision support systems in selecting teams, constructing bigger football stadiums and keeping records of all the teams from each country in their databases (Amis, 2013). These are among the technologies embraced by FIFA as an international organization. This paper discusses the achievements made so far, challenges, benefits and impacts of technology in football as a sport loved by almost half of the world’s population.
Keywords: (FIFA) Federation International Football Association, Information Technology, Decision support systems, Goal line technology, Vanishing spray, Databases, Online fantasy football
There are quite a number of technologies employed by FIFA as a world governing body to make football the most cherished game in the globe. These include; goal line technology, vanishing spray, online fantasy football, decision support systems, keeping football records in an online database and constructing bigger football stadiums across the world (Amis, 2013). These new technologies reduce the margin of error, increase the participation of fans in football, and attract the attention of many other businesses across the world thereby creating more employments. Millions of people have so far been employed because of football across the world. The figure 1.0 below shows the FIFA organization hierarchy (Amis, 2013).
Figure 1.0 FIFA organization Hierarchy
(UEFA) Union of European Football Association, (AFC) Asian Football Confederation, (CAF) Confederation of African Football, (OFC) Oceania Football Confederation, (CSF) Confederation Sudamerican Football and (CONCACAF) Confederation of North, Central America & Caribbean Association Football is all members within FIFA (Amis, 2013). These members are divided as per the continents available on earth. These confederations help FIFA manage football across the world (Deepankar et al., 2005).
In addition, there are other business organizations that depends on football to increases their chances in the market, create advertisements and supply items needed for enhance football such as televisions, smartphones, internet and radios in transmitting live football game across the world (Deepankar et al., 2005). There are other organizations that support FIFA in terms of dressing the football players such as Adidas among others. Technology is key to business development with more researches being conducted to develop even more technologies that can bring the world together within a short spin of time.
It is however encouraging to learn more about football through the internet and put into practice the knowledge learnt. This has helped in improving the growth of more footballers where websites and ads have been created to receive inputs and outputs regrinding football (Hecox, 2007). More experienced players’ advice young players on what to do to become more efficient and better their skills in football through the internet (Hemmatfar et al., 2010). By using the internet, distance has been reduced. Considering the technologies employed by FIFA, online learning resources, website development and Microsoft office 2010 have been tremendously used.
2.0 Information Technology at play
Considering the below technologies, goal line technology, vanishing spray, online fantasy football, decision support systems, keeping football records in an online database and constructing bigger football stadiums across the world, it is only possible to highlight the tools that aid the same (Honari, 2011).
2.0.1 Goal line technology
Following Manuel Neuer’s goal where German goalkeeper in South Africa world cup was convinced that it was not a goal, many fans agreed with him and this prompted FIFA to come up with a goal line technology that can help clear doubts regarding such cases. However, it was introduced into the match much slowly where the camera vibrates a watch that the official put on his or her wrist immediately the ball crosses the line (Honari, 2011). Apart from being used in the world cup at Brazil, it has been used in leagues such as Premier league, La-liga and Champions league.
2.0.2 Vanishing Spray
Just like the goal line technology, it has also been adopted by FIFA. The match official puts the spray gun on his belt during the matches in order to spray the foam and ensure players don’t cross the lines during free kicks (Honari, 2011). In addition, the ball cannot be moved once it has been stationed by the official making it more convincing to both players and fans. Once the sprays have been applied, they vanish after few seconds paving way to a clear filed without any mark left behind. The vanishing spray technology has been applied in several matches since its introduction in the Brazil world cup.
2.0.3 Online Fantasy football
FIFA have given a go ahead to the introduction of online fantasy where fans buy players using the assigned amount of money to each person subscribed to it. It is absolutely free and the selected players are given points depending on the physical contacts the make with the ball. Is a player scores a goal, more points will be given to him provided he is within the team. This application is used such as; laptops smart phones and desktops computers provided one is online. Many fans have created leagues similar to the ones available physically to compete against each other (Jennings et al., 2009). This has increased fans knowledge of the players and support of all the teams helping in reducing anger and frustrations fans go through when their teams lose. The websites created to support the same are free to access and more attractive with simple steps to go through in order to complete adding players to your team (Jennings et al., 2009).
2.0.4 Decision Support Systems (DSS)
FIFA has employed some decision support systems that are used to help make decisions in cases of a draw, or if teams are to be selected from group stages but have same points. This is now done automatically with several criteria used such as goal differences, total points, matches drawn, matches played and away matches with respect to the teams that tie in points. This help make decisions without involving any person physically to select teams that proceed to the next level of the remaining matches (Jennings et al., 2009). It also reduce biasness whenever such decisions have to be made regardless of the teams or countries involved.
2.0.5 Online Databases
FIFA has kept records since it was established in 1904 to date by keeping the backups in there databases and online servers for easy access. Footballers and their fans can access all information regarding the players, clubs, leagues and match officials from any part of the world because of the online databases and backup of the same with FIFA (Pielke, 2013). Microsoft office 2010 has been vital in creating profiles for players, their teams, and other records. FIFA website has all the details with current affairs and past actions performed by FIFA to spearhead football across the world.
2.0.6 Technology in Stadium Construction
With more leagues across the world, FIFA uses new technologies in constructing stadiums across the globe. The technology enables the developers to create a bigger stadium that can accommodate over 60,000 fans at the same time and has underground parking with much less space used to do the same (Pielke, 2013). All the fans are comfortably able to view the fields with enhance screens that help project the matches being played at that particular time. The screens are used to rewind the events as they happen in cases such as a goal, or a foul or any kind of conduct during the matches. Video cameras used during the matches are installed across the field such that the viewers are able to view the ball and the players at any position across the field without straining (Valante et al., 2014). These cameras and very powerful to the extent of zooming with even a smaller particle can be traced.
3.0 Information technology in Coaching
When training footballers in various leagues, most coaches use information technology to test the speed and mental skills of players before selection the players who would play. During coaching, several skills are also drawn from best players in order to be applied during the match. Coaches appreciate players from various teams and when they intend to meet with the same teams, they tend to learn more from documentaries obtained from the internet for the purpose of preparation for that very match (Valante et al., 2014). For instance, when Real Madrid meets Arsenal, The Arsenal coach takes the Arsenal players on how Ronaldo and Benzema plays and their possible moves in order to strategize on how to beat Real Madrid. The same applies to Real Madrid that would learn how Sanchez and Carzola play before the match day.
Considering Kenyan athletes, Most of them have been borrowing skills from their fellows where coaches rush to learn more online before the Olympics. For example, some athletes learnt how to throw Javelin online and skewing over the ice and most coaches have perfected the art of training their team on new skills more so on swimming and long distance running. In order to beat your opponents in athletics, one has to first learn how the athletes perform then learn new skills with more practices. This can only be obtained from the past records that are all available online through you tube. Record breaking has been the target of most athletes thereby making them train even more using online timers and employing new tactics in order to beat their opponents.
4.0 Information technology in Record Keeping
Recording keeping is a major breakthrough in Sports and management. FIFA as an international organization understands the importance of keeping football records because that has successfully happened. The records that could not be copied through videos were kept through audio and magazines that were later documented using Microsoft office 2010. With the upgrade of systems, new files are copied and saved for future references. Before the computer age, most of the records were typed and kept locally within the offices making them accessible by thieves or at risk of fire breakout.
However, with the introduction of online backup and internet servers, most of such documents and files have been scanned and recorded through the internet. In order to monitor the football trends, the records must be well kept in order to help the managers understand the shortcomings and challenges of football or any other sporting activities in the world.
5.0 Benefits of Using Information Technology in Sports
There are several benefits of using information technology in sporting activities such as athletics and football. For FIFA, the whole world is able to enjoy playing football both physically and online. New and upcoming stadiums can accommodate thousands of people at the same with a very large parking making football an interesting game to watch across the world. With improved technology, FIFA has reached all the countries across the world using technology in terms of management. With technologies such as goal line and vanishing spray are parts of making sure football become more fair and easy to manage (Valante et al., 2014). Online transactions are being simplified with easy payment and contract signing unlike physical transactions.
6.0 Challenges of using Information Technology in sports
With information technology, there are challenges that FIFA is going through among them; virus threats, cyber-attacks, ticket scandals, cash for contracts scandals and information hacking (Volger, 2009). With online backup systems, there are cyber-attacks from hackers intending to get more information on FIFA and coming up with weird claims to tarnish the name of FIFA using this information (Volger, 2009). Viruses that are transmitted with the files may corrupt the entire database making it a risky affair to pull all the backups in a single database. It is quite expensive to maintain more than a single database online making it an expensive affair.
Information Technology is a necessity in the world today without it the organization cannot serve people or even survive in the market today (Volger, 2009). The revenue collected while using Information Technology has employed so many people that could also be rendered jobless without Information Technology. Improved Information Technology has made millions of people to love football fulfilling the main intention of FIFA as a strategy to entertain the world. Many athletes and footballers have developed their skills further making Information Technology a success in sporting activities and organizations.
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