Australia’s cricket team is the latest sporting franchise to adopt a wearable to check player performance levels. The news comes a month before the team’s series with Sri Lanka.
Designed by a sports scientist team at the Australian Catholic University (ACU), the wearable is able to track and analyse high speed bowls, providing insight into a bowler’s speed, performance, and fatigue.
Bowlers spend hours everyday practicing their throw, and a slight dip in performance might be the difference between 10 and 100 runs. Giving staff the ability to see changes in performance may allow them to schedule smarter practice regimes and work on deficiencies.
“Tagging individual balls with an intensity measure provides both immediate analysis such as identifying effort balls, or potentially a drop in performance due to fatigue, or longer term workload analysis,” said ACU sports scientist Dean McNamara, part of the wearable team.
Cricket borrowing from missile technology
ACU used submarine technology that guides missiles and spacecraft to make the wearable capable of tracking high speed bowls. Inside the wearable sits an accelerometer, gyroscope, and magnetometer — everything a wearable needs to precisely track movement.
Cricket, like most sports, does not allow wearables to be used during games. Considering matches sometimes last half a day, we can see why it may be unfair to have one team analyzing every single part of the game, while the other team lacks the resources.
Some of the more contemporary sports like NBA, MLB, and NFL are starting to adopt wearables, at least for practice games, though leagues seem emphatic that changes could give some teams unnecessary advances, both on and off the pitch.
Even rugby, another antique in the sporting world, is taking a stab at wearables, as a way to potentially lower the amount of casualties.