If technology can be implemented into Ultimate Frisbee, how can it be done? In part two of our technology in sport feature, SportsByte’s David Lowes looks at how the latest technology in sport could be used in Ultimate.
Let’s assume for a minute that Ultimate gets the go ahead to use technology to enhance – but not change – the sport. What then?
I’ve lost count how many times I’ve been frustrated by incorrect line calls for a point. In Ultimate you have to either be completely across the line or hope that you’re momentum will take you there, otherwise it won’t count as a point.
This is probably the most contentious point in the sport right now. In a game of such high stakes, can we afford not to introduce this?
I’m aware that this is a bit of a wooly area. In Spirit of the Game rules, how do you enhance six or seven players to the point where it becomes when and where the rules have been transgressed?
It’s an old saying that ‘anything’s legal so-long as the ref ain’t looking’. So in a game where the rules are decided on words of players, how can you see objectively if a foul has happened?
Captain of the University of Sunderland Ultimate Frisbee team, Daniel Venton, said: “The self-refereeing-aspect of the game promotes honest and sportsmanlike play.”
Asking an independent source, no matter whether it’s a person or a camera, dispels this idea. How does a player know that they are trusted to make games ‘honest and sportsmanlike’ if they’re being monitored?
A pipe-dream, but one that perhaps warrants some consideration. Players are the ones involved in play, so why not give them the ability to flag up their own play? It would fit in the SotG rules that according to Sam Rayner, of GB Mixed, are “a breath of fresh air” to the players.
However, any likely half-decent player-cams are likely to be prohibitively expensive. The target demoraphic of this sport is students, and they can’t afford to buy an expensive camera. There is also the problem that any system is likely to have repercussions on the sport itself.
There is no obvious gap in ultimate for technology to fill. And if players need to refer to an objective influencer, would that promote “honest and sportsmanlike play”? Probably not, but the how long can Ultimate reject the influence of technology?
Advisors have already been introduced at the top level of the sport, so how long will it be before technology is introduced and applied too?