The NFL is planning to add data-gathering hardware to footballs used in this year’s preseason, according to a source, doing so to learn certain things about gameplay. The data gathered will help shed light on areas like kicking and officiating, and could be used to make changes to the game that’ll be seen as early as next year, at least according to reports.
ESPN reports that the NFL is planning to add “custom-made data chips” to the footballs used for the preseason. One use for the chips will reportedly be to help determine whether the league will narrow goal posts; by monitoring kicks, the NFL can determine how many kicks will be missed when the goal posts are narrowed to various degrees.
That will only be one use for the data-gathering chips, though, at least according to sources. All NFL teams have reportedly been advised of the upcoming ball-chips; the league is said to be working and using player input to make sure chipped footballs handle the same as ordinary dumb balls.
Smart technology is being increasingly utilized in the area of sports. Things like tennis racket and golf club sensors help athletes analyze their swings to improve their game; as well, we’ve seen sensors like impact hardware designed for use inside of football players’ helmets, alerting coaches of any potential concussions someone might suffer.