Instrumentation embedded in equipments and worn by athletes can optimize training and allow sporting competitions to enter a new phase of objective scoring. The latest issue of Sports Technology published by Wiley-Blackwell features a collection of articles dedicated to the instrumentation of athletes and equipment during competitions.
A paper by Harding et al. deals with the measurement of air time and degree of rotation in snowboarding. Researchers hosted an invitational half-pipe snowboard competition - 2007 Australian Institute of Sports (AIS) Micro-Tech Pipe Challenge- where required athletes competed while wearing inertial sensors. The scores predicted from purely objective data were compared to the subjectively-established scores made by an expert judge.
"Although our prediction of overall scores and rankings varied by 26 per cent, this approach proves that the subjective components of style and execution should never be removed from the sport. The future of half-pipe snowboarding should be guided by a judging protocol that incorporates both objective and subjective criteria," said co-author, Dr. Jason Harding from the Department of Physiology, Australian Institute of Sport.
Another paper in this issue "Instrumented climbing holds and performance analysis in sport climbing" defined the mechanical parameters of climbing performance to develop a different system of performance analysis based on measurements, analysis and visualization of mechanical parameters.
The training study showed that experienced climbers exert lesser contact force, shorter contact time, shorter impulse and increased consistency of movement.
Editor-in chief and co-author of the article, Professor Franz Konstantin Fuss said, "With the data collected from the instrumented equipment, athletes and coaches can optimize their training while spectators can enjoy additional information during the competition."
These papers are published in the May 2009 issue of Sports Technology (Vol. 1, Issue 6). The full table of contents for this issue of Sports Technology is available online at: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/117899685/home
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