Open Access (free)
An actor-network theory perspective

In today’s world, we are offered a constantly expanding number of technologies to integrate into our lives. We now utilise a range of interconnected technologies at work, at home and at leisure. The realm of sport is no exception, where new technologies or enhancements are available to athletes, coaches, scientists, umpires, governing bodies and broadcasters. However, this book argues that in a world where time has become a precious commodity and numerous options are always on offer, functionality is no longer enough to drive their usage within elite sports training, competition and broadcasting. Consistent with an actor-network theory approach as developed by Bruno Latour, John Law, Michele Callon and Annemarie Mol, the book shows how those involved in sport must grapple with a unique set of understandings and connections in order to determine the best combination of technologies and other factors to serve their particular purpose. This book uses a case study approach to demonstrate how there are multiple explanations and factors at play in the use of technology that cannot be reduced to singular explanations like performance enhancement or commercialisation. Specific cases examined include doping, swimsuits, GPS units, Hawk-Eye and kayaks, along with broader areas such as the use of sports scientists in training and the integration of new enhancements in broadcasting. In all cases, the book demonstrates how multiple actors can affect the use or non-use of technology.

Open Access (free)

Some of the most famous ANT cases have investigated the role of a range of technologies, including aeroplanes, ships, microscopes and a personal rapid-transport system. Technologies are frequently forefronted in ANT work in a reflection of the equal emphasis ANT places on humans and non-humans, with technologies often taking the form of significant non-human actants. In this book I am similarly interested in the non-human actants in sport and take these as my starting-point when investigating technologies

in Sport and technology

-makers must have full knowledge of the rules of the sport and be able to apply their knowledge in split-second decisions made under often very stressful conditions. If they make the wrong decision, they are often blamed for the outcome of the game. Given the pressure that these individuals face and the importance of ensuring accurate results, several sports governing bodies have attempted to increase the accuracy of officiating decisions through implementing new technologies in their sports (Woodward, 2013). These

in Sport and technology

. However, it is also fundamentally different, as the necessity of posting out tapes is no longer required. College selectors can instead simply trawl through applicants’ YouTube sites in order to view their footage and use it to make their decisions. The laborious process of sending out individual tapes to each college no longer needs to take place. These examples illustrate some of the central concepts of this chapter. First, the introduction of foreign technologies into sporting environments can act to change

in Sport and technology
Open Access (free)
Which technologies are improved, and how?

When watching sport on a regular basis, it can feel as though the many pieces of technology used in sporting competitions are constantly improving. Commentators draw attention to athletes using the newest type of aerodynamic helmet or carbon fibre bicycle. Sometimes, the technological changes can be so enormous that the sport may barely be recognisable, such as when the America’s Cup sailing competition altered their rules to allow catamarans rather than only single hulls. At other times, it is the

in Sport and technology
Open Access (free)
The production of sports media broadcasts

number of studies examining technology, animals and other non-humans means that non-humans are no longer missing (see Sayes, 2014 ), they remain missing in the study of sports media. There is little attention to the exact technologies utilised by sports producers and how the assemblage of humans (such as commentators) and technologies (such as digital overlays) work together to produce the actor-network that is the sports media broadcast. The goal of this chapter is to begin to remedy this deficiency. The chapter

in Sport and technology
Open Access (free)
Fifth Estate’s critique of the megamachine

4 Steve Millett Technology is capital: Fifth Estate’s critique of the megamachine Introduction ‘How do we begin to discuss something as immense as technology?’, writes T. Fulano at the beginning of his essay ‘Against the megamachine’ (1981a: 4). Indeed, the degree to which the technological apparatus penetrates all elements of contemporary society does make such an undertaking a daunting one. Nevertheless, it is an undertaking that the US journal and collective Fifth Estate has attempted. In so doing, it has developed arguably the most sophisticated and

in Changing anarchism
Open Access (free)

, 2012 ), the existence of further examination and discussion of Armstrong’s actions indicates that the simple explanation that athletes’ decisions to use banned technologies are based purely on enhancing performance is insufficient for understanding the use of technology in sport. Lance Armstrong’s case also concerned the immense amount of money that he obtained through sponsorship and other commercial arrangements, with fans raising questions about the continuation of those arrangements once his doping history

in Sport and technology
Open Access (free)

In today’s world, we are offered a constantly expanding range of interconnected technologies to use at work, at home and in leisure activities. The realm of sport is no exception, where new technologies or enhancements are available to athletes, coaches, scientists, umpires, governing bodies and broadcasters. However, in a world where time has become a precious commodity and numerous options are always on offer, functionality is no longer enough to drive their use. Instead, as this book has shown, each

in Sport and technology

be able to identify the problem and fix it, in line with the notion that there are particular symptoms that can be fixed through identifying a specific agent and intervening technologically to fix it. Instead, the doctor simply prescribed rest and/or painkillers without fixing the problem. In perceiving painkillers to be insufficient, the rowers demonstrated their expectation that any technologies or techniques utilised by doctors should be able to do more than simply mask the pain. This suggests that the

in Sport and technology