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Analysis and Comment (11)

Reigning premiers Hawthorn was the first AFL club to trial the WASP tracking technology – so how does it work? Reigning premiers Hawthorn was the first AFL club to trial the WASP tracking technology – so how does it work? AAP/David Crosling

In the long run: keeping track of athletes with wearable tech

With the AFL season in full swing many of us are glued to our screens marvelling at the speed and tactics of the athletes. Midfielders, such as ex-Cat-now-Sun Gary Ablett Jnr, can run between 12 and 20km…
Austria’s Roman Rabl makes light work of the Sochi slopes. Austria’s Roman Rabl makes light work of the Sochi slopes. EPA/Vassil Donev

The incredible tech behind Paralympian daredevil stunts

Watching the Paralympics makes us forget about the term “disability” and the idea that sport with a disability is about limitations. The athletes on the slopes and rinks at Sochi are showing us that theirs…
Elite sports training is starting earlier and earlier – but is this always a good thing? Elite sports training is starting earlier and earlier – but is this always a good thing? School sport image from www.shutterstock.com

Do we really need elite sports training in schools?

A short conversation with a parent a number of years ago made me realise the extent of the problems we have in youth sport. This parent wanted advice on how to make his child faster and stronger to ensure…
Australia fell just short in the first Ashes Test. Australia fell just short in the first Ashes Test. EPA/David Jones

Media misses point on cricket’s Decision Review System

The first Ashes Test was indeed a veritable thriller. England edged Australia by a mere 14 runs, after an absorbing four-and-a-half days of action to go one-up in the best-of-five series. For those not…
Sometimes having no legs is better than having one. Sometimes having no legs is better than having one. EPA/Jonathan Brady

Pistorius shouldn’t be allowed to compete at the Paralympics

There has been a considerable amount of media coverage surrounding South African amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius who competed at the London Olympics and is now competing at the London Paralympics. The…
Oilveira’s come-from-behind victory raises questions about the advantages provided by prosthetic legs. Oilveira’s come-from-behind victory raises questions about the advantages provided by prosthetic legs. Julian Stratenschulte/EPA

Beaten by a length? Pistorius, Oliveira and Paralympic fairness

In a major upset, Alan Oliveira of Brazil beat Oscar Pistorius to win an extraordinary T43/44 200 metre race today. But did Oliveira have an unfair advantage? The 20-year-old Brazilian finished ahead of…
More than 30 years have passed since the AFL last looked at the specifications and standards for making Australian footballs. More than 30 years have passed since the AFL last looked at the specifications and standards for making Australian footballs. puuikibeach

On the ball: does the AFL need to design a better footy?

In the game of Australian Rules Football (as with other football codes), few pieces of equipment are more important than the football itself. And yet the relative attention paid to the ball by the AFL…
When it comes to design and performance, all wheelchairs are not created equally. When it comes to design and performance, all wheelchairs are not created equally. April Fonti/AAP

Wheelchair technology in the Paralympics … and its spin-offs

Equipment such as wheelchairs or prosthesis is fundamental in allowing some people with disabilities to carry out the tasks of daily living. But in the endeavour to go higher, faster and longer, athletes…
Sprinter Brendan Cole (left) and swimmer Tomasso D'Orsogna enjoy the recovery facilities at the Australian Institute of Sport’s (AIS) Recovery Centre in Canberra. Sprinter Brendan Cole (left) and swimmer Tomasso D'Orsogna enjoy the recovery facilities at the Australian Institute of Sport’s (AIS) Recovery Centre in Canberra. Australian Sports Commission

Australian Olympic athletes – underperforming or underdeveloped?

It’s no secret – Australia underperformed at the 2012 London Olympics. But was the criticism directed at our Olympians unfair on the athletes, coaches, and support staff who worked so hard, and gave up…
Scientists are looking for ever-more-sophisticated ways to find and optimise athletes. Scientists are looking for ever-more-sophisticated ways to find and optimise athletes. Steven Johnson

Athletic ability and genetics: can science spot a sure-fire winner?

For more than 50 years, sport scientists have used a variety of physical tests to try and identify those exceptional athletes who walk among us. Despite most countries having some sort of athlete talent…
In or out? Technology can help but it might not be as reliable as you think. In or out? Technology can help but it might not be as reliable as you think. Paul Gilham/Pool

A Hawk-Eye for detail: how accurate is electronic judging in sport?

Humans are fallible. Deciding who has won a tennis game or a sprint race can come down to a millimetre-accurate decision. So when an Olympic gold medal is on the line, it’s no wonder we turn to electronics…