Smart footballs have made it to the NFL.
After years of research, footballs will soon be equipped with microchips to get better in-game analytics on kicks and raise the bar for field-goal kicking, the NFL announced. This initiative will be carried out starting with 2016 preseason games followed by the regular Thursday night matches, should relevant information be collected in preseason.
Following the 2016 season, the competition committee “will determine, if we do decide to shorten the distance between the uprights, what is the right distance, and where should it be to make it a more difficult kick,” mentioned for The Toronto Sun Dean Blandino, NFL’s senior vice-president of officiating. “The committee will discuss it and then make a recommendation for 2017 if they feel that we need to go that route. But I wouldn’t know at this point, without seeing how it goes this year.”
According to 6abc, “the football chip will provide information ranging from its precise location during kicks to the velocity of throws by quarterbacks, but there is no indication that the NFL has plans to use it for psi (pounds per square inch) measurements.”
The league is interested in data on each player’s performance to figure out exactly how to improve the game and make it more exciting. This is not the first time the NFL has toyed with data chips, as players have been wearing RFID chips for location tracking in recent years.