Daily Dose of 2050 Sports

Sports can be broken down into major groups: amateur sports, and professional sports. I’ll save professional for another post. We can think of this in two ways:

  1. How will current sports change with the addition of new technology?
  2. What kinds of new sports will we have?

1. How will current sports change?

Well as the cost of technology decreases, more sports even at the amateur level will start incorporating more technology to referee the game. Now only professional sport can afford to have ball tracking technology, but by 2050 the lowering cost of this technology will lead to a proliferation of this kinds of technology. Now goals, out of bounds, maybe even offside can be determining by technology. This will be a good thing for sports since it will reduce error and chance in sports.

Another major shift in sports will be our growing understanding of how trauma, particularly on the brain, affect child and adult development. It’s a matter of time until we decide that contact sports are “barbaric”. This is coming from an ex-rugby player desperate to play again (post my recent shoulder surgery). In all honesty though I think the current science is pretty damning.

It’s possible that the rules and protective gear will change to reduce this risk, but I think by then the game will not look the same. Old habits die hard, but parents are becoming increasingly risk averse and contact sports will be like smoking, something children shouldn’t be allowed to do. I don’t take any pleasure in this prediction.

#2. What new kinds of sports? There will be two main areas, e-sports are having renaissance right now, and mechanical sports. It’s a matter of time until leagues for children crop up. Just like you have for soccer, basketball, swimming, etc. Schools may even start to have e-sports teams. It’s just a matter of time. How this changes school culture will be extremely interesting. The most popular kid a school might be the kid whose best at rocket league, not football.

The cost of small computers and robotics are on a steep decline. New sports will become more mainstream, for example, drone racing. This will be a whole new area which sports will explore.

Written on July 21, 2020