During the past few NFL seasons, the NFL has implemented the placement of RFID chips in players shoulder pads. These RFID chips are similar to those that are in our credit cards, and are even used for data tracking of nomadic animals, and amusement park goers in Disney. These chips collect a great deal of data on the field from speed, distance traveled, and player separation. This data has been collected for two years now, but teams were not able to access it. In fact, its primary use was to display a player’s speed, and other stats during NFL broadcasts. As a huge advancement, the NFL will commence in a data dump, allowing all NFL teams to access and do whatever they wish with their RFID data.
This data dump is allowing all NFL teams to access and do whatever they wish with their data. Analyzing scouts and college players has entered an entirely new era. In the NFL today, college players are judged for their abilities during a combine where they are athletically tested in many areas such as speed, ability, and strength. A lot of the times, these tests are inaccurate because they occur away from the game. With RFID chips, coaches, and NFL teams are able to analyze in game abilities that could better predict and give an accurate depiction of how they will perform on the field.
As this technology increases it will be used to strategize and discover a player matchup. The NFL is becoming more of a complex game of chess, where strategies are down to the most minuscule detail. I’m a little torn when it comes to this idea; I believe that sports should be kept at a level of human observation and understanding. These chips tell a story, and they assist in preparation for games as well. The New Orleans Saint were part of a trail and discovered that some players were running over 7 miles a day during practice. By discovering trends like this, players are able to get more rest, avoid injury and be better prepared for games. This RFID data can also be used for the advancement of gamer technology and development. With such minuscule and particular details, companies like EA Sports may soon have the ability to make the most realistic game play to date.
The articles barely mentioned anything about RFID data for concussion, or other injury related protocol. I think that by analyzing a player’s separation distance, and the speed they have at impact could further dissect our understanding of how to prevent brain injuries in the NFL. I’m also curious as to whether there will be new rules imposed to increase privacy of the collected data. Will teams be able see data from other teams? Will there be new rules imposed to assure data security?