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How would you use science to innovate upon sports?

Displaying poll results.
Weapons-grade PEDs
  1137 votes / 7%
Genetically Modified Athletes
  1931 votes / 12%
Robot exoskeletons
  2591 votes / 16%
Computer-enhanced senses
  697 votes / 4%
'Smart' equipment (e.g. baseballs with flywheels inside)
  1199 votes / 7%
Adapt and play them in zero-G
  2230 votes / 13%
Digitize/CGI them and let AI play
  1127 votes / 7%
Just let me on the blasted WiFi at the stadium
  5143 votes / 32%
16055 total votes.
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  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
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How would you use science to innovate upon sports?

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  • Sports? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by msobkow (48369) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @05:05PM (#45956947) Homepage Journal

    We don't need no steenkink sports!

    We're *geeks*!

  • by kiick (102190) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @05:06PM (#45956963)

    I would attempt, wherever possible, to eliminate the human error factor in referees. Tag the ball, wire the field, use computer vision, radar, whatever. Take the pressure off of the human refs and let it be done as objectively as possible. So we don't have entire championships going down in history as "bad call, dude."

    • by Lumpy (12016) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @08:24PM (#45959669) Homepage

      Not only tag the ball, but let spectators vote when the explosives in the ball are armed.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      I like having the human referee variable.
      Also, removing the need for a ref. fucking ruined fencing and I can see it doing that to other 'sports'

    • by schwit1 (797399)

      No doubt. If the ref gets a call correct he has not improved the game, but when he gets the call wrong he has diminished its outcome and the work of the athletes. Bad calls are not intentional like fan interference, point shaving or PEDs, but the game is no less harmed.

    • by Misagon (1135)

      So that the jocks can blame it on the geeks when they lose ... Yeah. what a good idea.

    • by Dahamma (304068)

      But that would take all of the fun out of it! Just think of all of the poor sportscasters and radio hosts who would be out of work after people stop calling their seemingly endless shows to start idiotic debates about one bad decision in a 3 hour event of professional entertainment the day before...

    • by jklovanc (1603149)

      This would be great for ball position calls but those are not the only calls made by referees. For example in hockey there is a penalty for elbowing. On the surface it may look like a normal body check. To tell the difference takes judgement and I doubt the computers are very good at that kind of judgement yet.

      Sure, augment referees with technology by don't replace them.

    • Agreed. Although I don't know how that would work in wrestling.

      how will the villain ever win if the referee can see/sense everything that happens behind his back?

    • by c0lo (1497653)

      I would attempt, wherever possible, to eliminate the human error factor in referees. Tag the ball, wire the field, use computer vision, radar, whatever. Take the pressure off of the human refs and let it be done as objectively as possible. So we don't have entire championships going down in history as "bad call, dude."

      Next step: eliminate the human factor from the players too. The spectators will follow soon... this way we can eliminate sport. Yay!

    • by jomama717 (779243)
      I always wanted them to do this for gymnastics/ice skating/diving at the olympics and such - the subjective nature of the judging for these sports leads to all sorts of controversy.

      They could require the athletes to wear sensors, or just stickers of some kind on their joints and then have the computer judge how close their movements come to the "ideal" movements for their size of frame. A perfect 10 would really mean perfection. They could still have a human panel to judge artistic merits or whatever, bu
    • So with go from chad counters to Diebold machines. I fail to see the difference.
  • I'd rather have sports that are worth going to a place to play than just something else on TV. Something to get personally involved in that can have an elimination table from the couple people in a gym in some rural area to the final championships. That way, virtually anyone in a country or the world can end up a champion in it... or at least go far enough to get some prestige. Perhaps have a round-robin system at the ends in a region rather than single/double elimination so one goof doesn't mean the end

    • by Dahamma (304068) on Wednesday January 15, 2014 @04:26PM (#45969011)

      Umm. Nothing is stopping you from joining one of the literally MILLIONS of recreational leagues in hundreds of different sports around the country. You can find leagues for everyone from semi-pro to beginner, preschoolers to seniors, men's, women's or co-ed leagues, intro training classes, etc.

      Some of them are organized in a way that you can go to national championships (usually only at the highest levels of leagues, of course). But most participants don't even *care* about something like that, the point is in playing and having fun, not "ending up a champion".

      • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

        by Master Moose (1243274)

        Some of them are organized in a way that you can go to national championships (usually only at the highest levels of leagues, of course).

        In the insular world of American sports isn't that as far as most sports are organised? Reminds me of the quote by John Cleese:

        The three differences between American and British people:
        - We speak English and you don't.
        - When we hold a World Championship for a particular sport, we invite teams from other countries to play, as well.
        - When you meet the head of state in Great Britain, you only have to go down on one knee.

        • by Dahamma (304068)

          No, the whole POINT is we weren't talking about professional sports, but "recreational" (ie. amateur) leagues. The ice hockey, soccer, or softball leagues I have played in sure don't lead to national championships. We may get a silly trophy or a case of beer, but it's mostly about the fun of it and maybe bit of bragging rights for the season.

          Oh, and another difference between Americans and British that actually *relates* to the topic of amateur/recreational sports: girls are actually encouraged as much as

          • by xaxa (988988)

            Girls are encouraged in Britain, from a young age. My primary school had field hockey, netball, football and cross country running teams for girls, and secondary school had hockey, netball, football, athletics and (I think) swimming.

            I think the problem is most girls lose interest at about 15-16. How does the US maintain interest? (Also, American films suggest all high school girls are cheerleaders.)

  • by jbarr (2233) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @05:51PM (#45957557) Homepage

    There has to be some way to eliminate game blackouts.

  • Legalize all performance enhancing drugs. Lets see how far people can be pushed.
    As seen on SNL. (Back when it was still funny.)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-eXFYuskXE8 [youtube.com]
    • Legalize all performance enhancing drugs. Lets see how far people can be pushed.

      Legal?

      Fuck that, make 'em mandatory!

  • Sports (Score:2, Informative)

    by ugen (93902)

    Yawn. Spectator sports where consumer is watching someone else play are a waste of time. They also should not be called "sports".
    Want sports - get off your ass and run, or at least walk.

    • So.. when I'm playing soccer it's a sport, but when I'm watching an MU game, it's not?

      • by ackthpt (218170)

        So.. when I'm playing soccer it's a sport, but when I'm watching an MU game, it's not?

        Aye, when you are watching MU these days it's torture.

    • Except it's so great to watch someone performing at the peak of their ability.
    • by wvmarle (1070040)

      And what do those spectators in the stadiums do?

      They get off their chairs and jump, wave their arms, cheer, shout, dance, and generally move about a lot. That's definitely sport, even if it's not all too organised. The people down on the court are just an excuse for being there.

    • That's the difference between playing a sport and watching it. Watching it is good for entertainment and social. Playing a sport is good for health, entertainment and social.
      Although, I have seen people burn quite a lot of calories while watching soccer. Not as much as they consume in beer and snacks, but still.
    • by cmburns69 (169686)

      I will run... to the concession stand for another snack.

  • by Princeofcups (150855) <john@princeofcups.com> on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @06:09PM (#45957771) Homepage

    Every time I look at the amount of money and other resources wasted on professional sports, I realize that there is nothing but sheer idiocy keeping us from having a moon colony. Let the deniers bemoan the truth. Commence.

    • Every time I look at the amount of money and other resources wasted on professional sports, I realize that there is nothing but sheer idiocy keeping us from having a moon colony.

      Well, try to think of it this way - astronauts have to be in pretty good physical shape, right? So just pretend pro sports are actually astronaut tryouts. At least that way you're not wasting energy being pissed about what other people do with their income.

      Side note: Speaking of how much money is in pro sports, are you ready to be incredibly insulted, and probably a bit pissed?

      The NFL is, legally speaking, a not-for-profit, charitable organization. [usatoday.com]

    • Here is a way to do that. All players are armed with any weapons they want, and they can be used at any time, for any reason, without any penalty. Spectators would NOT BE protected by any bullet-proof shields. OK, I know you are thinking we should arm the spectators too, but that would be crazy.
    • by iggymanz (596061)

      most sports engaged in by humans are not professional sports. sports are great exercise. in fact, I'm wondering if you should get off your butt more often.

      what benefits exactly does putting people in a low-G field (with massive radiation field, by the way) for years going to produce? we can explore and mine the moon by remote control.

    • by artor3 (1344997)

      "Wasted"? It's entertainment. What's the point of life if it's not fun? A moon colony isn't worth a steaming pile of shit if its populated by emotionless robots.

      I assume you're an adult. It's long past time to stop parroting the "geeks vs jocks" narrative that 20th century sitcoms pushed on you.

    • by Nemyst (1383049)
      It's not a waste, my friend. The Romans said it best: bread and circuses.
    • by grumpyman (849537)
      Having a moon colony is interesting but what's the goal of that? If human nature stays, it doesn't matter we colonized a billion habitable planets.
    • by kbolino (920292) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @07:26PM (#45980851)

      Every time I look at the amount of money and other resources wasted on professional sports, I realize that there is nothing but sheer idiocy keeping us from having a moon colony. Let the deniers bemoan the truth. Commence.

      So much economic illiteracy in one post. Resources cannot be arbitrarily reallocated with no side effects. You are not smarter than everyone else and your choices are not inherently better. The freedom to pursue one's interests is the single most important factor in providing the level of wealth to even begin contemplating such things as moon colonies. If everyone was compelled to do what their "betters" thought they should, we would still be banging rocks together to make fire.

  • Rig the (American) footballs with tasers inside them such that the longer the game goes, the more frequently they deliver debilitating shocks.

    This will not only make for unlimited "funniest video" footage, but will also turn the beginnings of every game into a massively brutal offense-fest as no team will want to have the ball late in the game.
  • Perhaps we should just have Open Class competitions, where athletes can use any Performance Enhancement (from drugs to implants) and let them drop when they fry.

  • by Lumpy (12016) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @08:20PM (#45959619) Homepage

    Mine the outfield, and randomly let hungry bears or lions on the field.

  • One of the biggest downsides to playing sports for me is that the rules are impossible to fully enforce. Referees can't always tell exactly how many steps you took or if you were on the line.
    It annoyed the hell out of me when I played high school sports. Video games were much more enjoyable to me because they don't have these issues (unless you play sports games that try to emulate bad calls and randomness).
    Sports would be much more fun without digitized referees.
  • I want to see the members of Congress locked in the House chambers, all of them given the most modern automatic weapons with ten extra-large ammo clips each, and let the Republicans and the Democrats fight it out. That would certainly make them more productive than they have been over the last couple years. It'll make politics a real spectator sport, and it would improve Congress. As Mark Twain once wrote:

    "I think we never become really and genuinely our entire and honest selves until we are dead—a

  • Inventing Speedball.

  • I think that what would be the greatest innovations in sports would be ways to get people to do exercise.

    Exercise at a gym is a often a solitary and therefore boring experience, while exercise together in a group for a common goal or against other people at about the same level can be a great motivator.

    When I was growing up, my sports teacher effectively snuffed out any interest I had doing sports. He did not provide education, only prodding, grading and humiliation of those who did not perform as well as h

  • ...Rollerball
  • Not sure how much some of the things will help, but with most of the sports I watch (eSports) there are a few that might help.

    In regards to allowing PED, I would not allow them wholesale. Use a classing system, like boxing has for weight classes but for drugs and combinations of drugs.

  • Even if you hate Card's politics, you have to admit the Battle Room sounds like the most awesome team sport ever. I wonder how long (in a world without Ender's Game) it would have taken teams of NFL-level-intelligence players/coaches to realize that "the enemy's gate is down" (that is, abandon any traditional up-down orientation).
  • would give a whole new array of dimensions to contact sports like boxing, wrestling, judo, karate. Not to speak of soccer :-)
  • How about we get the offsides tracking working? Andy Carroll put that ball into the net during the FA Cup, and that's what happened. Give us back our trophy, damnit!

    • It's "offside".... It's not plural.... A gaggle of geese could be crossing the offensive blue line before the puck and they would all be "offside"...

      I had a co-worker about 15 years ago who took our technical step-by-step documentation and added a "s" to the end of certain words to make the directions sound less harsh on the phone(s). By the time he was done, it looked like it had been written(s) by a two year old(s) and sounded even worse. I'm willing to bet(s) that he is behind this whole trend to u

  • by kheldan (1460303) on Wednesday January 15, 2014 @03:45PM (#45968637) Journal
    We don't need any of these things in any sports. If we did then it just becomes an "arms race" that depends on how much money is available by the individual or team to spend on getting an (unfair) advantage.

    What we do need is to continue developing the science of athletic training. We've already seen significant advances since the 1980's, and there's no reason why we can't continue developing our ability to do the most effective training in the least amount of time spent training.

    Note that I am an athlete (non-pro road bike racer), I manage my own training using modern tools and techniques. It would so easy some days to just start taking steroids or other PEDs, which in conjuction with the training I normally do, would give me an incredible advantage over my competitors -- but every race I won, whether anyone else knew what I'd done or not, would have an asterisk next to it in my mind, since I knew it came from a bottle or a hypodermic needle, not from my own efforts. In my opinion making PEDs and other "unnatural" advantages legal would effectively destroy any sort of athletic competion, invalidating any sense of fair play. Sports would devolve into the realm of professional wrestling.
  • Wake me up when Running Man becomes a thing, then I'll think about watching sports.

  • Most people who are willing to pay $200+ for a ticket, parking, food, etc. are actually going to be there to watch the game and not fool around on WiFi. If you truly NEED WiFi while watching sports, then the best place to be is at home in front of the TV. Personally, I've never gone to ANY sporting event and felt like I needed a high-speed Internet connection. The point of being at a game is experiencing it, not posting on Slashdot....

  • ... since sports take funding from science (and basically everything else) in school. Kids aren't taught how to science anymore. GO RAVENS!!!!!!11

    Personally, I say let'em all load up on steroids and HGH until they all die off, but I didn't see that in the options.

  • would quite like to see catgirl gymnasts.

  • Can we somehow make the powerups from video games like Mario Kart a reality? If so, they could be used to greatly improve NASCAR. Turn left, turn left, turn le---- TURTLE SHELL!!!!

    Failing that, let's allow the cars to carry three weapons of their choice. Each single shot. They can use these any time they want during the race, but once they're out, they're out. Suddenly, there's some actual strategy involved. Do you blow your weapons now to get rid of competition but leave yourself vulnerable? Or do y

  • by Khashishi (775369) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @08:55PM (#45981489) Journal

    Don't mess with the players. They have human limitations. That's the point. Don't change the game itself. Instead, give us more interactive ways to watch the action. 3D footage from any angle, any position. I want to be able to watch from the baseball's perspective during a home run hit. I want to hear every curse word that gets yelled by the players, and none from the audience. I want to smell the ball sweat from the groins. No scratch that. That's going a bit too far.

Whenever a system becomes completely defined, some damn fool discovers something which either abolishes the system or expands it beyond recognition.

 



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