How sports equipment changed the game we play today
Our society runs on competition and outdoing the ones next to us. We thrive on success and working towards our goals. That is why companies are constantly working to improve their equipment and outdo their competitors. They want to please their consumers. Many different companies work to improve their equipment so that their customers do better than those who do not use their equipment.
A prime example of this process is the concept of a double barrel bat. The ghost softball bat specifically has completely revolutionized the game of softball. Composite bats themselves have taken over and completely revolutionized the game. Because of this, athletes have seen the first to try out the ghost bat hitting the ball hard, and end up getting that bat. Since the release, whether it be specifically Easton ghosts or double barrel bats themselves, the game of softball has completely changed. Exit velocities and the distance of the ball have increased immensely. The general population has migrated towards the double barrel bats. More and more players have begun choosing these bats. It has become the new norm. This is what happens with sports equipment. Athletes see other athletes succeeding and they follow the trend and “keep up with the Jones.’” Another big part of sports equipment is personal liking. For example, people like specific cleats, glove brands, shin guards and padding, etc. They see people wearing accessories like arm sleeves, sweat bands, taped body parts, and braces that professionals wear. They want to mock their performance, so they mock their equipment.
It is absolutely crazy to think that so many of the greatest athletes that are playing in the sports games are in their high thirties, young forties. Back before technology was so advanced, it was extremely rare that athletes would last in their respective sports past their late twenties. This has drastically changed and is largely because of the increased levels of technology and care that people can provide the atheltes to make sure they are as healthy and recover as quickly as possible. Nowadays, athletes are able to have much longer careers because of the advanced technologies. They are provided with the best trainers and doctors that have the highest levels of education and are masters of what they do. They can analyze an injury and get them recovered as quickly as possible. Athletes can go in and get things like a concussion, a sprained ankle, or torn ACL and have the most efficient and effective recovery that allows them to get back out playing their sport as fast as humanly possible.
In the case study, “Industry sustainability under technological evolution: A case study of the overshooting hypothesis in sports” by Stuart Thomas and Jason Potts, they researched the study of windsurfing and the evolution of the technology behind it. According to the study, “ BiC Sport among other European manufacturers continued to follow the populist route, with an emphasis on simple, low-cost equipment and primarily flat-water, sailing-based participation.” These companies came together and changed the entire windsurfing essence. A large part of this change is due to the term “overshoot”. This industry was ultimately overshot and became so technologically advanced that it was impossible to ever compare past athletes accomplishments to present. They said that they look at overshooting, “as a predictable phenomenon of evolutionary instability, in the sense that there will be winners and losers, rather than an outright pathology. Plainly, overshooting in sports technologies does harm those who have invested in that particular sport.” This idea has killed any level of competition in specifically newer sports. Technology outdid all aspects of windsurfing and eliminated any possible errors that could interfere with users performances.
In an article titled, The Influence of the Design and Manufacture of Sports Equipment on Sports, Zhenyu Qiu looked at both the general idea of sports equipment and the specific details that go into the manufacturing and design of equipment. Qiu said that manufacturers use the term “faster, higher and stronger” to progressively improve the performance of their products. With this mindset, the process of designing sports equipment uses many different concepts. Some being, “Safety based on lifting movement process”, “Avoiding or slowing down sports injuries”, “Improving the appreciation of sports competitions”, “Scientific design and innovation”, “Use of high tech materials”, and many more. These concepts make it almost impossible to design a product that does not have the highest performance ratings, along with the most safe and protective materials. Later on, Qiu talked about what role the equipment plays in development and factors that may make an impact in the design process. Some of these factors include the “development of special sports technology”, “adaptability of athletes’ physical quality” and rule changes. Rule changes need to be highly monitored. Some sports have extremely specific rules for certain leagues. For example, some bats are allowed at certain ages, or in specific leagues, while others are not. Some softball bats are allowed in ASA tournaments but not USSSA. These sound foreign to most people, besides those in the softball world, and sports manufacturers who need to make sure they follow specific guidelines.
Overall, the evolution of sports equipment is absolutely unbelievable. Some advancements have even made games and competitions so competitive that they could never compare to games of the past. The newest and best equipment has been put through the test in almost all aspects. The numerous concepts and the motto of “faster, higher and stronger,” companies constantly work to outdo their competitors by giving people the highest and most efficient products possible. The long hours of studying and analyzing every possible aspect of cleats, helmets, bats, balls, shoes, clubs, rackets, and so many more allow people to become experts at improvement. It is important that we appreciate the sport as it is and appreciate those who work to provide consumers with the best technology and materials to please their customers. They have completely changed the sports world and have allowed athletes to do unbelievable things.
I’ve been doing some Google Scholaring. This looks promising:
The “overshooting hypothesis” angle asks and answers questions about what happens when technology gets too advanced and destroys the level playing field of a competitive sport.
Coffee, I think our Conference of yesterday and the links I’ve left you regarding the Overshoot Hypothesis might qualify as the best Feedback I can offer at the moment, so I’ve taken your post out of the Feedback Please category. If you have any specific questions or requests, please don’t hesitate.
Coffee, I can’t follow your argument here. Every paragraph has evidence, and in every paragraph you express opinions, but every paragraph seems to lead to a conclusion that has not much to do with the other paragraphs. Readers don’t know if you’re in favor of better equipment, or whether you think it’s ruining sports, or whether your primary objection is that it makes comparing athletes from different eras difficult. As for the paragraph about how athletes compete later in life, I don’t see how that fits at all.
You’ve clearly done some research, so I credit you for that.