Technology and Sport

Authored by: Rasmus Bysted Møller , Verner Møller

Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Sport

Print publication date:  March  2015
Online publication date:  March  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415829809
eBook ISBN: 9780203466261
Adobe ISBN: 9781134119141


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The relationship between sport and technology is close and can be both fruitful and destructive. Technology has a constitutive function in sport, as it makes the activity possible. Moreover, it can enhance performance as well as the sporting experience. The use of football boots is clearly more comfortable and effective than playing football in bare feet. However, sport challenges its athletes by demanding the employment of less efficient means rather than more efficient means in pursuit of sport-specific goals (Suits, 2005). Technology can therefore potentially detract from the sporting experience. If, for instance, very efficient hail cartridges were allowed for use in double-trap shooting, it would reduce the skills required to excel at that discipline, reducing its value for participants and spectators alike. Similarly, the use of forbidden performance-enhancing substances has long been a much debated topic in sports philosophy and, with gene technology waiting around the corner, the relationship between sport and technology has become strained and is often viewed with concern and scepticism.

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