How do they know how fast someone is running or swimming on sports TV broadcasts


What technology is used? NFL NextGen stats puts some sensors in the equipment, but there’s no way that Olympic swimmers or track athletes are wearing any sensors.

In: Technology

You don’t really need any special equipment when you precisely know the distance to be travelled and the length of the track/pool to some arbitrary precision deemed good enough. A stopwatch and math can do it in real time and a high speed camera with a synchronized timer can be used to verify any records when you need it exact.

It’s almost exactly fifth grade math, actually. Speed equals distance divided by time, like those two people each get on a train questions from grade school.

There is an electronic weight in the start block measuring exactly when the athletes push off and also how strong they push off. This is used for things like reaction time. There are also overhead cameras. Each swimmer runs in their own track so they are very easy to track. For live tracking they use image tracking. The swimmers body distinguishes themselves a lot from the bottom of the pool. Then at each end of the pool there are pressure pads detecting when the swimmers reach the end of the pool.

Cameras connected to software to precisely calculate the time and distance based on start time and distances. They have a grid pattern that the computers use to measure distance which then gives it the speed. The data is displayed on screens for people to access.