Basketball half bakery ideas

I thought of these during March Madness games, but neglected to post it until now, so here goes, my wishlist for technology additions to the sport of basketball:

1. Put RFID tags inside the soles of players’ shoes as well as embedded in the floor. Take the “3 seconds in the key” call away from the refs and let technology automatically measure your time in the paint. There is no disputing the call when you trip the clock, and refs can focus on other more important stuff.

2. Accelerometers in shoes communicating with one inside the ball could probably do a better job calling Traveling than the ref.

3. Accelerometers in shoes of players could give the referees more data to judge charging vs. personal foul calls. You could have actual data for who planted their feet first and deserves a charge call or who wasn’t stationary in time and deserves a foul.

Published by mathowie

I build internet stuff.

10 replies on “Basketball half bakery ideas”

  1. Doesn’t work, though, unless you have an algorithm to match the drift of calls as a game progresses.


  2. If I understand it correctly, the 3 second call has a bit of leeway for players in the act of shooting; you can technically be in the paint for 3 seconds, receive the ball on the 3rd second and chuck the ball towards the rim, at which point, assuming you miss, you can stay in the paint for as long as it takes people to secure to the ball. Assuming again that it’s your team, the three second count starts over. All of this would have to be accounted for by the hyper-intelligent shoes, which frankly seems like a waste of footwear capable of passing a Turing test.


  3. These are great ideas, but why stop there. I would say an even bigger use of the RFID chips would be having them in the toe, and along the three-point /out of bounds lines.
    You could also use the accelerometer to possibly determine the exact time of a shot, coupling with the clock to determine buzzer-beaters.
    You could also use the accelerometer to determine if a ball was on it’s way up or down to better call goal tending vs. clean blocked shots.


  4. Jason, I totally agree, and I was thinking of the buzzer-beaters myself yesterday. RFID for three pointers is another great idea.
    They started using lasers in tennis to determine if something was out or in, right? Why not bring that simple tech to basketball as well?


  5. Yeah, the 3 second rule doesn’t quite work that way, at least in the NBA the defensive player can guard a player or multiple players who move into and out of the key for longer than three seconds (so they don’t have to run in and out with them, they just need to be guarding someone who doesn’t have the ball) they can also guard any player who is in the lane with the ball for longer than 3 seconds, and the offensive player can catch a pass at near the 3 second mark and make a shot at a little over 3 seconds, as long as they’re in the act of shooting when 3 seconds passes. (Sections 7 & 8)
    A better idea would be to widen the key and the court (use the international key, for instance, and add a foot to either side of the court). You’d clear up room in the lane, decrease 3 second violations by giving more room to move around the rim, and speed up the game.
    As to the traveling idea… the refs got good at calling both traveling and carrying during the regular season in the NBA this year, and then totally changed gears and called nothing in the post season. I agree that there’s probably something that could be done here, at the very least to keep the refs honest.
    On the foul front there’s always going to be a bit movement (bracing for impacting when taking a charge, for example). I think it’d be overly difficult to get meaningful X fouled Y data.
    In all of the cases you’re still going to be relying on someone to stop the flow of the game to check what the computer said, thus slowing the game down.


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