1. Wimbledon 1980

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Most fans will remember this game as the historic match between Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe, but it was also marked the debut of the Cyclops computer system, which used infrared beams to help determine whether shots are in or out.

2. Sunday Night In Football, 1998

 

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In a telecast of the Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals game, the NFL introduced the Virtual Yellow 1st and Ten line, which displayed down and distance without interfering with the game so fans could easily identify where the first down marker was located on every play.

3. MLB 2001 Season

 

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Forget CRM or ERP: What about a UIS — Umpire Information System? Major League Baseball started using from QuesTec that tracks pitches and measures strike zones, monitoring home plate umpires with cameras and computer analysis.

4. Canadian Grand Prix, 2004

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True fans will remember Michael Schumacher’s victory, but it was also a race that showed how information from race cars was now travelling (in this case) over the Internet to a data centre in Italy where analysis was conducted to help teams improve over time.

5. 2009 NHL Season

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The Tampa Bay Lightning paved the way for a new kind of fan engagement by embedding RFID chips inside the right sleeve of fan jerseys, which could be scanned for merchandize and food at concession stands.

6. Vancouver 2010 Olympics

vancouver2010_2 Besides being a proud moment for Canada, the Games marked a major milestone in the use of technology for major sporting events, with Games-time IT made up of 13 systems running 800 servers, 6,000 computers and 4,000 printers.

7. FIFA 2012

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High-speed cameras and a magnetic field get official approval to become a standard part of goal-line systems to signal when a player scores in a soccer game.

8. 2013 NBA Draft

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The world got a glimpse of where wearables in sports might be headed when Victor Oladipo wore Google Glass to let fans see the selection of top basketball talent from his perspective.

9. 2014 Commonwealth Games, Glasgow

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With 2,400 desktops and laptops, 2300 monitors, 50 servers and storage solutions across 40 competition and non-competition sites, this may be the best indication of how events like the 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games in Toronto will become not only huge milestones in sporting history, but the history of IT as well.


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Shane Schick
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