NCAA Men’s Basketball Coaches Will Use Tablets On The Sidelines During Games For The First Time
Years after dugout and sideline tablets were introduced to MLB and the NFL, the NCAA is starting to catch up.
On Nov. 19 and 20 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo., four NCAA men’s basketball teams participating in the 2018 College Basketball Hall of Fame Classic have been granted waivers suspending the NCAA’s rules against electronic devices on the sidelines during games. Coaches for Missouri State, Nebraska, Texas Tech and USC will be able to use tablets integrated into a spatial tracking system called ShotTracker.
ShotTracker uses sensors installed in arenas, on players’ bodies and in the basketballs to provide a wealth of data about player and team performance. In addition to the system, ShotTracker will provide each team with a liaison to instruct the teams on how best to use the system.
This will not only be the first time such technology has been utilized in regular-season NCAA D1 men’s basketball games, but the first such event for ShotTracker to provide its services for. ShotTracker has been utilized on a similar scale prior. The NAIA has utilized the system for its national men’s basketball championship tournament for several years. Multiple D1 schools have used ShotTracker in practices as well.
As much as the increased use of analytics and technology may change the game on the court, ShotTracker’s implementation on a broader scale could change the game for athletic departments as well. ShotTracker also has a fan app that allows fans to access some of the same raw data that coaches will have access to. Additionally some of the ShotTracker data from this year’s Hall of Fame Classic will be overlaid into the ESPN broadcasts of the games.
New content always means new opportunities for sponsorship and advertising space to be sold. If this becomes more commonplace in NCAA men’s basketball exactly who will retain the rights to that space has yet to be determined. It’s likely that ShotTracker will simply license the technology to schools and then the schools will be free to monetize the content as they wish from there.
All of that remains in the realm of mere possibility for now, but it is more likely because of the NCAA’s first exploration into allowing teams to use such technology during games. If ShotTracker or other similar programs eventually becomes commonplace in NCAA men’s basketball games, it will all have begun with the 2018 Hall of Fame Classic.
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