An over-emphasis on expertise has been creeping into all ranges of sports activities , together with GAA, in recent times, the Eire’s Edge convention in Dingle has heard.

“Group is now not only a bodily place, it exists on-line in a digital world now and expertise is disrupting and altering our lives in a unprecedented means,” historian and former director of the GAA Oral Historical past Challenge, Mark Duncan, instructed a panel dialogue on the problems of neighborhood, digital expertise, social media and gender in sport.

“Group video games are aggressive sport, it’s about successful and we take up all this expertise to enhance efficiency in sport, is that this simply the worth we pay as a result of sport is aggressive?”

Others on the panel included author and camogie star Eimear Ryan, All-Eire-winning footballer Valerie Mulcahy, Kerry footballer and GAA pundit Tomás Ó Sé. Eire’s Edge is a collection of discussions involving key figures from throughout society that makes up a strand of the annual Different Voices competition.


Mr Ó Sé famous that skilled sport is utilising GPS trackers to assemble knowledge on the efficiency of particular person gamers. He stated this expertise is now discovering its means into beginner golf equipment and is even utilized by some native GAA golf equipment to evaluation gamers on and even off the pitch.

“I performed in an period when there was none of that. If we have been dropping the stats have been on the rating board and that was all,” he stated.

“It’s scary actually, and in an beginner sport the stress is added not solely to participant however to the administration as properly. Now you’ll be able to go in your laptop computer and analyse each play or step your opposition takes earlier than you meet them on the sphere. It’s like we’re being educated or coached by this expertise and never by the folks round us.”

Ms Mulcahy stated the emphasis was once about bettering ability ranges. “We, the gamers and our crew got here first after which we mentioned the opposition after that. It was all about efficiency and that labored properly,” she stated.


The panel additionally agreed that adopting expertise from different sports activities doesn’t at all times work properly for the GAA.

“These programs make extra sense in sports activities just like the NFL, the place every participant has a really particular roles, however within the GAA the place each participant needs to be a part of your entire crew, they need to be whole gamers, I don’t assume it transfers properly. “ Ms Ryan stated.

Nevertheless, Ms Mulcahy stated that whereas there’s an over-emphasis on stats, these programs have their place.

“There are groups which can be in search of extra evaluation, and GPS programs can assist,” she stated. “These programs can assist with the likes of damage prevention or seeing the place gamers can enhance however I do assume that it has gone too far and we’ve got to get again to having fun with the sport and never simply specializing in the statistics we’re gathering.”


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