Some of the biggest innovations to have featured in US sport

Some of the biggest innovations to have featured in US sport

When detailing innovations in sport, it is easy to solely focus on those of a technological nature.

Hawk-Eye has already had a positive impact on both cricket and tennis, electronic scoreboards can be seen at venues across virtually every sport and goal-line technology is available in some sports, even if it has been slow to feature in the Premier League and Champions League.

However, the advancements in sport go beyond computerised tech. Updates in materials have improved performance, whether it be titanium shafts being used in golf clubs and allowing for a faster swing or new lightweight footwear being available for athletes to improve their sprint times.

US sports have profited from numerous innovations of different varieties since World War II. Here are a selection of those to have turned heads in the NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB in this period:


Some of the rule changes have been completely necessary, with the introduction of the shot clock in basketball vital to the entertainment of the sport. Previously, a team ahead on points would simply hog the ball, continually play safe passes and be reluctant to shoot for fear of possession being turned over.

Meanwhile, the introductions of breakable rims also kept matches ticking over, as shattered glass all over the court would take time to clear up, while snapping the basketball hoop from the backboard would also need a replacement fitted.

The use of precision time sensors on the whistle of a referee ensured that the game clock immediately stopped. There was previously a slight delay, as the clock was manually stopped by a person courtside.

This was enough to bring some contentious decisions, with players able to sneak in shots slightly after the whistle but before the clock was officially stopped.