Does Better Sports Equipment Unfairly Improve Athletic Ability?


Have you ever dreamed of a newer, faster and better bike, basketball, racquet, stick, ball or other equipment?

Is the athlete or the equipment most important for performance, and why? What stories do you have about yourself and your classmates, and the newest and most technologically advanced sports equipment to support your opinion?

In “Do Nike’s New Shoes Give Runners an Unfair Advantage?” “Writes Jere Longman:

Nike unveiled a new shoe on Tuesday, a customized version of the one worn by the winners of the Rio de Janeiro Marathon and other recent top-level races, as part of the company’s bold attempt – some say gadget – to break two hours in the marathon in early May.

Adidas, whose shoes were worn by the last four men to set the world marathon record, also recently unveiled a shoe for its own, less publicized attempt to lower the current record of 2 hours 2 minutes 57 seconds to 1:59:59 or faster.

George Hirsch, president of New York Road Runners, which runs the New York Marathon and more than 50 other races, said everything from elite races to age group competitions could be affected by the latest technology in shoes. It would be impossible to check the shoes of hundreds or thousands of runners before each race, he said.

“It’s a game-changer, in that if the shoe manufacturers get patents and these shoes are brought to market and they are widely used, you wonder if the playing field will be level if people can use it. these benefits, ”Hirsch said.

All shoes are considered to be performance enhancing. Otherwise, everyone would be running barefoot. But when is the line of unfair advantage crossed? No one seems to know precisely.

“It’s a pretty fun ethical sports technology area that we’re heading into,” said Ross Tucker, an exercise physiologist from South Africa who writes the Science of Sport, a blog widely followed in running circles. .

When tennis racquets went from wood to metal, he said, “I bet they had the same discussion.”

Students: Read the entire article, then tell us:

– Is Nike’s new custom-designed shoe for Olympic-level runners a good or bad thing for the sport? Why?

– Which sports have improved equipment technology that you think is fair and equitable? What sports equipment gives an unfair advantage, and why?

– Does better sports equipment unfairly improve athletic ability? Why or why not?

Students 13 and older are welcome to comment. All comments are moderated by The Learning Network staff, but remember that once your comment is accepted, it will be made public.

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