Computer age hits sports

Article. Computer age hits sports

Spalding has already changed the design of their golf clubs

Amhert Record

Published on Sunday, September 8, 1974 by Bill Ballou


The data can then be used in all sort of

much condensed.

Computer age bits sports,

to record any desired motion and specia tracing equipment enables data to b processed directly by a high spee computer. Appropriate programmin; results in a breakdown of the data.

That’s it, more or less simply and ver, much condensed.


The data can then be used in ell sort of motion-related areas, includin sports. For instance, it can be used t improve individual performanc (coaches take note, the age of th

processed directly speed computer. – inclg sports. For instance, it can be used

to special tracing be


results breakdown

That’s simply and very

all sorts

improve individual e (coaches age e



If Babe Ruth had Computerized Ruth

Biomechanial Analysis, Inc. at his

Analysis, Inc.

‘ disposal, who knows what he might have



It’s questionable whether or not the It’s

Babe could even have pronounced it, could pronounced it, and it’s highly’unlikely that he would it’s ‘ unlikely that would have understood what it was. have

Basically, Cnmpu.. call it CBA


for short, it a research company for

organized to analyze human motion Conceived Conceived in late 1971 IV Dr. Gideon Ariel, it has been located at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire and just two months ago relocated in Amherst at 316 College St. Simple enough, eh?

Slow motion cinematography is used



corputer is here), to help reduce injuries, or aid in the deisgn and manufacture of equipment.

Much of the research the company has done has been with the mentally retarded and in the area of Muscular Dystrophy. It was, in fact, Muscular Dystrophy research that got the whole thing going.

Ariel who is an Asst. Professor at UMass and an internationally known expert in the field, was at Dartmouth coaching the Olympic track team. Ken Weinbel, now a company VicePresident, had a son with Muscular Dystrophy. Ariel had supper at Weinbel’s house one night, and Weinbel asked if there might be any practical application of Ariel’s research in the treament of the diesease. That got things going.

Some of CBA’s research has already

coaches note

started changing sports equipment. Like golf clubs, for instance.

“Spalding has already changed the design of their golf clubs,” said Ariel. “They had a machine that was supposed to reproduce the golf swing, and they designed their clubs using that as a basis. We found that the machine really didn’t simulate the swing at all.”

And for those still trying to unlock the secret of a sub-80 round, CBA research has also determined that the best golf swing is not one that follows through. (See, you were right all along.)

They’ve also designed new athletic shoes, working on the principle that every atheltic event has separate and distinct motions so every shoe should be designed differently.

Currently in the works is research on football shoulder pads. It would seem that with the enormous amount of injuries incurred in sports from the high school level up, the field of equipment redesign would be a fertile one.

The entire CBA staff, Ariel says, is connected with UMass. He and Weinbel are Vice-Presidents, M. Ann Penny, a UMass grad student is President.

“We take no profit out of the company,” Ariel says. “The money we make from industry is used to finance our research in non-profit areas like mental retardation.”