Soccer (or football, in most overseas countries) has a long history dating back to China in the 2nd century BC. Early versions of the game were quite different from the sport we enjoy today. As much as Canadians love hockey and Americans can’t wait for the start of baseball season, these cherished traditions don’t touch soccer on the popularity scale. A survey by Sporteology ranked soccer as #1, boasting a staggering 3.3-3.5 billion fans across the globe.
But what does the future bring for soccer? All sports evolve and soccer will be no exception. Movies like “Rollerball,” “The Running Man,” and “The Hunger Games” have presented future sports that were more like gladiatorial contests; the contestants sometimes even die. We certainly don’t see that in soccer’s future, but there are some possibly interesting developments on the horizon.
A glimpse at the future is available right now. The InsideCoach smart soccer ball could be the future of soccer training.
The idea of a smart soccer ball suggests a great way to cheat and get it into the goal easier. Fortunately, the InsideCoach soccer ball is nothing of the sort. This technologically advanced ball gathers and provides data that maps the user’s skill level. Used in concert with a mobile app, the ball acts as a private coach, telling you how hard you kicked the ball, how much it spins in flight, and the skills that could use more work.
Relying on crowdfunding to provide their base funds, the developers more than met their $25,000 Kickstarter goal. Designed to work inside any sports ball, this certainly sounds like a product that can only grow more interesting and useful in the decades to come.
There is a lot of speculation over what nation will reign supreme going forward. As of this writing, Brazil is the unchallenged king with five FIFA World Cup titles to its credit, though Germany and Italy are right behind with four.
Those who monitor the expansion of the sport have differing opinions. Will China’s ascendency on the world stage translate into a dominance of major sports, such as soccer? Can Africa’s continued creation of world class talent eventually translate into greater league development and stronger teams?
They do seem to agree that Brazil will remain a dominant force, particularly if they can convince their best players to stay at home, instead of succumbing to the temptation of foreign paydays.
The substantial role that big name sponsors play in the game will definitely continue. No matter how you might feel about that, the influx of cash will lead to the creation of virtual reality viewing for those tuning in from home. This development should prove exciting for all.
It will definitely be interesting to see where FIFA stands. Plagued by so much high profile scandal, the premiere soccer organization has a great deal of damage control to do. Can FIFA resume its place or will another body that offers more transparency and benefit to the fans take over?
The sport itself continues to trend in North America. On these shores, soccer lagged in popularity compared to most everywhere else, but that has now changed. The game has found particular favor with young people and ranks only behind traditional American football as the top athletic pastime for 12-17-year-olds.
As its popularity grows, the excitement and athletic challenges of soccer continue to enchant more and more people. Could it one day become the favorite national pastime in Canada and the U.S.? Only time will tell. In the meantime, enjoy anothre dose of the future in this hilarious video: humanoid robot soccer.