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SBD Global/May 16, 2014/International Football

Mark Cuban Funds Automated System To Map Physics Of Flopping In Sports

NBA Dallas Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban is "funding what researchers say is the first serious effort to map the physics of play-acting in professional sports," according to Rhys Blakely of the LONDON TIMES. The ultimate goal "is an automated system that will be able to tell whether a player really has been knocked off balance or if he is faking it." It is "a kind of Hawkeye for diving." He has tasked biomechanics scientist Peter Weyland "with taking the first steps." The research "is currently focused on basketball." Weyland believes that his work "will be equally applicable to football." A "wealth of data is being reaped, but observers have voiced doubts on whether it can ever be harnessed to build an automated system that is able to better a human observer in exposing dives." There are "too many variables," they argue, including "the precise postures of players, the exact point of contact between two colliding athletes, and whether a player is expecting an impact, and is braced for it, or not" (LONDON TIMES, 5/15).
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