USFL drops sensors in kickballs due to performance issues
USFL kickers and punters played Week 2 games last weekend with standard footballs and not the balls fitted with ShotTracker sensors used in the league’s opening week. Chipped footballs remain in all other facets of the game, but have been dropped on kickoffs, punts, field goals and extra runs.
“Our specialists came to us with concerns about the impact of sensor technology on the batting balls we were using in-game,” said Daryl Johnston, USFL executive vice president of football operations. . said last week. “We are going back to a more traditional K-Ball structure at the USFL. This will have no impact on the production value of the fan’s experience when watching on TV.
According to ProFootballTalk, USFL kickers scored 18 of 27 field goals (66.7%) in Week 1 and converted 17 of 22 (77.3%) kicks in three games in 2 week course. Division III Football Analyst Frank Rossi also reported that quarterbacks have trouble throwing the heavier USFL balls because the catchers add 4-5 ounces of weight that aren’t evenly distributed through the ball.
Kickers would also have suffered significant swelling when hitting chipped USFL balls. “I’ve seen images of kickers’ feet after games provided by various sources. And having been in football for 26 years, I’ve never seen effects like this just from kicking a football before. Rossi said.
ShotTracker’s motion-tracking sensors in USFL balls work in tandem with optical cameras in Bolt6’s stadium to produce the automated measurement system for the league’s first try broadcast on broadcasts. ShotTracker, whose investors include Magic Johnson and Verizon, has worked primarily in basketball, with its sensors embedded in game balls for more than 60 NCAA programs in conferences such as the Big 12 and Mountain West.