In addition to football pads, NFL teams will now be using iPads

February 1, 2013

The NFL is not particularly known for its tech-savvy nature, but with a new application, teams may consider iPads as another piece of necessary equipment.

For this year’s Super Bowl, the Baltimore Ravens players will be using iPads and an application called GamePlan in place of their 20-pound playbooks. Not only does the app include all of the pages of the former books, but it also increases communication abilities between the players and coaches.

“Nearly half of the 32 teams in the NFL have adopted iPads and digital playbook apps,” according to a Wall Street Journal article. “Those apps let coaches easily distribute updated plays and attach video clips to the Xs and Os of paper-based playbooks. Coaches and players also use the technology to collaborate in real time and share videos, playbooks, notes and drawings.”

With these new devices, the team is using the playbook 50 percent more than with the paper book. Not only is it lighter and more transportable, but allows users to see trends in throws and passes and potentially change the way players perform.

Ryan Fannin, director of football information systems for the Indianapolis Colts, which also uses the technology, told the news source he locked the iPads from Facebook to ensure that players use them for their intended purposes.

The practice of using digital documents and tablets was bound to make its way into the sports world eventually, especially since some schools and town governments have already made the transition to iPads.  For teams looking to go digital, bulk scanning services may be needed to help transfer the papers from the playbooks.

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