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Will sport embrace electronic whistles in a Covid-19 world?

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The Covid-19 pandemic has already seen sports equipment manufacturers developing new innovations for an easier return-to-play journey for various codes.

One prominent example is Kookaburra, who a while ago touted its waxed cricket balls as a way for fielding teams to keep it shining without using saliva.

However, a product is emerging that would dwarf the amount of "virus-proofed cherries" around the world's cricket fields: the electronic whistle.

No instrument has become more iconic in sport officiating than the whistle, which was introduced way back in 1868 when Joseph Hudson used it for an English soccer match.

Medical experts, however, have become concerned that increased respiration that's associated with most sports increases the risk of transmission.

Referees with whistles are no exception.

After all, the very act of blowing it releases air full of droplets.

  • Sport's response to the Covid-19 pandemic could evolve further as the appeal for electronic whistles for referees increases.
  • The electronic whistle, which works by pushing a button, is being touted as a safe alternative to the normal product, which still releases a lot of droplet-filled air when blown and could increase the risk of transmission.
  • Some referees are concerned that matches could initially be influenced unduly by them blowing at the wrong time because they're still getting used to its operation. 

Read more at Sport24

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