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July 20, 2019 - CHAPTER 9 - A Day at the Ballpark: Sports in 2019 
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Post July 20, 2019 - CHAPTER 9 - A Day at the Ballpark: Sports in 2019
This chapter begins with an overview of the upcoming 2019 World Series. In Clarke's future, ballparks are adjustable (outfield fences can be moved, astroturf can be hardened or softened), and the players have benefited from medical advances. Computers have analyzed and helped correct athletes' weaknesses, and surgical procedures have prolonged their careers.

Clarke says sports will be very different in 2019, but still recognizable. He says that pro basketball players in will average 7'3" in height, 6" taller than when he wrote the book in 1986. I looked this up and the average height of an NBA player today is 6'7".

Moving on, new materials will revolutionize games like tennis (racquets) and baseball (bats). Skin-tight lycra will replace many uniforms, and athletes will custom design their own shoes. How true the shoe thing has become. Injury prevention in contact sports will become a major focus, and again, new materials and computer design will help revolutionize safety gear.

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Physical conditioning will become more important, especially in pro sports. Teams of medical specialists will analyze how the individual athlete does things and then recommend training regimens, diets and so forth. Biomechanics will become an important field. Computers will help analyze musculoskeletal performance and recommend changes.

And then there are the drugs that will help to enhance performance. Trainers will be able to take readings on the sidelines and inject needed nutrients into specific muscles. Work on poisonous "free radicals" will help slow the aging process in athletes, allowing them to play longer.

Electrical stimulation of muscles will play a part in sports, as will the adjustment of brain wave patterns. A winning pattern will be identified for each athlete, and when his or her mind strays from that pattern an alarm will sound. The pattern will be adjusted.

Clarke winds up the chapter by saying that the superbly conditioned athletes of the future will grow tired of their single sport, and they'll branch out into others. A triathalon approach will lead to athletes participating in three hours of baseball, followed by three hours of football, and then three hours of basketball. But even those challenges won't be enough for the athletes, and space games will be developed for them. Clarke says that "spaceminton" will be popular, as will the Space Cup. In that one the competitors will race around the moon using solar sails.


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