"What on earth?" - Fans confused after seeing picture of Six Nations balls being charged up - Ruck

“What on earth?” – Fans confused after seeing picture of Six Nations balls being charged up

The 2024 Six Nations is fast approaching, so here’s a rundown of the little changes that are coming to the tournament this year.

RUCK’s 2024 Guinness Six Nations content powered by ISUZU.

Smart ball

Fans have been left extremely confused after seeing an image of Six Nations balls being charged up before the opening game this weekend.

The Smartphone changed the landscape of the world forever and it now seems the introduction of the Smart Ball could have the same effect on rugby.

Each rechargeable ball, in a phenomenal feat of engineering, contains a micro-tracking chip within which does not affect performance or flight, and communicates up to 20 times per second via radio frequency technology with 10 beacons placed around the stadium.


The net result is that, after five years and thousands of hours of research, trialling and development, the artificially intelligent Smart Ball can instantly track, in real time and 3D, ball location and movement within centimetres, and is even able to instantly differentiate the type of kick made, be it a box-kick, tactical kick, kick to touch, kick for goal or grubber kick.

It can then provide information such as distance, hang-time, speed and spin within milliseconds, meaning the endpoint of a kick or the length of time it hung in the air is provided upon the ball’s landing, wirelessly, with no delay.

Watching fans are thus afforded access to the distance, speed, gain and effectiveness of kicks or passes within seconds on broadcast. ‘Reload time’ can show which players have the quickest hands, for example.