The Babolat Play Pure Drive, An Industry Game-Changer
Ever wonder how hard you hit a tennis ball or how much spin you generate? Now, after 10 years of tweaking, the December launch of the Babolat Play means never having to speculate. As the world’s first connected racquet, tennis players will receive hard data about their game.
“Sharing and comparing experiences through digital tools is becoming the new normal,” said Eric Babolat, president and CEO. “We’re adding concrete information to the sensations players receive. I believe that in the near future, all tennis racquets will be connected.”
Without changing the specs of the racquet, Babolat integrated sensors in the handle of the racquet. The Babolat Play Pure Drive has the same physical specifications as a regular Babolat Pure Drive racquet: 100-square-inch head size, 10.6-ounce balance, 320-millimeter/7-point HL and a 1-5 grip. The Babolat Play retails for $399.99. To find an authorized dealer, visit babolat.com or babolatplay. com.
How It Works
- Sensors integrated into the handle of the racquet document a player’s game.
- Babolat Play collects data like shot power and ball impact location (sweet spot) along with number of strokes (forehand, backhand, serve, smash), spin level, total and effective play time, endurance, technique, consistency, energy and rallies.
- When the athlete is finished playing, information is transmitted through a Bluetooth connection with a smartphone or from a USB to a computer and is viewable on any type of device (including tablets).
- Players can share information with the Babolat Play community through a dedicated platform at Babolatplay.com and on a Babolat Play App.
TECHNOLOGY AND ITF RULE CHANGE
The International Tennis Federation (ITF) recently amended the Rules of Tennis to permit the use of “Player Analysis Technology” during play, a rule that will be included in the 2014 edition of the Rules of Tennis as Rule No. 31.
Player Analysis Technology includes any equipment that collects, stores, transmits, analyzes or communicates information on player performance and may be a stand-alone device or incorporated within existing equipment.
The Babolat Play Pure Drive, a new racquet that gathers data about the player’s game, including shot power, ball impact location, and spin level. Eric Babolat says they have been working closely with the ITF to respect the rules of tennis.
“The ITF does not often modify the rules of tennis – this is only the 31st rule. So, we know this is an important moment in tennis – a sign of the times, for sure,” says Babolat.
While the ITF says players may use Player Analysis Technology during play, the athlete, however, cannot access that data until the match has been completed because the information constitutes coaching under the Rules of Tennis.