NBA Is Considering the Wearing of Wearables During the Games

A few months ago, we reported why Wearables are forbidden in the National Basketball Association, better known as the NBA. The debate about the ban was sparked by Matthew Dellavedova, a Cleveland Cavaliers player. In the match against the Brooklyn Nets, he was forbidden to wear a wearable named “Whoop” – but he always wore it at the wrist. Since then, it has been discussed why wearables are not allowed in the games, because professional sportsmen use them anyway. Until now, it looked as if the general ban would not change, which is justified by the increased risk of injury and the fear of a “flooding” of the Wearables in the NBA.

Now a newly formed committee, consisting of league officials and representatives of the game trade union, brings a new impetus into the matter. It is to advise on whether and what kind of wearable might be allowed, what data may be recorded and how they are used. In addition, economic benefits also play a role.


There is indeed a good reason to wear the wearables at the games. Also Will Ahmed, CEO of the manufacturer Whoop, commented after the discussion by Dellavedova had come into voyage. In his opinion, the players had to be given the opportunity to record certain data, especially during the games in which physically everything is required by the athletes. “Take the chance for players to improve without doping,” says Ahmed. In fact, studies have shown that wearing Whoop improves sleep patterns, reduces stress levels, heart rate fluctuations, and reduces the risk of injury.

Unlike in the NBA, so far at least a wearable named “motus” is allowed in the Major League Baseball (MBL). CEO Will Ahmed is currently awaiting a chance to establish Whoop in a further professional sports field. Thus, the company was allowed to conduct a study with 230 athletes, who so far are not playing in the MBL, but in the lower leagues. Whoop measures the heart rate (fluctuations), the temperature, movements and skin reactions in the players and provides information about the relationship between physical condition and performance. According to Ahmed, the study confirmed the need for continuous tracking in professional sports, even during the games, to guarantee the health and safety of the players.

It seems that the NBA has now also realized the potential of wearables for professional sportsmen. The outcome of the committee, however, remains to be seen. But why forbid a simple, non-chemical method that can permanently improve the health, safety, efficiency and performance of an athlete?