Dynamic LED Floors Now Rugged Enough To Use As Elite-Level Basketball Courts

May 31, 2022 by Dave Haynes

The opening and closing ceremonies earlier this year of the Beijing Olympics included the use of an LED floor system that turned the stadium surface into an active canvas, without needing to wrestle with the brightness and shadow challenges presented by projectors.

It was reasonable to think the use of the technology was a hint of things to come, and now there’s word that LED floors have been OK’d for use for the global body governing basketball. The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) will allow elite level tournaments – like the Basketball World Cup – to be played on LED glass courts that can do everything from mark lines to running full-motion, full-color graphics packages for things like sponsorships activations.

FIBA says these glass LED floors now have the health safety properties – like grip and bounce – to compare favorably with traditional wood floors. FIBA gas given its OK for the use in tournaments of products made by a German firm, ASB MultiSports. The company has a base version that just marks out likes, which would be handy in venues with courts that have different lines for different sports, such basketball versus volleyball. Then there is a full video version that can everything from training applications to advertising. The latter can also run live, in-game stats visible to the crowd in the arena, but also on broadcasts.

The company has live installations in Germany.

“We see FIBA as the global organisation to move basketball forward,ASB CEO Christof Babinsky told Sports Pro Media. “For this, we have a joint vision. We have developed a no-compromise sports floor with, firstly, the athlete in mind. The GlassFloor features ceramic dots for grip, that provide completely equal levels of control across the surface without causing skin burn when falling as well as higher elasticity at equal ball rebound.

It’s interesting to see a practical, high opportunity use-case for LED floor displays. Dance floors that light up have been around since Saturday Night Fever, but the ideas for what to do with LED floors have not, generally, gone much beyond that or eye-candy tricks like virtual fish ponds. I could imagine this sort of thing having a life, as well, in steadily changeable environments life event and conference facilities.

The more simple lines version is also interesting from a pragmatic point of view. Multi-purpose sports floors might have to support lines for numerous sports, making it hard to sort out if something or someone went out of bounds, because which line is which??? If the floor could be programmed to show basketball lines for a two-hour window, and then cut over to volleyball or badminton with a couple of mouse clicks, that’s kind of awesome.

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