Keyboard, Meet Scoreboard: The Wide Web of Sports
by Kit Waskom for Digital Living Today

Just because you're an Internet junkie doesn't mean that you're not active, and it certainly doesn't mean that you're not a serious sports fan. In fact, the sports industry is currently one of the most exciting areas of the Web, with a host of sites popping up that cater to fans and athletes alike, covering sports of every description, from the mainstream to the obscure.

For comprehensive and thorough, if a little traditional, sporting news, it’s hard to beat the sites put together by ESPN Internet Ventures (NBA, NHL, Nascar, Games, ABC Sports.) They might not be the most exciting or innovative sites in terms of content, but they are easy to navigate and chock full of hardcore sporting news. Plus, it looks like ESPN has some interesting plans up its sleeve for future new media endeavors.

Sometimes the unofficial sites are the coolest…and that’s certainly the case with Formula 1. Dedicated to Formula One racing, this site focuses on the US races associated with this primarily European sport, offering fans access to tons of print information — as well as all the video footage a race fanatic could want.

Golf is one sport that the digerati often actually play themselves, and the PGA site caters to the active golf crowd. With bells and whistles including a stock ticker, free email, a virtual golf game designed by IBM, and a local weather search, the PGA knows its audience and aims to please it.

Without a huge fan base or any effective way to film and broadcast regattas, sailing fans have had to make do for years with minimal TV and print coverage of their beloved sport. With the power of the Web, the International Sailing Federation () has forged ahead with an impressive site that provides both information about the sport and access to individual regatta sites that track races in real time, giving fans the access they’ve long been lacking. A word of warning: this site is not for the faint of hardware…accessing the really good stuff can be very time-consuming.

Whether you’re an armchair quarterback or an active weekend athlete, the Web has lots to offer. And as broadband is more widely available, what comes next should be very exciting. 24/7 Strongman Competition footage, anyone?

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