SPORTS

Hawk-Eye Ready For Big Decision

The difference between success and failure at top level rugby union can come down to a matter of inches or centimetres. Which is why the organisers of the Rugby World
18 Sep 2015 10:34
Hawk-Eye Ready For Big Decision
The split-screens allow the TMO to see incidents instantly and from many angles.

The difference between success and failure at top level rugby union can come down to a matter of inches or centimetres.

Which is why the organisers of the Rugby World Cup 2015 – which starts on Friday – are using the latest technology to make sure match officials can not only make the correct decisions, but can also do so speedily for the benefit of players and fans.

Rugby authorities believe the use of the Hawk-Eye system will ensure that rather than controversy, rugby followers and the 20 participating teams will instead be discussing only the action and excitement over the next six weeks of the tournament.

And, not only will the video system improve decision-making by the television match official (TMO) but it will also assist with player safety.

“There are multiple benefits from our point of view in using Hawk-Eye,” Alan Gilpin, head of Rugby World Cup at international governing body World Rugby, tells the BBC.

“We started looking at technology about 18 months ago – at that point focusing on match officiating, and asking how could we enhance the match officials’ decision making with technology.”

 

‘Really significant’

He says that as they went through testing with Hawk-Eye, in Pro 12 Rugby (formerly the Celtic League), at the Under-20 World Championship, and in selected international matches, a lot of other benefits emerged, including player welfare.

“We quite quickly realised that actually this video replay technology – from an identification and management of concussion in particular – could be really significant.

“We are using it very significantly in the head injury assessment process, in the identification and management of concussion.”

The system – delivered by Hawk-Eye “Smart Replay” technology – allows the TMO official monitoring the footage in a special video van, to have access to simultaneous and synchronised multiple-angle replays, in real-time and in slow motion. It also allows the official to zoom digitally in on any camera shots they want to see in more detail.

Previously the TMO had to ask the TV producer of the host broadcaster to painstakingly rewind back through various camera shots. World Rugby says that seeing an incident simultaneously from all broadcast angles makes for thorough and effective decision making. The Hawk-Eye content is made available immediately to match officials, coaches, as well as team and stadium medical staff.

Injured players can be shown footage to explain to them why they are not being allowed to return to the field of play.

Fiji Sun Instagram
Fiji Plus
Subscribe-to-Newspaper