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SBD Global/October 8, 2013/International Football

Hawk-Eye Technology Involved In Two-Year Video Refereeing Trial In Dutch Division

The company that came up with the Hawk-Eye system to settle line calls in tennis "is involved in a trial of video refereeing that could end many of the disputes" that give football a bad name, according to Keith Weir of REUTERS. A two-year trial "being carried out with little fanfare in the top Dutch division is the latest project to involve Hawk-Eye." The technology is designed to address an issue faced by many televised sports, "where instant replays and social media allow armchair fans to spot errors seconds after they have been made by officials with only their own instant judgment and perhaps an impaired view to rely on." The work of Hawk-Eye, bought by Sony in '11, and rivals such as Germany's GoalControl "enables sports to get more of those decisions right, creating a business opportunity and fuelling a debate about whether review technology slows down the game too much." Paul Hawkins, who developed and gave his name to a system to complement TV coverage of cricket in the '90s and remains a director of the company, "wants to end that debate." Hawkins: "Sport at the top level is about fine margins. You can't have something that only gets rid of the howler [blatant error] and doesn't help with the close calls." Hawk-Eye is now working with Dutch football authorities to take technology in football a step further "with a full-blown trial of video refereeing." Hawk-Eye "aims to reduce the reliance on TV broadcast output to come up with quicker and clearer answers." Its Officiating Replay System "allows an extra referee to quickly monitor multiple TV feeds from the broadcaster before they are aired, to review contentious calls to, say, award a penalty kick or disallow a goal for offside (REUTERS, 10/7).

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