Did Roland Garros reveal the invalidity of ESPN's ShotSpot? - MensTennisForums.com

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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-10-2004, 09:51 PM Thread Starter
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Did Roland Garros reveal the invalidity of ESPN's ShotSpot?

I meant to post this earlier, but I forgot. I noticed during Roland Garros that many of the marks shown on ESPN's ShotSpot (computer simulation) did not agree with the calls of the umpires after manually checking the mark on the clay. At first I thought ShotSpot was right and that the marks on the court weren't as clear as on the computer. However, I watched the doubles semifinal between the Bryans and Llodra/Santoro and there was an out call on an ace that all four players and the umpire disagreed with after checking the mark and they determined that the point undoubtedly belonged to the servers; but, ShotSpot said it was out. At this point I started thinking that maybe ShotSpot simply isn't as accurate as we all want to believe and that it makes mistakes just like linesmen do. So if ShotSpot is going to take over and be installed at all tournaments, as many ESPN commentators are suggesting, maybe they need to test its accuracy. This lack of "agreement" between the real marks and ShotSpot has definitely increased the doubt in my mind.

Any thoughts from other ESPN viewers?

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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-10-2004, 09:58 PM
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Re: Did Roland Garros reveal the invalidity of ESPN's ShotSpot?

I think there is doubt in the size of the mark the ball makes when you see it on Shotspot. When umpires and players look at the mark manually, it's like a small crater formed on the clay. However, Shotspot makes the mark look larger than it is. I don't know which is correct. Obviously, this only has merit on claycourts.
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-10-2004, 10:50 PM
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Re: Did Roland Garros reveal the invalidity of ESPN's ShotSpot?

Of course it's not perfect...

They're acting like if their technology is 100% accurate, but it can't be. It's just a computer algorithm, there has to be a margin of error.
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-10-2004, 10:59 PM
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Re: Did Roland Garros reveal the invalidity of ESPN's ShotSpot?

I remembered once that PMac said ShotSpot didn't work well on clay during a broadcast. I could not remember the reason though.
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-10-2004, 11:02 PM
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Re: Did Roland Garros reveal the invalidity of ESPN's ShotSpot?

The reason they gave for it not being perfect was the clay bouncing up when the ball hit the ground. I guess the clay interfered with the camera's ability to detrimine where that mark was
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-10-2004, 11:06 PM
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Re: Did Roland Garros reveal the invalidity of ESPN's ShotSpot?

Could someone explain how ShotSpot works? I've always been wondering this.
Are their sensors in the ball? sensors near the line? A super high tech panoramic camera?
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-10-2004, 11:18 PM
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Re: Did Roland Garros reveal the invalidity of ESPN's ShotSpot?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tall_one
The reason they gave for it not being perfect was the clay bouncing up when the ball hit the ground. I guess the clay interfered with the camera's ability to detrimine where that mark was
I suppose this makes sense in theory but they'd have to prove it further for it to be adopted in tournament play, IMO.

On the other hand, there are some matches (womens AO final this year comes to mind) that realistically might've come out differently if it weren't for several REALLY blatantly bad calls, so it's hard to say. Even if Shot Spot isn't perfect but is better than just human eye, I'm all for it.

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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-11-2004, 12:15 AM
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Re: Did Roland Garros reveal the invalidity of ESPN's ShotSpot?

Shot Spot has many different cameras on one line and a computer uses these images to show where the ball landed. They say it's up to 1/10 of a millimeter accurate, but nothing is fullproof...

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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-11-2004, 12:31 AM
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Re: Did Roland Garros reveal the invalidity of ESPN's ShotSpot?

Only Mac Cam is accurate.
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-11-2004, 12:47 AM
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Re: Did Roland Garros reveal the invalidity of ESPN's ShotSpot?

Erm, ShotSpot was really, really wrong before once and they announced it on American TV..that the ball was so out and umpire was wrong, before discovering that ShotSpot was flawed. They reaally hurt an umpire's feeling. So they apologized on TV about it.

But I heard them say that they had taken extra pains to fix it, and that sometimes on a clay court, the ball slides, so the mark is a little bit off where it should be, so ShotSpot catches that. I remember during the Moya-Coria match, there were at least six or seven balls of Moya's that ShotSpot called in, but that were given to Coria.(hahaha, and I'm not complaining about Coria's luck. Moya just tends to go for more I guess.... )
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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-11-2004, 12:50 AM
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Re: Did Roland Garros reveal the invalidity of ESPN's ShotSpot?

I believe that "really wrong before once" was at Cincinatti last year
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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-11-2004, 04:16 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Did Roland Garros reveal the invalidity of ESPN's ShotSpot?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tennis Fool
Only Mac Cam is accurate.
But it's not very good at showing exactly where the ball lands.

Anyway, thanks for all the responses!

/ / / /
Djokovic.
\ \ \ \
Coric.
/ / / / /
Youzhny.
\ \ \ \
Del Potro.
/ / / /
Paire.
\ \ \ \
Ferrero.
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-11-2004, 07:36 AM
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Re: Did Roland Garros reveal the invalidity of ESPN's ShotSpot?

Leo, you don't have to worry about ShotSpot taking over. It's far too expensive to be afforded by smaller tournaments.

Secondly, this is almost never mentioned, but THERE IS MARGIN FOR ERROR IN SHOTSPOT'S CALCULATIONS. They act as if it's infallible, but it's most certainly not. On any really close ball, always know that ShotSpot (and any of its clones) cannot give you the correct answer.
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-11-2004, 02:23 PM
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Re: Did Roland Garros reveal the invalidity of ESPN's ShotSpot?

Its not just ESPN's, they have the same thing on other networks too, but with different names. It is not like ESPN owns it.
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-11-2004, 02:32 PM
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Re: Did Roland Garros reveal the invalidity of ESPN's ShotSpot?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Experimentee
Its not just ESPN's, they have the same thing on other networks too, but with different names. It is not like ESPN owns it.
Well, in the context he used it, the sentence is correct. "ESPN's ShotSpot" can refer to both the technology and the name, no? And the name was coined by ESPN, right?
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