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post #1 of 81 (permalink) Old 01-25-2009, 11:49 AM Thread Starter
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Hawk-Eye doubts emerge.

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Hawk-Eye questions emerge at Open

More questions over the accuracy of the Hawk-Eye electronic line-calling system arose on Sunday at a vital stage of a match at the Australian Open.

The system which simulates ball flight to determine close calls was unable to offer an opinion on a line call during Sunday's quarter-final between Roger Federer and Tomas Berdych.

As a result, the call had to stand.

An angry Berdych questioned the chair umpire over the apparent failure of the system to show a simulation of a ball called out early in the fourth set.

He was told that officials had ruled the original call of "out" would be upheld.

"I don't care about officials, I just want to see my ball," he told the umpire.

The Hawk-Eye simulator is believed to have failed to make the call due to the heavy shadow over the line in question.

The incident raises doubts over the efficiency of a system that can be affected by such vagaries, but is still called on to make decisions which come down to a matter of millimetres.

Federer, a long-time opponent of the system, said the incident had only confirmed his doubts.

"I think it's horrible," he said.

Berdych became a convert to the anti Hawk-Eye push, saying it shouldn't be used if it isn't perfect.

"Why it should be on the courts if it isn't working," he said.

"It should be working all the time."

The International Tennis Federation said Hawk-Eye met their margin-of-error parameters which were 5mm either way.

In the face of earlier questions on the accuracy of the system, Hawk-Eye's developer Dr Paul Hawkins said it had been extensively tested and was yet to have been shown to make a mistake.

"It has undergone thousands of tests and it got every one right," Dr Hawkins said.

"ITF decided that 5mm was an acceptable margin of error and Hawk-Eye's level of accuracy is well under that."

Hawk-Eye is said to have a margin of error of 3.6mm.

The ITF's head of science and technology, Stuart Miller, said he remained satisfied the technology operated within acceptable standards.

"On no occasion have we said that this technology is perfect," Miller said.

Nevertheless, he said the system's reconstructions were only a best guess of what happened and that to fully explain such concepts would only confuse the public.

"All you would be doing would be to create something for people to argue about," Miller said.

"That would make the whole system more complex and lead to more disputes than it resolves."
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post #2 of 81 (permalink) Old 01-25-2009, 11:59 AM
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Re: Hawk-Eye doubts emerge.

Not sure why so many people seem to think that this is the first time it has happened. It has happened on a number of occasions during Master Series events.

No point in getting rid of it. Why get rid of technology that removes human error and gets the fans involved? If it doesn't work occasionally, what are they moaning about? If it doesn't work, they revert back to traditional rules and the original call stands. And if a player, like Federer, is so against it they shouldn't use it.

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post #3 of 81 (permalink) Old 01-25-2009, 12:07 PM
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Re: Hawk-Eye doubts emerge.

Funny how people seem to think that if Hawkeye makes a one-millimeter mistake in a thousand calls it shouldn't be used, while the players constantly challenges calls 5-10 centimeters out or in.
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post #4 of 81 (permalink) Old 01-25-2009, 12:13 PM
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Re: Hawk-Eye doubts emerge.

Hawk-Eye is useless.

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post #5 of 81 (permalink) Old 01-25-2009, 12:16 PM
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Re: Hawk-Eye doubts emerge.

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Hawk-Eye is useless.
Care to give some evidence?
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post #6 of 81 (permalink) Old 01-25-2009, 12:25 PM
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Re: Hawk-Eye doubts emerge.

One argument you can make is that no publicly validated study has been done on the accuracy of Hawkeye with the use of TV cameras/close-ups to see how accurate Hawkeye is. In fact TV camera close-ups of balls near the lines have been aggressively prohibited in guidelines the TV directors since the introduction of Hawkeye. Instead the internal studies of the Hawkeye company have been taken as conclusive evidence on the accuracy and error margins.

I am not saying it isn't accurate or useful, just that there has been a push and strategy to avoid criticism or make it difficult to verify the accuracy for anyone on the outside.


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post #7 of 81 (permalink) Old 01-25-2009, 12:27 PM
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Re: Hawk-Eye doubts emerge.

I like the system, it prevents further fighting over the line call and the game can move on
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post #8 of 81 (permalink) Old 01-25-2009, 12:28 PM
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Re: Hawk-Eye doubts emerge.

I'd rather take the computer over human error any day.
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post #9 of 81 (permalink) Old 01-25-2009, 12:28 PM
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Re: Hawk-Eye doubts emerge.

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Originally Posted by Nidhogg View Post
Funny how people seem to think that if Hawkeye makes a one-millimeter mistake in a thousand calls it shouldn't be used, while the players constantly challenges calls 5-10 centimeters out or in.
Humans making mistakes is typical behavior, computers do what they're programmed to do. The computer doesn't magically know if a call was correct or not, it relies on input from various sources and still operates within a margin of error. The major problem with this system, in my opinion, is that you never see the computer determine that a call falls within that margin of error and cannot be determined. Since I know there must be one, it's obvious that they're letting the system make a guess.


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post #10 of 81 (permalink) Old 01-25-2009, 12:30 PM
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Re: Hawk-Eye doubts emerge.

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Originally Posted by TankingTheSet View Post
One argument you can make is that no publicly validated study has been done on the accuracy of Hawkeye with the use of TV cameras/close-ups to see how accurate Hawkeye is. In fact TV camera close-ups of balls near the lines have been aggressively prohibited in guidelines the TV directors since the introduction of Hawkeye. Instead the internal studies of the Hawkeye company have been taken as conclusive evidence on the accuracy and error margins.

I am not saying it isn't accurate or useful, just that there has been a push and strategy to avoid criticism or make it difficult to verify the accuracy for anyone on the outside.
They wouldn't have adopted the system if there was no real evidence of its accuracy. I doubt the ATP employed it based on the word of the Hawkeye company.

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post #11 of 81 (permalink) Old 01-25-2009, 12:31 PM
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Re: Hawk-Eye doubts emerge.

Computer > Human 24/7/365. I'd take it any day. Simple as that.

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post #12 of 81 (permalink) Old 01-25-2009, 12:33 PM
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Re: Hawk-Eye doubts emerge.

I might be biased because I work in software, but I'll take the Hawkeye software which is very targeted over faulty human eyes. Half the time those linespeople are incompetent. I bet half of McEnroe's tantrums could have been avoided with Hawkeye.
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post #13 of 81 (permalink) Old 01-25-2009, 12:34 PM
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Re: Hawk-Eye doubts emerge.

It's amazing, but since Hawkeye came into use no one realised just how often officials get it wrong. It's scary to think of how many injustices could have been prevented in some of the biggest matches in history.

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post #14 of 81 (permalink) Old 01-25-2009, 12:35 PM
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Re: Hawk-Eye doubts emerge.

Even if it's nowhere near as accurate as claimed, it'll still be less error prone than human judges.
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post #15 of 81 (permalink) Old 01-25-2009, 12:44 PM
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Re: Hawk-Eye doubts emerge.

at least there won't be any idiots continuing to rage at the umpire when their shot is obviously out ...

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