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

Did Roland Garros reveal the invalidity of ESPN's ShotSpot?

Leo
06-10-2004, 09:51 PM
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?

i love paradorn
06-10-2004, 09:58 PM
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.

SanTaureau Fan
06-10-2004, 10:50 PM
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.

Lee
06-10-2004, 10:59 PM
I remembered once that PMac said ShotSpot didn't work well on clay during a broadcast. I could not remember the reason though.

tall_one
06-10-2004, 11:02 PM
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

Ballbuster
06-10-2004, 11:06 PM
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?

Deboogle!.
06-10-2004, 11:18 PM
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.

ktwtennis
06-11-2004, 12:15 AM
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...

Tennis Fool
06-11-2004, 12:31 AM
Only Mac Cam is accurate.

liptea
06-11-2004, 12:47 AM
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.... ;) )

Ballbuster
06-11-2004, 12:50 AM
I believe that "really wrong before once" was at Cincinatti last year

Leo
06-11-2004, 04:16 AM
Only Mac Cam is accurate.

But it's not very good at showing exactly where the ball lands.

Anyway, thanks for all the responses! :)

CarnivalCarnage
06-11-2004, 07:36 AM
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.

Experimentee
06-11-2004, 02:23 PM
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.

CarnivalCarnage
06-11-2004, 02:32 PM
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?

Experimentee
06-11-2004, 02:35 PM
Sorry just being picky ;)
It depends which way it was meant. ESPN owns the name but not the actual technology.

jenglisbe
06-11-2004, 02:59 PM
ShotSpot has a margin of error of a few millimeters or something, but ball marks aren't exactly perfect, either. What I mean is, only part of the tennis ball actually hits the court (and leaves a mark), but if any part of the ball covers the line, the ball is in...right? So part of the ball could be in, but wouldn't be part of the mark. Does that make sense?

CarnivalCarnage
06-11-2004, 03:56 PM
ESPN owns the name but not the actual technology.

Damn right.

Leo
06-11-2004, 03:58 PM
Leo, you don't have to worry about ShotSpot taking over. It's far too expensive to be afforded by smaller tournaments.

I was talking more about the Grand Slams. I know not all tournaments would be able to provide this technology.

CarnivalCarnage
06-11-2004, 04:00 PM
I was talking more about the Grand Slams. I know not all tournaments would be able to provide this technology.

I doubt that will happen either. The majors realize the fallibility of it.

Leo
06-11-2004, 04:01 PM
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.

Yeah, but I just used the name ShotSpot because a) that's the original and b) it was on ESPN that I saw noticed the problem.

Leo
06-11-2004, 04:02 PM
I doubt that will happen either. The majors realize the fallibility of it.

Everything is going digital these days so I wouldn't be surprised if this eventually happened.

bobcat
06-11-2004, 05:52 PM
IMO, it doesn't have to be 100% perfectly accurate for it to be valid. The lines referees are far from 100% accurate but the players agree to use them and go by their calls. So if the players decide they want to use the Shotspot then that's all that matters. I think as long as the technology is shown to be consistent and fair then it will probably be used in the future.