A decade ago, many would have frowned at the idea of video technology in sport. At that point, it had been successful in a number of sports – including the Hawkeye system in tennis – but football fans (soccer to Americans) remained suspect about the idea of video technology ruining the beautiful game. However, goal-line technology is now almost vital to the success and running of a football match and it’s hard to imagine life without technology in sport – and here’s why.
Ultimately, officials are humans. In the past, referees, umpires, and linesmen have all got decisions wrong. Technology is particularly useful as it takes the decision out of their hands and allows officials to focus primarily on officiating the game. Cast your mind back to Frank Lampard’s “goal” in the 2010 World Cup against Germany – although England went on to lose 4-1, it could have been so different had FIFA implemented technology at an earlier date.
Now, bookmakers such as Coral believe that 2016 looks set to be a big year for tennis betting and punters will feel safe knowing that the Hawkeye technology will be in play at every single major event. Video technology now plays a crucial part in tennis and players are limited to three challenges per set – although you can lose or retain challenge calls depending if you win or lose your original challenge. Tennis is an incredibly quick sport and line judges find it tricky to make split-second decisions to this challenge system. Alongside this the video technology works brilliantly.
Perhaps the best use of video technology though is in rugby. The ‘ref cam’ and ‘video referee’ systems allow the referee to pause the game and allow another official the opportunity to view the incident and check for fouls or tries. This works perfectly and doesn’t hinder the speed or excitement of the sport at all. In fact, it probably helps the excitement as fans are left anticipating whether the decision is going to go for or against their team.
In football, rugby and tennis, video technology is now imperative. There are other sports – cricket and ice hockey – that now also rely heavily on video technology. In the modern era, it is an absolute must and certainly helps to avoid any controversial refereeing decisions. It works in the United Kingdom, it works in the United States, and it works all over the world. Video technology works – and it’s here to stay.
Digital Outreach Agent
Blue Note Marketing