With Technology improving on a daily basis and new tools emerging almost daily, technology is now at the heart of everything. Be it the in news LIGO observatory in USA that was successful in finding the Gravitational Waves after Einstein’s prediction over 100 years ago or be it the device you are using to read this post, technology has evolved like never before. One of the best uses of technology has been done in the field of sports. Modern day sports are utilizing the technology to ensure fairness of the game and making it easy for the players, officials and the viewers as well. One of the most widely used tool in most of the sports today is the Hawk Eye and has had a huge impact on sports.
Hawk Eye is a technological wonder use officially in various sports such as Cricket, Tennis, Football and Badminton to name a few. The technology is used to visually track the trajectory of the ball and predict its path. Developed in early 2000s, Hawk Eye was first officially implemented in Cricket. It’s a complex system where about 5-6 special cameras are placed at strategically important location in the stadiums to track the ball. Hawk Eye is has an accuracy of +/- 5 mm and is generally trusted. The system is having a huge impact on the sport as it helps the umpire and the viewers to see how the ball would have traveled after an impact, thus making it very useful in cases of LBW decisions which is based on the following criteria:
- Where the ball pitches
- Impact on the leg of the batsman
- Project path of the ball after hitting the batsman
In Tennis, Hawk Eye made its debut in 2004 US Open where Serena Williams was at the losing end because of 3 wrong calls. It was removed with immediate effect but was back in business in 2005 when it was tested and approved by the International Tennis Federation. It is now a part of majority of major Tennis tournaments including the Australian Open, Wimbledon, US Open and the French Open. Hawk Eye is used to help player challenge line calls. In most of the Grand Slams including the Australian Open, a player is given 2 incorrect challenges per set. And certainly these 2 calls can have a huge impact on the outcome on the game.
Even though the technology is being used widely in sports, getting here wasn’t easy for Hawk Eye.In its initial days it faced a lot of criticism not only from players but the officials too. Great Tennis player Rafael Nadal had challenged the system saying that if hawk-eye was used on a clay court, it would have been wrong. Well if the king of clay court is saying this, we have to agree to him.
Hawk-eye is the perfect example that shows how Technology can be seamlessly integrated with anything – sports in this case. It has such an impact that it has made the lives of the umpires and players easy along side making it more exciting for the TV viewers !