A Hawk-Eye for detail: how accurate is electronic judging in sport?

23 Jul 2012


So when an Olympic gold medal is on the line, it’s no wonder we turn to electronics to help us.

But can we really rely on Hawk-Eye, or some other electronic gadget?

Many sports are now using some kind of electronics to assist in the judgement calls of the officials. In essence, these judgement calls are made as to the position and speed of the players. If the players use a moving object, then it’s also the position and speed of that object. Most commonly, that’s a ball.

The position of the player or object is generally measured relative to a line, such as the finishing line of a foot race, or the baseline of a tennis court. These measurements generally need to be done in a split second, requiring expert judges, or the assistance of electronics. In “tight” cases, these judgements are often wrong – and clearly, we need them to be right.

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Image: Flickr / alexpete

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