Electronic line calling pleases Ana

Electronic line calling pleases Ana

Ana is happy about the introduction of electronic line calling, the automated system of officiating known as ‘Hawk-Eye’ that made its debut at the Nasdaq-100 Open in Miami yesterday.

“I had a chance to try it during the Hopman Cup and I liked it,” said Ana. “I think that with the opportunity to ask for a challenge, you just feel that there is less chance that some players can take advantage of bad calling. It’s fairer. I think that the electronic system can be more accurate than the human eye so I am happy about this change.”

The introduction of Hawk-Eye to selected events on the tennis calendar has been heralded as the biggest change to the sport since the tiebreak was introduced in 1970. The device has received overwhelming support from players, including Andre Agassi, Maria Sharapova and Andy Roddick. Their feedback, together with that of other players, fans, media and officials, has prompted the governing bodies to introduce what is known as a Limited Challenge system (see below).

“[We] are confident that the Hawk-eye technology is an accurate and reliable electronic line calling system for competition,” said a joint statement released by the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour, the Association of Tennis Professionals, the United States Tennis Association and the International Tennis Federation.

Hawk-Eye will only be available on a limited number of courts: in Miami only matches on the main stadium court will benefit from the technology.

Here is how Electronic Line Calling works::

RULES

1. Each player or doubles team receives two incorrect challenges per set, plus an additional challenge in a tie-break (unlimited correct challenges). If a player makes two challenges that are incorrect in any given set she will not be able to make any further challenges until the following set or tiebreak.

2. Challenges will not be carried over from one set to another.

3. Challenges can only be made on point-ending shots or when a player stops play.

4. Challenges must be made in a timely manner and stated clearly (“I challenge.”) to the Chair Umpire

5. If for any reason the electronic review system is not functioning properly, the original call will stand.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN WHEN A CHALLENGE IS MADE

1. A player tells the Chair Umpire that she wishes to challenge a call by stating “I challenge.”

2. Once satisfied that a proper challenge has been made, the Chair Umpire will announce “(Player Name) is challenging the call.”

3. The Chair Umpire will then radio the Review Official and confirm that a shot has been challenged.

4. The result will be shown simultaneously on the in-stadium video board and to television viewers.

5. When the result is shown, the Chair Umpire will announce: “The review showed the ball was good/out”, and will then either call the score or announce “replay the point”.

6. If the challenge was incorrect, the Chair Umpire will announce to the player and the public how many challenges the player has left.

7. If the review is not available for any technical reason, the Chair Umpire will inform the players of this and announce that the “Review is unavailable; the call stands”.

8. Before any tiebreak, the Chair Umpire will announce the number of challenges available to each player

WHAT DOES THE REVIEW OFFICIAL DO?

The Review Official is responsible for overseeing the Electronic Line Calling system to ensure that the rules are followed and the system is operating properly. They are an official designated by the governing body responsible for the match and are located in direct sight of the court with direct communications to the Chair Umpire.

WHAT WILL THE IN-STADIUM VIDEO BOARD SHOW?

It will show all challenged calls, and whether they were IN or OUT

- Once a player challenge is made, the video board will show a graphic stating “Player Challenge” or “Under Review”.
- The Video board will then show the “Official Review” in form of tracking of ball into and out of impact area and the “mark”, indicating whether the ball was IN or OUT.
- The distance of the ball IN or OUT will not be shown in-stadium, but may be shown to TV viewers.
- The Video Board will also show how many Challenges a Player has left.
- The Video Board will NOT show electronic review of any shot that has not be challenged.
- The Video Board will NOT show any replays of “live” action on any controversial or reviewed call.

By Gavin Versi