The makers of Hawkeye have entered into some sort of an agreement with the EPL to develop a system to ascertain whether a ball has crossed the goal-line or not.

While some level of technology might be helpful for these situations I don’t think Hawkeye is the answer:

  1. It’s owned by a commercial organisation - it’s a product and therefore part of the rulings on the game are being outsourced to a profit-seeking company.
  2. It’s nowhere near instantaneous enough to be used. It works in cricket because there’s a stoppage between every ball. Cricket is a little more awkward but with the volume of points it’s handy enough to have the odd point replayed. In soccer you can’t just stop the game and wait for Hawkeye to make up its mind.
  3. It was clearly wrong in Wimbledon yesterday when a Nadal shot was long and Hawkeye said it was in. Infuriating for Federer who had clearly seen the ball miss the line but you can’t overrule technology.
  4. It has been wrong plenty of times in cricket

Premier League in Hawk-Eye trials

The Premier League is to test a Hawk-Eye system, which will determine if a ball crosses the goal-line or not, with a view to using it in matches.

Paul Hawkins invented a system that is used for key decisions in tennis and the ball-tracking device will be tried out at Reading’s academy.

Hawkins told BBC Five Live Sport: "We have a contract with the Premier League to develop a system.

"It is purely for the referees and not for television.

He added: "The process is to be evaluated firstly by the Premier League and then Fifa.

“If we jump those hurdles then there will be a slow role of trialling it in matches and, hopefully, with the end game of it being in all the Premier League grounds.”

It took a couple of years in tennis from the start of tests to it being used and we can probably expect the same timeframe (for football)

Hawk-Eye can currently be seen in action at Wimbledon, where it is being used to judge if a ball is in or out.

The system is also used in cricket as a commentary aid to determine if a delivery would have hit the stumps in lbw decisions, but this is not available for umpires to call upon.

Hawkins expects football to adopt his invention in two years’ time, if the testing process proves successful.

He added: "It will be tested next month and the process will evolve from there.

“It took a couple of years in tennis from the start of tests to it being used and we can probably expect the same timeframe.”

The International Football Association Board (IFAB) gave the go-ahead for the development of goal-line technology in March after a Premier League presentation.

But the IFAB ruled that the technology could only be used for goal-line decisions and it would have to be 100% accurate, be instantaneous and only be available to officials.

  1. Dont see a problem with the first point myself.

  2. Its only going to be used for goal line decisions so also dont see a problem here.

  3. Didnt see that. How did you know it was wrong? Did the tv reply show that it was? Also from stidying computers they are nowhere near as accurate as people believe. For example the analysis of fingure print and iris technology is deeply flawed on a computer level and they are bringing these systems into airports.

The main problem i would see with this is how would it ascertain whether the ball is over the line in the air. Sometimes the spin on the ball could mean that it is over the line in the air but as it comes down it could just tip the line and give the appearance that it was never a goal.

Does anyone know how it works?

How it works: It works by measuring the trajectory of the ball and then calculating the spin etc. It obviously needs to be accurate in measuring the flight and spin of the ball for cricket so I don’t think that’s an issue. There is a series of cameras that maps out the relevant area and calculates where the ball would end up and the actual path it has travelled.

  1. The problem with the first point is that football becomes overly reliant on a single company to tell us whether a goal is legitimate or not. Nobody watching the game understands the technology, it is virtual so it’s not like just using television and therefore we are relying on what people tell us about the accuracy of the system. It’s a bit like electronic voting in that the process is not readily transparent or understandable for the man on the street.

How do we know the technology hasn’t been tampered with? When it’s just reliance on the word of a company who are going to tell it’s 100% accurate beacuse they’re trying to sell it then I think it’s dangerous.

  1. The problem is that play will continue presumably while somebody in a studio somewhere looks at the hawkeye replay (that takes about 20 seconds) and then decides whether to award a goal or not. Does play continue or does everyone stop and wait? And who decides if it’s close enough to go to Hawkeye?

  2. You knew it was wrong because you could see the ball being out on tv. From the live play Nadal hit a shot that went near the end line, it was ruled out and Nadal appealed. The reverse angle (at the Federer end of the court) showed that Nadal’s shot was long. Meanwhile Hawkeye concluded it had clipped the line.

Federer had clearly seen that the ball was long so he argued the point with the umpire and the umpire obviously couldn’t overrule this expensive technology that they’d bought. So the tv showed it to be out, the line judge said it was out, Federer who was standing a foot away saw that it was out. Nadal at the other end of the court queried it and Hawkeye disagreed with the tv. So a virtual system overruled reality.

There was an instance in cricket before where Ian Bell was bowled clean - the ball struck the top of the off stump and removed the bails. At the end of the over there was a review of all 6 deliveries on Hawkeye just to show the accuracy of the bowling and the ball that hit the stumps missed it on Hawkeye.

So it can be wrong. And, like you, I think that’s a huge problem.