If you have watched any of the just-started Australian Open, you may have noticed something different …. There are ZERO lines people on the court! Every court is equipped with a HawkEye type system (maybe the actual brand) and it makes every line call. Is that better or worse than the “traditional” system?
Covid or Inevitable?
The tournament said that it made the change to reduce the number of people on the court at one time. Now it will only be the players, chair, and ball kids. But In my opinion, this was going to be the future … sooner or later. And, here are a couple of reasons I like it ….
- On all calls, an automated voice will call OUT; so if the player disagrees, who are they going to argue with? The machine?
- And there are no longer three challenges allocated per set; so players can’t either waste time on a frivolous challenge, or worry about being penalized for having run out of challenges and being “cheated.”
- The system will even be calling frequently disputed/debated foot faults (I can’t wait to see that reaction from the server!)
“But I want to see it!”
According to the tournament, “The system will automatically show `close calls’ on the big screen on point-ending shots. This by default will be 150 millimeters (just under six inches) or less for a rally shot or 50 mm (two inches) or less for a service.”
“If a player is requesting that they would like to see a point-ending shot that has not animated automatically, then play can be stopped if the chair umpire is of the opinion that the request is reasonable, and the chair umpire should announce the replay. Play should not continue until the shot is shown on the big screen.”
So, what do YOU think good or bad?
TV Schedule – assuming you are recording the late night/early morning matches, the networks will continually be switching coverages; so here is a link to the TV coverage I will be using.
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