Unlimited Challenges?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by BreakPoint, Nov 30, 2007.

  1. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    I'm watching the Davis Cup final right now between the U.S.A. and Russia and they're giving both players UNLIMITED hawk-eye replay challenges.

    What's up with that? Have they always done this for the Davis Cup since hawk-eye was introduced to DC? What's to keep the players from challenging anything that's even remotely close? After all, there's nothing to lose since hawk-eye sometimes is a little off and can call an out ball in or vise versa, right?
     
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  2. J-man

    J-man Hall of Fame

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    I know that the Russian players don't (or even the Americans for that matter) want the crowd to get made if they start to challenge to stall. Which keep the challenges tamed. I think the unlimited challenge system is fine as long as players don't abuse it. BTW, I'm pretty sure the Hawkeye system has been 3 challenges until today, in the final
     
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  3. JRstriker12

    JRstriker12 Hall of Fame

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    It's got to be a new thing.

    I like unlimited challenges. If the lines people mess things up, and they do on occasion, why shouldn't the player have the right to challenge? Having unlimted challenges could also help eliminate claims of home team favoritism on calls - the Russians don't like the call or think they are being messed over - do the replay so there's no doubt about the call.
     
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  4. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    The thing is, once in a while, the linespeople are actually more accurate than Hawk-Eye is. I think all the players will admit to this. I saw an interview with Sam Querry and he said he sometimes challenges a call even though he knows for sure a ball is out because he knows that Hawk-Eye can sometimes be off and still might show the ball to be in. I'd bet many other players do the same thing. There's also been countless cases where the actual mark on the court from the ball shows very differently than what Hawk-Eye shows.
     
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  5. JRstriker12

    JRstriker12 Hall of Fame

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    I don't know about that. I've seen more matches where the lines person was wrong rather than Hawkeye being wrong. Ball marks are iffy too. Over the course of a match, it would be easy to point to the wrong ball mark - if there is one since Hawkeye is mostly used on hard courts.

    Sure you can take a chance to see if it was out, there's also the case where hawkeye will confirm a good call such as in the last two points of the tie break when Blake was Playing Haas in the U.S. open.
     
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  6. JW10S

    JW10S Hall of Fame

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    They had unlimited challenges in the DC final last year as well. I thought after the Safin/Nalbandian debacle that they would not use the unlimited challenges again. So far it does not seem has though it is being misused...
     
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  7. PROTENNIS63

    PROTENNIS63 Hall of Fame

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    I think the unlimited challenges is only for the davis cup final. I am watching the Blake and Youzhny match right now. Blake has challenged like 12 times already in the first 2 sets! I think unlimited is too much, maximum should be 4.
     
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  8. OrangeOne

    OrangeOne Legend

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    And Hawk-Eye staff have said that the mark isn't always reliable, as the ball may not leave a mark for the whole of it's 'skid'.

    As for unlimited challenges: I think it should be allowed within reason (with umpires allowed some discretion as to what is a completely unreasonable situation). Tennis should not be about gambling, if we trust the system, we trust the system.

    A mate of mine has a harder line on it than me, he thinks all incorrect calls should be pro-actively fed to the umpire! I'm still not completely sure how I feel about this....
     
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  9. Commando Tennis Shorts

    Commando Tennis Shorts Hall of Fame

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    What's the margin for error of the hawkeye system? A few mm? A few cm? What?
     
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  10. JW10S

    JW10S Hall of Fame

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    According to Paul Kawkins, who developed the Hawk-Eye system, the margin for error is 3.6mm. So some of the balls that are shown just grazing the line may actually be out and conversely some of the shots that are shown to have just barely missed may be in. The margin for error is one of main reason's I am in favor of a limited challenge system.
     
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  11. OrangeOne

    OrangeOne Legend

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    I believe the figure of +/- 3mm has been thrown about on here often enough for it to have some degree of being the case....
     
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  12. power_play21

    power_play21 Semi-Pro

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    good issue here on this thread breakpoint.

    i think that tennis will have to choose what direction its gonna want to take. pretty soon, when hawk eye decreases its margin of error even further, i think it will either

    A) have to limit hawk eye, as it is today, and keep umpire and lines people

    B) Use hawk eye on every point, instantly feeding out or in to the 'umpire', who's job it is to call outs, ins, etc, fed to him by hawk eye. therefore, the end of linespeople and in most ways, the umpiring part of umpire.

    i like choice a. tennis is what it is, to me, partly because of linespeople, bad calls sometimes, etc. so, 2 challenges and keeping the same structure of umpiring to me sounds the best.

    its like using instant replay in soccer to call offsides, etc. i would just hate it.
     
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  13. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    I would go with a mark over Hawk-Eye for accuracy anyday. A mark is actual physical evidence of where the ball actually landed on the court, whereas, Hawk-Eye is just a computer software estimation of where the ball "should" have landed.

    When they tested Hawk-Eye on clay, they found that the marks often did not match exactly the Hawk-Eye's results. A lot of the pros have complained about this as well.
     
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  14. OrangeOne

    OrangeOne Legend

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    I'll say again, I think we choose to accept that 3.6mm is, on average, better than the human eye, in which case we go with it fully and completely, or we choose to not accept it, and thus ditch it completely.

    Your post (and others) seems to say "we don't completely trust it, so let's only use it for the important points"....which is a bit troublesome :)
     
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  15. OrangeOne

    OrangeOne Legend

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    Good to know that's what you would do.

    Again, with marks on hardcourts, it was a creator (or similar) comment that said that marks are not complete. Incomplete marks actually makes a phenomenal amount of sense, as it would seem logical that the ball may only make a mark where the contact with the ground is hardest.
     
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  16. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    That's the problem. A lot of times Hawk-Eye shows the ball barely touching the line by like less than 1mm and the ball is called in. That's outside of the system's margin of error. The human eye cannot see the ball touching the line by less than 1mm when the ball in travelling at 100mph. I think Hawk-Eye should only be used to correct human mistakes, not what cannot be seen by the human eye. There's a difference. Since a human cannot possibly see that the ball was in by less than 1mm, no mistake was made, and therefore, Hawk-Eye should not correct it. What they need to do is build into the software algorithm a margin of error that's near the limit of the system's margin of error. That is, if less than, say 2mm, of the ball is touching the line then the system will call and show the ball to be out and vise versa. So the ball needs to be at least 2mm in or out for the system to verify and show that call as such.
     
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  17. JW10S

    JW10S Hall of Fame

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    I wrote that the margin of error was 'one' of the main reasons I'm in favor of limited challenges.

    I have not seen any recent stats, but at least early on the players were wrong on their challenges a fair bit more often than they were correct. When it gets to a point were the players are correct much more often than not then I could see an increase in the # of challenges. I don't think we're there yet. Again, I go back to the Safin/Nalbandian DC match from last where they were challenging balls that were nowhere near the lines--it was ridiculous. They did because they could.

    I also like a limited challenge system because I feel if you are going to challenge an official's call, and it turns out the official is correct there should be some penalty. You shouldn't be able to challenge willy-nilly without reproach.

    In my view if there is an unlimited challenge system there is no need for lines-people. The umpire will be someone with a good 'radio voice' who will call score and keep time and the player's will call their own lines and challenge each other every point if they want. Who wants to see that?

    To me there are still way too many variables to justify the use of an unlimited challenge system.
     
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  18. OrangeOne

    OrangeOne Legend

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    Can I be Federer here (hell, I wasn't Federer on the courts this morning ;)). Seriously though, Fed's take on this is that one of the reasons he dislikes HawkEye is that it makes the players look stupid. Why because they only challenge on the closest of balls, and many of the challenges are speculative challenges - you know - they've got three left at the end of the set, so they shrug, look to the umpire and send it up, knowing there's a 90% chance they're wrong, but figuring it's worth the shot.

    This, of course, doesn't get reported in the stats, and hence the players are seen to be wrong more often than they're right. In reality, you'd hope this was the case, or it only makes the case for hawk-eye even bigger, as it would mean the current linespeople system is failing worse than we know it does.

    This comes down to the way it's viewed. I don't view it as "challenging an official", even though many might.

    The more I think, the more the "umpire-live-feed-full-trust" scenario sounds better and better.

    I wouldn't have a problem. But that's just me....

    I think there's probably less than there are with 5 or 10 linespeople calling lines, and that we're all just resistant to change, to what may be inevitable change! Anyways, again, all just IMHO.
     
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  19. TENNIS_99

    TENNIS_99 Semi-Pro

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    off topic, then if it's fair to have an automatic replay if the gap is within 3 mm which I saw a few times (can't even tell unless zoom in)? guess will make hawk eye looks bad, but isn't it a "right" thing to do?
     
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  20. Chadwixx

    Chadwixx Banned

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    I think the players should have to ask for a challenge and the chair would have to grant it. If the chair thinks its close enough to challenge it will be. Otherwise players will abuse it if u leave it up to them, much like they are doing the injury timeouts.
     
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  21. srv vlly

    srv vlly Rookie

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    I definetly think that 2 or 3 challenges per set, and losing one if wrong is a great system already. If it aint broke don't fix it.
     
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  22. 2 Cent

    2 Cent Rookie

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    Blake deliberately called for a challenge, just to buy time.
     
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  23. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Yeah, I guess if you're really tired during a match, you can just call a challenge on every point just to catch your breath. Or if your opponent is on a hot streak, you can call a challenge just to break his momentum. Like how in football the opposing team calls a time out right before a crucial field goal in an effort to "freeze the kicker" in order to make the kicker think about the importance of the kick some more.
     
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  24. JW10S

    JW10S Hall of Fame

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    So, if players are making frivolous challenges now with a limited challenge system doesn't it follow that they will only make more frivolous challenges if there were no limits? Won't they figure that any ball that is remotely close to a line might be challenged 'knowing there's a 90% chance they're wrong, but figuring it's worth a shot'?
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2007
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  25. OrangeOne

    OrangeOne Legend

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    I said this earlier....

    Right now, I think umpires have some discretion in that regard, but it's very weak, to the point where I've never seen it exercised. Were it to be strengthened, then hopefully a better situation may result.

    That said: with every post, i'm getting closer to wanting the system either ditched or completely in charge - the live umpire feed option.
     
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  26. flyer

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    To be honest I thought at first unlimited challenges was a huge mistake, but it seems to be ok they aren't overusing them, so far. Maybe once they get used to it they will used them left and right. Im still against it though after all, maybe the players should get two, plus another in the tie break and after they use them up if there is a close important ball, the umpire himself/herself can challenge the call, after all they are not always sure/right either
     
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  27. edmondsm

    edmondsm Legend

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    Dumbest idea ever. They are just challenging for the hell of it. It caused a confusing situation for Blake when Youzny hit a serve that was overrulled as out, but Blake had hit a clean winner on the return so he challenged the out overrule. Blake I don't think realized that Youzny was going to get another first serve if he lost the challenge.

    It was Blake's fault for not understanding the situation but I still say unlimited challenges is a stupid idea.
     
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  28. edmondsm

    edmondsm Legend

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    Yes, and they are obviously using it to effect the tempo of the match.
     
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  29. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    Wimbledon proved that hawkeye can be extremely inaccurate. Rafa's balls were clearly out, but hawkeye kept showing that they clipped the line. I don't blame Federer one bit for getting pissed at the inaccuracy of hawkeye that day.
     
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  30. Max G.

    Max G. Hall of Fame

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    All that would do is increase the margin of error by 2 mm. For example, with this system, a ball that is actually 5 mm out, Hawkeye could think it's 2 mm out (because of the current margin of error) and you would suggest putting in another 2 mm margin of error (so that it might agree that a call was in when it was actually 5 mm out, or vice versa!)
     
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  31. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    No, that's not what I mean. I'm not talking about increasing the margin of error. I'm talking about the system will have to get over a threshhold of 2mm for a call to be reversed. So if the linesperson's call was "out", and the system sees the ball in by only 1.8mm, it will correct itself and show the ball to be out. This is operating WITHIN the system's current margin of error of 3mm. That is, the current system will have to show the ball to be either in or out by more than 2mm for the linesperson's call to be reversed. Otherwise the call stands. This means basically acknowledging that the system is not 100% accurate so calls cannot be changed unless 2/3rd's of it's margin of error is factored into the decision to reverse the call or not.
     
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  32. J-man

    J-man Hall of Fame

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    It's a check and balance between Hawkeye and linespeople. Both checking each other.
     
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  33. OrangeOne

    OrangeOne Legend

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    All of this margin of error discussion is forgetting a few things:

    a. We don't have a human margin-of-error to compare it to. If it's found that human margin of error is indeed +/- 8mm, or in fact if the human 'margin of error' is found to be anything at all larger than HawkEye's...then we should simply switch to it 100% as soon as physically practicable.

    b. That said, we're also forgetting frequency of error, but I'll let someone else permute this into the discussion if they care enough

    c. Let's not forget that margin of error works both ways people.

    HEye: Sees a ball in by 1.8mm...
    Reality: Ball could have been in by 5.4mm (assuming 3.6mm M.O.E). A ball in by 5.4mm is a long way in, and would be horrid to see these called out! Fudge-factoring the MOE may not necessarily the best solution.

    The other thing we don't know: We don't know the distribution of the MOE. I mean, if it's an even distribution, sure, Houston, we have a problem. If the MOE follows a normal distribution, well, that's not nearly as worrying.

    Have I raised more questions than answers? Absolutely :)
     
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  34. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    For the Davis Cup (where there can be terrible nationalism) unlimited Hawkeye calls is just fine. The replay is quite quick and likely to get quicker, the crowd loves it and players who over use it will get out of rhythm anyway, so it is a great idea. For regular tournaments, I agree it should be limited but not by too much.
     
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  35. JRstriker12

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    Contrary to a lot of fear mongers on TW, unlimited challenges in the DC final did not destroy the game. It was still tennis and the delays were minor at best. It takes Nadal a lot longer to towel off, pick his ***, and fix his socks between each point than it takes for a hawkeye replay. I've also noticed that players argue a lot less when there's a Hawkeye replay - so you've got some time savings there too.

    I'd like to see unlimited challenges implemented at any tournament that has hawkeye in the future as there's really no reason for a player to get penalized for a bad call when there's a system in place to correct that bad call.
     
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