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Old 09-05-2005, 08:38 AM   #6
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Default Electronic line calling

Posted By joesixtoe:
Q: If shot spot is going to happen,, what about the low level courts at arena's? like courts other than the center court,, how can shot spot be done for those courts?

Posted By nedmo
Q: Mr. Evans,
Do most of the players on tour feel that some sort of computerized line-calling system would be appropriate at the present time, and, if so, has the ATP acted on their volitions by taking steps to implement some sort of system?

A: Perhaps JOESIXTOE and NEDMO heard Mary Carillo briefly address electronic line calling during the third set of Agassi vs. Berdych on Saturday. In 2002, the ATP, along with the WTA and the ITF (who are responsible for the rules of tennis) formed a joint technical committee to evaluate and certify electronic line calling systems. Many of you are familiar with "SpotShot" and the "IBM Tracker" which are used for television enhancement and your entertainment without being "officiating quality" accurate. However, for any electronic line calling system to be certified, it must be accurate (obviously), objective (determining whether the ball is in or out with no chair umpire judgment involved) and virtually instantaneous with the result delivered quickly and conveniently. Beginning with the 2004 US Open there have been several testing sessions and believe me, had any of the systems come close to meeting the criteria above, the US Open would have put it in place on the show courts (Ashe, Armstrong and Grandstand) for this year's event. They were very anxious to do it but we are just not there yet. The computer generated graphics may be very slick and colorful and Brad
Gilbert may elect to put his faith in the systems as they currently operate but the bottom line is that they are just not ready...close, but as all you players out there know, close is not good enough. Once deemed accurate, several issues still need consideration. One is the fact that these systems which utilize many cameras and computers are not cheap and therefore, especially initially, will not be used on all the match courts. Is this fair you might ask? Well, having used "Cyclops" (the electronic service line calling system) on only show courts for years without any backlash would seem to answer that question, although I am sure some players will raise an objection. The second issue to resolve is whether to allow unlimited challenges by the players, as is allowed currently in clay court matches with ball mark inspections, or limit the number of challenges. Even as the technology is being refined and enhanced, the debate continues with both players and even tournaments (Australian Open vs. US Open) taking different approaches. Stay tuned!
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