Saturday 3 December 2016

GAA put Eye on the ball

Published 21/08/2011 | 05:00

Hawk-Eye technology is set to be used in Croke Park on a two-year pilot basis for all Championship hurling and football games. The new technology will only be used to decide scores and should spell the end of contentious score-related decisions.

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Calls to introduce the system intensified last month after the Limerick versus Wexford football qualifier in Portlaoise. Ian Ryan's injury-time free was waved wide by one umpire but flagged a point by his colleague. The referee awarded the point and Limerick won the game.

The video replay proved inconclusive because of the height of the kick. But with Hawk-Eye similar problems should no longer arise. The new technology can extend virtually beyond the post and also take the swing of the post into account, leaving no margin for error.

It will take Hawk-Eye four seconds to determine whether or not a score should be awarded and then deliver it's decision to either the referee or an umpire. The GAA have yet to decide whether the information will be communicated directly to the referee or via an umpire but that should be resolved in the coming weeks.

Professor Niall Moyna of DCU, who formed part of the Hawk-Eye research committee, was very impressed with the system. "I was probably one of the biggest sceptics on the committee," said Moyna. "I asked a lot of questions, it looked great in Wimbledon but could it be applied to our game, a very dynamic game. And they more than answered my questions.

"They have been very open to our suggestions. We have asked them to do certain things and come back to us with the research data that they have collected.

"I've been very impressed with them overall, with the science behind it and with the objectivity that they have brought.

"From my reading of the situation they are probably the world leader at the moment and if FIFA go with anyone it will probably be with that company.

The decision to introduce Hawk-Eye was made at yesterday's Central Council meeting. A new format for the National Hurling League was also introduced.

There will now be six teams in each division of the Allianz Hurling League for 2012.

As a result of the new format Division 2 champions Limerick, will miss out on top flight hurling despite gaining promotion earlier this year.

They will make up a second tier of Division 1 along with Wexford, Offaly, Clare, Laois and Antrim.

The Allianz Football League will remain the same as last year with additional semi-finals in Division 1 only.

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