Saturday 25 March 2017

'Hawkeye' should be approached with caution, insists Daly

Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

THE GAA'S management committee will make a decision next month on whether score-detection technology has a future in Gaelic games.

Last summer saw match officials get a number of high-profile calls wrong, leading to many arguing for the introduction of technology. A presentation on 'Hawkeye', the system favoured by tennis and cricket, will be made to the Association's top brass on December 4.

However, the GAA's director of games, Pat Daly, insisted that the technology would have to be available for every game in a given competition

"I don't think it's realistic to talk about having it in Croke Park and Croke Park only. Then people who play games in Thurles will say that they are disenfranchised; it must be the same rules for every team in a competition."

Hawkeye could be introduced for very little outlay, though the GAA would have to hand over some commercial rights as part of the deal.

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"Hawkeye have said that it could be provided on a cost-neutral basis," Daly said. "This would be on the basis that they could get some rights around that -- commercial rights on big screens. These are among the imponderables surrounding this thing that have to be fleshed out.

"The technology itself seems to be robust and Hawkeye have said that anything FIFA have thrown at it, it has passed. They haven't found a flaw, they haven't detected any weakness in the system.

"They claim that they can tell, within a second -- via something like a beep in the referee's ear-piece -- whether or not the ball has passed inside or outside the post."

The GAA have also trialled catching nets and Daly raised the possibility of raising post heights to 16 metres to further assist umpires where Hawkeye is not available.

"The ball-catcher nets aren't out. If you are going to use Hawkeye, it is going to be on a pretty limited, restricted basis. You're not going to be using Hawkeye all over the place.

"If you use it in the hurling championship, I don't think you are going to be doing too badly.

"Then you have to try to extend it to the football championship; I don't know do they have the wherewithal logistically to make that possible.

"You have so many games in the qualifiers played in the one day, so I don't know is that logistically possible for them. So by no means are the nets out. I think the ultimate solution is a combination."

Irish Independent

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