Video technology 'never on agenda' as GAA keep Hawk-Eye ball rolling
Published 23/08/2011 | 05:00
Consideration was never given to deploying a television match official (TMO) to provide back-up to referees, the GAA's director of games development and research Pat Daly has admitted.
The association's research and science committee were only asked to look at score detection and that brought them into contact with Hawk-Eye, whose technology will be piloted in Croke Park only for the next two years.
The cost of rolling out the technology at all championship venues was much too prohibitive, so a compromise was reached and referees in Croke Park will now be able to resort to Hawk-Eye when disputes are raised.
Daly admitted that a further roll-out will be dependent on a number of factors, chiefly cost, with the prospect of sponsors being looked at.
"It's not as simple as just going out and finding a sponsor for this to make it cost neutral or even cost positive. There are considerations with existing sponsors and procedural issues," he said.
The deployment of Hawk-Eye will not be able to resolve some of the major controversies that have erupted in Croke Park in recent years, such as the Joe Sheridan goal for Meath against Louth, Benny Coulter's goal for Down against Kildare and the two 'square balls' that helped to influence games this season involving Meath and Kildare and Kildare and Donegal.
A TMO would have been more suitable for resolving those matters and arguably much cheaper, but that was never a consideration.
"It was never part of our committee's brief. We were asked to focus on score detection only. With score detection it is black and white and that's where technology plays its part," he said.
Approval must be sought from Congress and it will be available for championship matches only, including the 2013 All-Ireland club finals on St Patrick's Day.
It makes sense to introduce the technology in Croke Park only, despite the opinions expressed that if the technology was to be deployed it would have to be at every ground.
Croke Park will host 20 championship matches out of a probable programme of 86 (replays aside) giving it a coverage rate of between 15 and 20pc.