Thursday 18 January 2018

Hawk-Eye set to make club final debut -- Daly

Pat Daly, head of the GAA's games development and research. Photo: Sportsfile
Pat Daly, head of the GAA's games development and research. Photo: Sportsfile
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Galway's hurlers can rest a little easier if the accuracy of Hawk-Eye, the score detection technology which has been trialled over the last few months in Croke Park, is anything to judge by.

A disputed point in the drawn All-Ireland final by Kilkenny's Richie Power was only awarded after referee Barry Kelly consulted with umpires at the Davin End of Croke Park after some discussion.

It has emerged that Hawk-Eye cameras at that end were able to deduce quite quickly that Kelly made the correct call in awarding the point, despite doubts expressed by those with a view of Power's shot behind the goals.

Former Kilkenny player Eddie Brennan was among those who expressed such doubt on 'The Sunday Game' later that night.

If Kelly hadn't taken the action he did then Galway might well be All-Ireland champions.

The score left Kilkenny just four points behind, 1-10, to 0-9, six minutes into the second half.

But Pat Daly, head of the GAA's games development and research, has confirmed that the technology, which will be used officially for the first time at the All-Ireland club finals next March, determined that the Power call was correct.

The cameras were used for an extensive trial period over the summer and have now met the levels of satisfaction that the GAA were looking for.

"Every single call the officials made was right over the period of that trial. There wasn't one wrong decision," said Daly.

"It (Hawk-Eye) has certainly done what we wanted it to do. For all of the games in the All-Ireland series we were very happy with it. We felt basically that it was 98pc functional. You can never say anything is ever 100pc all the time.

"It's now doing what we want it to do and it's now about sitting down and working out a road map and a timeline.

"There's the big screen, media and match officials. There are different angles to it, and what we have to do is make sure it is fully synchronised."

However, Hawk-Eye will not be asked to adjudicate on contentious goals -- whether a ball has crossed the line or not.

"It has not been set up for goals," Daly confirmed.

When it comes on stream officially it is expected that decisions will be outputted to officials, the screens in Croke Park and TV, if matches are being broadcast live, simultaneously. These decisions will be replayed in virtual reality.

"There is still a lot of work to do on how this is to be formatted and delivered to all the relevant parties," said Daly.

The GAA began talking to Hawk-Eye technology more than two years ago and looked set to roll out their services officially earlier this year for the Leinster football quarter finals.


But problems with its accuracy pushed the date of roll-out back, and it became apparent in the middle of the championship that it would not become official in 2012.

It will be set up for further trials in the new year when the All-Ireland junior and intermediate finals are played in Croke Park, before it comes into use officially for the first time on the weekend of the All-Ireland club finals.

Daly has said there have been "expressions of interest" in sponsoring the Hawk-Eye package which would help offset some of the cost of the initial outlay.

Meanwhile, Tegral have ended their long association with the Kildare senior football team which dates back to Mick O'Dwyer's term in the early 1990s.

The roof tile manafacturer, based in Athy, has sponsored Kildare for 20 years.

Kildare have one of the strongest support bases in Gaelic football and a strong profile, so they should be an attractive brand for any company to be associated with.

Irish Independent

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