Use of technology in sports has gone from simple register, black board and number plates being used to automatic / digital score boards, in keeping individual and team runs scored in Cricket game. Many other sports like Badminton, Hockey and Tennis Technologies are being used for transparency and to minimize human errors.
With the evolution in sports we are seeing some new technologies in sports that create an excitement for the audience at the ground and people watching around the world. In the past few years we have seen some technologies in sports to minimize the mistakes from the umpires. In Cricket we have different technologies like the Hot Spot, Snick-o-meter, Hawk eye are part of Decision Review System. The BCCI, though, is not in favor of technologies because they think that it is not 100% full proof.
Hot-spot: Hot-spot is a technology used to determine if the ball hit bat before pad of batsman in case of claims for Leg before the Wicket (LBW) and also for caught behind (thin edges).
Snick-o-meter: This technology is used to see if the batsman has hit the ball with bat or other part of the body. The Decision Review System (DRS) was tried in 2008 in Test series between India and Sri Lanka. In this system players are allowed to challenge decisions made by on field umpires and the decisions are given by the third umpire. The third umpire uses different images to see from different angles to make the correct decisions. In test matches both teams are allowed 2 unsuccessful challenges. In Modern one day internationals the voice of the third umpire can be heard and final decision gives by on field umpires the audience can also hear the voice of third umpire.
Hawk-Eye: It is a system which was first used in 2001. It shows the path of cricket bowl. It is used as a part of the DRS system for adjudicating LBW decisions.
Line-call: In Badminton and Lawn Tennis the players are allowed to challenge the umpire’s decision on line decision. If the umpire’s decision is out and if the player feels that it is in he or she can appeal. The umpire then calls for TV replay, the officials review it to give the final decision. A player is allowed to challenge 2 unsuccessful reviews. These types of technologies can help the sports to grow and make the game more lively and interesting for the audience watching at home.
Referral system in Hockey: In hockey the referral system was used in London Olympic Games in 2012. In this system the player can request for referral by using T-sign. The third umpire reviews it from all angles available and gives his decisions to the on field umpires. This technology was used in World Cup Hockey tournament in 2014.
Finish-line: When there is a close finish in running races especially of small distances (e.g. 100m, 200 m) camera pictures are reviewed to decide the winner and runner in international athletic games like Olympic, common wealth games.
There are advantages and disadvantages of technologies in sports. Technologies can help to remove the errors in the game. The people at the ground can see the decisions that are transparent. The role and responsibility of on field umpires may easy but their casual attitude may increase.
Looking at the transparency the technology provides and in the spirit of natural justice Every sport must have fool proof technologies.