2007 Schools Wikipedia Selection. Related subjects: Engineering; Sports

Hawk-Eye is a computer system used in cricket, tennis and other sports to track the path of the ball. It was developed in 2001 by Dr. Paul Hawkins while working at Roke Manor Research Limited. Later, the technology was spun off into a separate company, Hawk-Eye Innovations Ltd., as a joint venture with television production company Sunset + Vine.


Hawk-Eye uses six or more television cameras situated at a high level around the ground, linked to a computer system. The computer reads in the video in real time, and tracks the path of the ball on each camera. These six separate views are then combined together to produce an accurate 3D representation of the path of the ball, which can be viewed in a virtual reality simulation.

Applications in sport


The system was first used by Channel 4 during a Test match between Pakistan and England at Lord's Cricket Ground, on 21 April 2001. Since then it has been an indispensable tool for commentators. However, the system is not used by the umpires to adjudicate on LBW decisions in Test cricket or one-day international cricket. It is used primarily by the majority of television networks to track the trajectory of balls in flight.

Its major use in cricket is in analysing leg before wicket decisions, where Hawk-Eye can project the likely path of the ball forward, through the batsman's legs, to see if it would have hit the wicket. Currently this information is only visible to television viewers, although it may be adopted in the future by the third umpire, who currently sees only conventional slow motion replays. Consultation of the third umpire on leg before wicket decisions is not currently sanctioned in international cricket.


Hawk-Eye has also been used in television coverage of several major tennis tournaments, including Wimbledon, the Stella Artois at Queens, the Australian Open, the Davis Cup and the Tennis Masters Cup. The US Open Tennis Championship announced they will make official use of the technology for the 2006 US Open (see, ). It is also used as part of a larger tennis simulation implemented by IBM called PointTracker. Along with Cyclops and Auto-Ref, it is one of several automated line-calling mechanisms used.

In March 2006, at the Nasdaq-100 Open, Hawk-Eye was used officially for the first time at a tennis tour event.

In 2006 the US Open Tennis Championship became the first grand-slam event to use the system during play, allowing players to challenge line calls.

The 2006 Hopman Cup in Perth, Western Australia, was the first elite-level tennis tournament where players were allowed to challenge point-ending line calls, which were then reviewed by the referees using Hawk-Eye technology. It used 10 cameras feeding information about ball position to the computers.

The 2007 Australian Open was the first grand-slam tournament of 2007 to implement Hawk Eye in challenges to line calls, where each tennis player on Rod Laver Arena was allowed 2 incorrect challenges per set and one additional challenge should a tiebreaker be played. In the event of an advantage final set, challenges are reset to 2 for each player every 12 games i.e. 6 all, 12 all.

The Hawk-Eye technology was used in the 2007 Dubai Tennis Championships. Defending champion Rafael Nadal accused the system of incorrectly calling an out ball following his exit. The umpire had called a ball out; upon the opposing player challenging the decision, Hawkeye said otherwise. ( http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/4/story.cfm?c_id=4&objectid=10426649)

Hawk Eye has the capability of calling ins and outs live, but it was decided to limit it to replays only.

Hawk-Eye (along with MacCam) was used in 2004 to demonstrate several poor calls by chair umpires in the US Open. In Serena Williams' controversial quarterfinal loss to Jennifer Capriati, several poor calls were contested by Williams. TV replays demonstrated that there were actually several crucial calls that were obviously erroneous. Though the calls themselves were not reversed, the chair umpire Mariana Alves was dismissed from the tournament.

Further developments

On June 14, 2006, it was announced that the Wisden group had bought Hawk-Eye . The acquisition is intended to strengthen Wisden's presence in cricket, and allow it to enter tennis and other international sports. Hawk-Eye is already working on implementing a system for basketball.

According to Hawk-Eye's website, the system produces much more data than that shown on television. This data could easily be shown on the Internet. Wisden also owns the cricket website Cricinfo therefore it can be speculated that Wisden can incorporate data generated by Hawk-Eye to augment the online coverage of cricket by cricinfo.


The use of the Hawk-Eye brand and simulation has been licensed to Codemasters for use in the Sony Playstation 2 video game Brian Lara International Cricket 2005 to make the game appear more like television coverage.

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