Saturday’s GUINNESS PRO12 match between the Scarlets and Munster on Sky Sports sees the commencement of trials of innovative video review technology developed by Hawk-Eye to determine how new technology can enhance player welfare, while strengthening the accuracy and efficiency of the television match official (TMO).
World Rugby has initiated these live test trials in partnership with the GUINNESS PRO12, and is collaborating with Hawk-Eye Innovations, Sky Sports & 2015 Rugby World Cup broadcaster ITV to trial this new video technology.
The live test trials will continue with the full support of Sky Sports at selected PRO12 matches for the remainder of the 2014/15 season, including the play-offs and final. Further trials will also take place at the World Rugby Under-20 Championship in Italy with the input of ITV.
The SMART Replay system, developed by Hawk-Eye & Sony, records all broadcast angles in real time and makes these angles available immediately either on or off site, to help multiple stakeholders across sports officiating, player welfare, coaching and broadcasting.
This facilitates officials to select as many angles as they wish in either single, split or quad screen view, rewind, pause and zoom in, to deliver a complete picture of an incident (such as injuries, a foot in touch, ball grounding, foul play).
John Feehan, Chief Executive of the GUINNESS PRO12, stated: “The GUINNESS PRO12 is delighted to assist in the development of any systems to improve player welfare and the match officiating process. We are glad to provide the opportunity to trial this technology and progress this welcome initiative further.”
World Rugby Chief Executive Brett Gosper said: “Technology is an important component of the rugby performance and fan engagement environments and the 2015 Rugby World Cup is set to showcase innovation and performance to a record global audience.
“Central to our sport is the integrity of player welfare and the match official decision making process and we are delighted to be collaborating with Hawk-Eye and ITV as well as PRO12 Rugby and Sky Sports to determine how we can enhance speed and accuracy in these critical areas.’
– TMO now sitting with Hawk-Eye separate to TV director
– TMO has access to all broadcast feeds and can select which angles to review
– All feeds played in time synchronisation
– Split screen enables clear view of incidents (such as foot in touch and ball grounding)
– Digital zoom enables clearer view for officiating incidents of foul play or ball grounding
– TV shows replays from Hawk-Eye feed