Wimbledon’s Hawkeye Calls ‘Out’ Balls ‘In’

The effect on Federer in the 4th set currently still going on, of seeing a ball which to the eye was out, being called in by Hawkeye, was devastating. Nadal has shot into the lead 4 games to Nil, on the strength of the error. It could have changed the result.

Hawkeye works in cricket because if the virtual ball travels through the virtual space of the stumps, it would impact them in reality, so an LBW decision could be based on it if the authorities decided to use a virtual umpire. A tennis ball, though never compresses fully to 50% of its volume. So the virtual ball showing itself intersecting the virtual line by 1 mm is to distort the rules. The compressed ball does not touch the line. It misses it.

The rule is that the ball is in, if it touches the line, and out, if it doesn’t. Hawkeye is calling balls in that have missed the line, but would have touched the line, only had the ball compressed to 50% of its volume which it doesn’t ever do. Hawkeye is being wrongly used at Wimbledon.

To make Hawkeye less of a joke in tennis, it should be redesigned to calculate the likely compression of the ball, so that it only provides an image of the estimated section of the ball which actually connects to the ground, and sees if that touched the line or not.

The Tap Blog is a collective of like-minded researchers and writers who’ve joined forces to distribute information and voice opinions avoided by the world’s media.

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