Hockey World Cup 2018: FIH exploring ball tracking technology

Video umpire coach feels it will help resolve doubts over penalty corners and penalty shots.

“I am not sure (when FIH will introduce), but I know they were looking at it (ball tracking)," Carol Metchette, the FIH video umpire coach at the Hockey World Cup said.   -  FIH

The International Hockey Federation (FIH) is exploring possibilities of adopting the ball tracking technology, which is used in international cricket and the Indian Premier League (IPL), to make its video referral system foolproof.

Video referral, which came into hockey around 2006, made its debut in the Olympics in 2008 and in the World Cup two years later. It has developed over the years to become more acceptable.

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“When it started, there were only three questions which could be asked: Was the ball touched inside the circle? Did the ball come outside the circle? Did the ball come outside the line?

"Other things were spotted on the footage, but video umpire was not allowed to say what happened. It was too limiting and the correct result was not always out... It’s much better now,” Carol Metchette, the FIH video umpire coach at the Hockey World Cup here, told Sportstar.

Carol said the FIH had been working with production companies on ball tracking. “I know they are looking into ball tracking like in cricket. As technology improves there is going to be better things coming in.

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“I am not sure (when FIH will introduce), but I know they were looking at it. In one of the tournaments and in the (women's) World Cup in London they were talking about hawk-eye. There was a man looking into the speed of the ball and the line. So, hopefully, soon.”

According to Carol, ball tracking will help resolve doubts over penalty corners and penalty shots. “It can be used if the ball from a penalty corner is high for danger, the first shot. It can be used to know whether the ball was going towards the goal that might be given a penalty stroke.”

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Carol said the trend of ‘no advice possible’ from the video umpire was rare these days because of the installation of enough cameras.

About her own job, Carol said, “Some of the things I have discussed with them are staying calm, how to say what you see on the pitch... We go through all the referrals and discuss them... I look at all those positions where the incidents happened and if there is a pattern forming...

"For video umpires I work out the statistics so that they can go away from the tournament with their statistics and (work on) how they can improve for the next tournament,” she said.