The NBA will have Hawkeye like tennis

the nba advertisement which from the 2023/2024 season will use the technology known as “Hawk Eye”which has been used for a decade and a half in tennis, with the aim of help referees make better decisions during games, after a campaign plagued with errors.

The NBA recently signed a multi-year deal with Sony’s Hawk-Eye Innovations for a technological device that will allow the league to obtain specialized data, control the movement and the exact position of each player and the ball at all timeswhich would facilitate the warning to the arbitrators of certain situations.

Innovation will facilitate decision-making on objective issues such as the position of players’ feet on three-point shots or to determine if a player touched the ball while on or off the field. It is not excluded that in the future the ‘Hawkeye’ will act automatically in these situations, something that already happens regularly in tennis, which does not use line judges in several of its ATP and WTA Tour tournaments.

Of course, technological progress will not be limited to helping arbitration. It is that the device developed by Sony was also designed to open new horizons in the analysis of matches and in the content that will be offered to viewers. In that sense, the NBA plans to carry out virtual recreations of the games and offer dynamic angles to follow the plays of the stars.

The association between the North American League with Sony’s Hawk-Eye Innovations began to take shape since 2019 and, among other advances, He already carried out some successful Hawkeye tests in the last Summer League.

Arbitral errors, under the magnifying glass

Since the NBA season began, a long series of arbitration controversies marked the development of the competition, which even led to the league commissioner, Adam Silver, highlighted that the performances of the judges are under constant review.

One of the most commented mistakes of the year occurred in January in a game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics, when the referees did not whistle a very clear foul on LeBron James in the last seconds of the matchin a ruling that was decisive for the fall of his team and that motivated the indignation and anger of the Angelenos.

Asked why the foul was not called in Jayson Tatum’s action on LeBron, the referees of the game that ended with the victory of the Celtics in overtime (125-121) admitted their mistake. “There was contact. At that moment, during the game, we didn’t see a foul. We made a mistake in that play”, they recognized. “That one hurt SO MUCH!!! I don’t get it,” LeBron tweeted then.

Another case occurred in early February in a duel between the New Orleans and the Dallas Mavericks, when the referees returned a possession to the Texans, believing that the Pelicans player Brandon Ingram had touched the ball with one foot on the line. That mistake ended up cutting off New Orleans’ chances of victory, and again, the referees later acknowledged their mistake.

Although in LeBron’s action, Hawkeye would not provide particular benefits, since the interpretation of a foul will continue to be the responsibility of the referees, the new technology may facilitate the collection in plays like the one that involved Ingram, where the device will accurately calculate the player’s position and the justice of the ruling would not be in dispute.

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