GAA to trial Hawk-Eye at Croke Park


GAA:Saturday, April 2nd promises to be a momentous occasion in the history of the GAA after it was confirmed that Hawk-Eye will be trialled during the Allianz League double-header at Croke Park.

Dublin take on Down in the football league before meeting Kilkenny in the hurling and Hawkeye will be used during both matches to “determine the logistics of positioning and installation of equipment in Croke Park as part of the ongoing feasibility test surrounding the possible use of this technology”.

Although its use will have no bearing on the outcome of either game, with match officials not party to the information gleaned by the technology, the trials could decide Hawk-Eye will be adopted in 2012.

Cost, however, is also likely to have a bearing on any decision as the system would have to be installed in all championship grounds.

“This is the next step in the feasibility study which will be presented to Ard Chomhairle which will ultimately determine whether or not the technology is deemed suitable for use with Gaelic Games,” GAA president Christy Cooney said today.

“Having football and hurling here on the same day means using this date makes perfect sense but despite the presence of the equipment it will have no direct role in the game or bearing on how scores are recorded.”

Although Hawk-Eye will have the capacity to eliminate the majority of scores being called incorrectly, it remains somewhat limited in its scope.

While contentious points - such as Joe Canning’s shot for Galway against Offaly that was inside the posts but waved wide by an umpire - can be called correctly the technology cannot mitigate entirely for human error.

Incidents such as Joe Sheridan’s illegal goal that decided the Leinster football final in Meath’s favour and Benny Coulter’s square-ball goal that assisted Down’s progress to the All-Ireland final would not be covered by the technology.

What is Hawk-Eye?

Hawk-Eye is a computer system that has been adopted by several sports, including professional cricket and tennis, to track the path of the ball and display a record of its most statistically likely path as a moving image to counteract human error.

It uses the principles of triangulation with four high-speed video cameras.

The system generates a graphic image of the ball path and playing area, which can provide accurate information to referees, judges, television viewers and coaches in near real time.