Yellow sliotar set to be used in 2020 hurling championship
Reports suggest new ball has passed tests and now just needs approval from Central Council
Tipperary and Clare using the yellow sliotar at the 2017 Fenway Classic. The new ball has been tested numerous times. Photo: Emily Harney/Inpho
A yellow sliotar is set to be used in next year’s hurling championship once it is approved at Central Council next month.
A report in the Irish Examiner says an exhaustive eight-year process has led to the expected introduction of the new ball which will incorporate a microchip in its core, allowing officials to scan the ball with a smartphone to ensure it is fit to use.
The ball has been tested in DCU and has also been trialled the last two stagings of the Super 11s as well as the Celtic Challenge in the US.
With approval now expected at next month’s Central Council meeting, the ball will likely come into use when the Leinster and Munster, Joe McDonagh, Christy Ring, Nicky Rackard and Lory Meagher Cup competitions begin in May.
The ‘smart sliotar’, produced by Kilkenny company Greenfields Digital Sports Technology, will come as a welcome initiative to many who have called for a different colour ball to make it more visible, similar to changes made a number of years ago in tennis.
Speaking on RTÉ earlier this year, Donal Óg Cusack called for a change.
“Tennis used to have a white ball and they changed for really good reasons, some of those being TV,” he said.
“We see now the demographic in Ireland is changing. If someone is watching the game on television and they can’t follow the sliotar it’s a turn off straight away whereas, a luminous ball is much easier to see and it’s scientifically proven that your eye will react faster to it.”