Hawk-Eye awarded goal line technology contract by Premier League

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The English football Premier League has voted to adopt goal line technology (GLT) for the 2013/2014 season. The British company Hawk-Eye has been awarded the contract, which will see its camera-based method for determining whether the ball has crossed the goal line installed at each Premier League club.

Hawk-Eye, which is owned by Sony, already provides ball-tracking systems for tennis, cricket and snooker. The system is based on combining video feeds from seven high frame rate cameras focused on each goal mouth in order to track the ball’s trajectory. If the system recognises the ball has crossed the line, officials on the pitch receive confirmation on specially-developed watches within one second. It is also possible to provide confirmation that the ball has failed to fully cross the line. Hawk-Eye claim the system is millimetre accurate.

In 2012, the International Football Association Board approved the Hawk-Eye system for use in the sport. Fifa president Sepp Blatter has been quoted as saying Frank Lampard’s disallowed ‘goal’ for England at the 2010 World Cup played a decisive role in the decision to introduce GLT.

Images from the seven cameras are processed to identify the ball as well as identify any areas in the image that are definitely not the ball. Information from each of the cameras is combined to track the ball.

Hawk-Eye claim the system is able to locate the ball even if it is only found in two of the seven cameras. According to the company: ‘There has never been a goal line incident where the ball would not have been seen by any of the Hawk-Eye cameras.’ The company also say the system is unaffected by mud on the ball or adverse weather conditions.

Another advantage with the system is that the images can be used by broadcasters. Hawk-Eye has a dedicated high-speed camera capable of digitally removing players from the image to give a view of the ball’s trajectory.

The Hawk-Eye system will be installed during the football close season ready for the 2013/2014 Premier League season, which begins on 17 August.

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