Hawk-eye is no good for tennis, kind of

The introduction of hawk-eye technology is an interesting evolutionary step in the game of tennis. The technology allows for quick, accurate replays of the contentious line calls from umpires and line judges. Players are allowed a number of challenges in each game. If they are proven right they retain the same number of challenges, and if they are wrong the have one less challenge. I think this is a good development for the game because it gives the players more confidence and it also provides good entertainment value for the crowd (replays are shown in the big screens for everyone to watch).

However, I believe hawk-eye challenges take something away from the game, making it a less valuable source for trading insights. Previously, we would sometimes see players slide in to their own self-made hell, quite often when a poor line call (or two) sent them in to a spiral of negative thinking; or perhaps they had already been playing poorly and the bad line call was an excuse to externalise the problem. This was clearly evident in Andy Murray’s earlier years. I believe these moments provided a valuable test of a player’s behavioural temperament, serving to separate the true champions from the pretenders. By removing this potential obstacle I believe there we will see fewer players games tip over in to these vicious circles, and while it may make for better viewing, it also means we lose an important element of the psychological game.

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4 responses to “Hawk-eye is no good for tennis, kind of

  1. Pingback: Creative challenges to authority: ATP tennis at Miami « Leaders We Deserve

  2. Why no comments to this superb post? It was great background for me in preparing the post on how rules generate unintended consequences (after the Miami semi-final match between Murray and Del Potro).

    http://leaderswedeserve.wordpress.com/2009/04/04/creative-challenges-to-authority-atp-tennis-at-miami/

    Respect

  3. Many thanks Tudor!

  4. Pingback: Technische hulpmiddelen in het voetbal: nu graag! « Birdsview Blog

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