Hawk-Eye set for trial run

Hawk-eye score detection technology will be put on full trial during one of Dublin’s remaining Allianz Football League games at Croke Park.

Hawk-eye score detection technology will be put on full trial during one of Dublin’s remaining Allianz Football League games at Croke Park.

GAA President Christy Cooney has confirmed the initiative which will see the technology successfully used in tennis and cricket applied to Gaelic games.

The move is part of the decision taken last December to conduct a feasibility study into how Hawk-Eye technology could potentially improve score detection.

Cooney ruled out conducting the trial this weekend when Dublin host Kerry at Croke Park or in the AIB All-Ireland club finals.

That just leaves the Round 5 and 6 games against Mayo and Down with the latter, on April 2, appearing to be the most likely selection.

This would allow Hawk-Eye technicians to also apply the technology to the Dublin v Kilkenny hurling game which precedes the football match.

Hawk-Eye technology works off strategically placed cameras behind the goalposts which determine in a matter of milliseconds if a score has registered and convey this information to match officials.

In practice, a referee could award a point or goal in a game based on information recorded and presented to him by Hawk-Eye.

"We would hope to trial it in a game in Croke Park in the near future," said Cooney, at yesterday’s launch of the Cadbury GAA All-Ireland U-21 football championship.

"We are looking at the Dublin games at the moment. We are testing it to see how it works. We will have a meeting in May to analyse that and discuss the whole costing and feasibility of having it at all of our grounds.

"It won’t be in use in this year but it is something for the future and something we will look very seriously at. It has to be right and to be effective and we have to be able to do it at all of our county games."

The GAA is under pressure to improve its score detection ratio after a series of high profile errors by match officials in the 2010 Championships.

Galway were awarded a point in error during their Leinster hurling championship clash with Offaly at Croke Park while Kildare’s Alan Smith had a point dubiously ruled out in their All-Ireland football semi-final defeat by Down.

However, Hawk-Eye is limited to score detection and wouldn’t have helped avoid the Leinster final controversy involving Meath and Louth or the wrong call regarding Benny Coulter’s ‘square ball’ goal for Down against Kildare.

Cooney also clarified that the ultimate power to sanction scores would still rest with the match referee.

"At the end of the day the referee’s decision won’t change because it will be still be the decision of the referee," continued Cooney. "Whatever process is gone through the referee will still make the decision.

"This is an aid and an assist for referees."

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