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Bad Line Calls

Discussion in 'Rules / Tournament Regulation / Officiating' started by Michael Jensen, Nov 19, 2008.

  1. Michael Jensen

    Michael Jensen Regular Member

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    We all hate bad line calls. But how can we avoid them? Maybe not. We are human, and humans make mistakes. And some of us cheat! But maybe we can improve? I believe that part of the problem relating to line calls is lack of consensus regarding what precisely defines, when a ball should be called out and when it should be called in.
    In tennis the problem is solved by stating, that any contact whith the line during impact defines the ball as in. In this definition the deformation of the ball during impact, invisible to the human eye, should be counted in.
    In badminton the problem is more complex because of the shuttle which is not a normal ball that hits and disapeares making one well defined impact. The shuttle is assymmetrical and may land in different ways, for instant hit the ground outside the line and then return back hitting the line. Normally the bottom of the shuttle will hit the ground first, but it can hit in different angles.
    As I interpret the rooles of badminton it is the first contact whith the ground, that counts. The contact "mark" is thus a point and not,as in tennis, a contact area. Any deformation of the ball should be disregarded as well as any later contact e.g. whith the feathers when the ball "tip over" after the bottom of the shuttle first hit the ground, which is normally the case. When the shuttle falls perpendicular to the surfase, then the center of the bottom should count, and not the total circumference. If the shuttle lands whith the feathers first, then they should count ( but this can be difficult for the human eye to se ). If the shuttle lands very flat, then it can be allmost impossible to se if the feathers touch before the bottom, but I believe that consensus states that the bottom should be considered hitting first.
    This is what I think is a usefull way of defining the rooles regarding line calls. If I am right in my interpretation of the rooles then I am convinced, that some linesmen simply make bad calls because of the misconception, that the shuttle impact should be as a contact area and not as a contact point. Many of the bad line calls I have seen have given me this impression.
    If someone would dispute my definition of a contact points and claim a contact area, then I believe they would have great difficulty in defining this contact area especially when the shuttle is hitting at an angle to the ground.
     
  2. Joseph

    Joseph Regular Member

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  3. jymbalaya

    jymbalaya Regular Member

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    haha
    i saw that, it was hilarious looking back on it, but while it happened, it was pretty lame, watching that happen.
     
  4. jhirata

    jhirata Regular Member

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    Bad line calls ? How lucky, I didn't go on TV for the KLRC NZ Open. Somebody else did it for me because I didn't have enough experience. I did slow line-calls during the QF and SF at the KLRC NZ Open.. Not ridiculously bad line-calls, but just.. slow-reacting.

    It's quite hard being a line-judge, staring at the line we're responsible for and also to pay attention to the game.
    Our necks start feeling stiff after only sitting for five minutes, and we often look away at other matches on other courts such as the Men's Doubles if we're line-judging a Women's Doubles game. Line judges have to stay in those uniform position for hours and hours.. Our images need to be perfect.. so I couldn't relax any muscle of my body at all while line-judging :(..
    Having Zhou Mi and the Umpire look at me for a call was very.. intimidating because my call was slow.

    Don't flame line-judges if they sometimes make ridiculous errors, because being one is mentally and physically tough! :p
     
  5. Michael Jensen

    Michael Jensen Regular Member

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    Anyone would agree, that this linecall was wrong. The linesman either cheated or was unconcentrated. You can fight these things, but not eliminate them. Humans may allways make errors and some will allways be dishonnest. But misconceptions can be eliminated and so they should. Why should badminton be behind tennis when it comes to technical evolution. We are just as smart as they are. Tennis has more or less solved their problem whith line calls. Badminton should try to do the same by finding a technical solution, but that demands absolute consensus as to what exactly defines a shuttle in or out. Is anyone discussing this seriously?
     
  6. jhirata

    jhirata Regular Member

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    Oh dear. Concentrating is really really hard, especially in a women's doubles game..
     
  7. hhwoot

    hhwoot Regular Member

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    A mathematical point? A definition impossible to use for humans and also impossible to use in any computer line-call system. The cork of the shuttle does deform with impact, and that deformation needs to be considered. (On very fast smashes, the shuttle can also slide along the surface, I would also considered the slide-path as part of the contact area.)

    Difficult to define a contact area? When the shuttle is hit at an angle to the ground, it is much harder to define a single contact point. Tennis now uses the Hawk-eye system, which tracks the players and the tennis ball with multiple cameras and trajectory calculations. This really isn't that technical, but it is more convenient and more informative than electronic line-call systems. Since a whole lot of statistics can (and is) collected by the Hawk-eye system.

    The Hawk-eye system can probably be used for badminton, but will be a significant investment for any stadium. Electronic line-calls use circuits under the courts and a metallic powder in the tennis ball. This may not be a bad thing for badminton, since the metallic powder can be embedded into the cork (to get the contact area of course). The only problem may be the fact that badminton has mobile courts, and precision in placing the under-court circuits may become a concern.
     
  8. Michael Jensen

    Michael Jensen Regular Member

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    Thank you for your comment hhwoot. What about when the shuttle after a flat smash lands whith the cork outside the backline and then it slides so that the feathers touch the line. Should it be called in then? I think not, and normally it wouldn't. In any case the human eye don't se the hit at all. If it did, then it would detect the deformation of the ball, and as you know, it dosn't. So what the linesman actually is doing is, in his brain, to form an image of the ball hitting based on the insufficient information, his eye was able to se. I se no problem in this proces to try, as acurate as possible, to define the first point of contact, and as I read the rules of badminton, this is what should be done. Maybe I am wrong? Can anyone then correct me?
     
  9. hhwoot

    hhwoot Regular Member

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    That's the same as the shuttle bouncing back in, it is still out.

    I thought you were proposing for an automated system like in tennis. Like you say here, the human eye/brain can't react fast enough and get enough information. That's why the Hawk-eye and electric line-call systems are more accurate than human line judges.

    Again, using the first point of contact is conceptually simple and clear cut. But it is difficult in practice to differentiate millimeters. That's why I suggest to cover the entire cork of the shuttle with metallic powder if we use the electronic line-call system. It's much easier to define a first area of contact .
     
  10. Woody

    Woody Regular Member

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    People

    I have to say you are living in cloud cuckoo land if you think that Hawkeye or any other electronic system are likely to be brought into the sort of Badminton except possibly at an event like the Olympic Games and even then I would seriously doubt it.

    Tennis only has the system available at certain events and then only on show courts. How is a badminton referee going to decide which matchs go on the 'hawkeye' court?

    The costs of all this technology is prohibitive and with hardly enough money in the game to provide prize money is there ever any liklihood of extra money being available for electronics? Not a chance.

    In answer to queries about line calls, if any part of the shuttle as first point of contact touches any part of the line the shuttle is IN. It is always likely to be the base but does not matter.

    If a Line Judge calls it incorrectly then both the Umpire or the Service Judge may overule provided that it is clearly an error. Since a match is unlikely to have Line Judges without an Umpire then it is up to the Officials to deal with the matter.

    From an International Line Judge
     
  11. Michael Jensen

    Michael Jensen Regular Member

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    If the shuttle bounces back there will be two separate floor contacts. This is not the case whith a flat floor hit where the shuttle deforms, slides and tips over. The contact area will then be triangular including the feathers. So you either have to use my definition of an initial contact point or deside that only the cork counts. I still believe that tht the first solution is the right one.
     
  12. Michael Jensen

    Michael Jensen Regular Member

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    I agree. Technical solutions is in the future when badminton has become a rich game. My main interrest is to reach consensus as to how linesmen today should define IN/OUT. I am glad to se that your definition of initial point of contact is the same as mine.
     
  13. Danstevens

    Danstevens Regular Member

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    I think a system such as the Hawkeye thing they use in tennis would be the way forward. However, it would take time to check a call and this would cause disruption so you would need a challenge system (like tennis) where you had a limit of challenges per match. Successful challenges would not be deducted from your total number of challenges.
     
  14. Oldhand

    Oldhand Moderator

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    Um, didn't you read Woody's post? ;)
     
  15. Shifty

    Shifty Regular Member

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    +1.

    pretty much sums it all up i think.
     
  16. Danstevens

    Danstevens Regular Member

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    lol

    I skimmed it but it was rather long.
     
  17. Michael Jensen

    Michael Jensen Regular Member

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    I totally agree that Hawkeye or any other fancy solution is out of the question for now. But I have seen a few TV-transmitted matches lately being won/lost because of wrong linecalls. The reason I know this is, that it was shown in slow motion on TV replay. So this is a technical solution allready available. Still I am not sure, that it would be wise to use it during matches. What I would like someone to do is to study systematically a material like this comparing linecalls to video- or TV dokumentation. I believe that this would show, that wrong linecalls are made in a rather systematic pattern. Information like that might lead to better linecalls.
     
  18. Woody

    Woody Regular Member

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    Lets go back to what I originally said about costs etc. At any event it is likely that there are only TV cameras on one main court whereas an event has probably got anywhere between 4-8 courts in use at the same time.

    If you do employ TV cameras who is going to monitor them another Umpire/ referee? That all takes time and costs by way of personnel to cover the TV monitors.

    As regards line judges in general it would be far better to use professional people to perform that role who are used to sitting in one place for a long time and also concentrate on the line they are sat on and not let their eyes wander elsewhere (totally unprofessional).

    Most of the time the line judges used at events are people who have been recruited locally and do the job firstly for no reward (other than possibly a tee shirt) and have probably never been trained properly anyway.

    At the Thomas/ Uber Cupfinals in Jakarta there were 8 International LJ's from all over the world who were supported by 60+ at the start of the competition.

    At the Olympics there were 10 Internationals with the rest coming from locals (I don't know how many).

    I will reiterate again what I said before in this thread the Umpire and Service Judge may over rule if they see a call has been made incorrectly by the LJ provided that it is a clear error.

    TV replays will never happen in the current climate, too expensive and not necessary. Football don't change decisions even where TV replays show clearly an error has been made by the official.
     
  19. Erik L.

    Erik L. Regular Member

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    There is a wide variety of circumstances that can cause a line judge to make a incorrect call. Most common are:
    -poor positioning: especially in the earlier rounds of an event the line judge often calls more than one line and that means that his positioning on court is never ideal;
    -concentration and fatigue: in many events the number of line judges avaliable is not high enough to ensure acceptable working hours and in practically allcases their lodgings are below par and these things sometines cannot remain without consequence:
    -lack of experience with the speed of the game: in most cases the linejudge has been recruted locally or regionally and donot tavel as other officials, only a smaller number of line judges do so and they have the international experience required to come to terms with the speed of the game and are therfor less likely to make an error.

    All these things together explain probably 90% of all errors and only the other 10% comes from organized cheating and it is only for those few but highly irritating incidents that the umpire has been given the power to correct a wrong line call. It is now also being investigated whether the service judge should also be put into the position to do so. There is however considerable doubt as to whether the service judge is in the correct position to assist the umpire in his handling of this problem. The angle under which the service judge is looking at the line is totally unsuitable and that makes it extremely difficult to for execute this rule. The experiment as it is now being conducted has shown this. The rule might however survive, but it will only be possible to apply this rule in very obvious cases of error.
     
    #19 Erik L., Nov 24, 2008
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2008
  20. Michael Jensen

    Michael Jensen Regular Member

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    I still believe that some of the line judges might not know that they have to observe the initial point of contact by the shuttle and thus might make wrong decissions only because of misconception. As Woody stated most of the line judges are locally recruited and uneducated. I have been looking for some kind of handbook for line judges where you can be guided in how to make correct line call, but cann't find any. ( I know the official handbook, but it does not deal with this issue ). Can any of you refer to any book of this kind?
     

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