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Challenging Umpire Calls

Discussion in 'Rules / Tournament Regulation / Officiating' started by Jim H., Dec 17, 2016.

  1. Jim H.

    Jim H. New Member

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    After watching yesterday's game LCW vs Viktor Axelsen Dubai Super Series Finals 2016, I'm wondering yet again if it'd be wise to allow challenges to be used against umpire calls, net touches, service faults or whatever. At 19-18 in the final game, umpire made an unfair call for net touch while replay wronged him and commentators agreed that the call was wrong.

    Umpires are humans and they can commit mistakes but there should be nothing wrong in challenging them to keep the game Fair and athletes satisfied. High speed cameras can solve all mysteries. At the end we want fair results, right? I'd hate to watch unfair service fault on flick serve at match point. And badminton is a game where we can achieve 3rd umpire results without wasting much time.

    If you think one wrong umpire decision doesn't affect the game, you are wrong. Sports is often more psychological than physical specially at the end when you are out of energy.
     
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  2. Fidget

    Fidget Regular Member

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    Agree that those net kill calls are next to impossible for a human to get right 100%. So if line calls are open to challenges, so should those. LCW's case today was a good one. I recall that there were two such controversial calls in that epic Kevin Cordon upset over Chen Long in the WC 2011 that really could have made the difference in the match.

    The problem, of course, is that the high speed camera cannot "solve all mysteries". There will be instances where it is impossible to tell even in super-slow motion. But still, it would be an improvement.
     
  3. phihag

    phihag Regular Member

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    Regarding service faults, we have discussed this already: In doubles, a lot of services are faulty, and the ones that get called are at the extremes, so it is quite rare that a service fault call is incorrect.

    For the faults regarding the net (touching, going over before hitting shuttle), the existing net camera is indeed likely to offer a good view (although I'm not sure about the framerate). You'd have to feed this video to the third umpire though. And there we have another problem: For every match as you propose, we'd need an additional umpire on review duty. But this is a minor problem for the matches with IRS systems; when HawkEye was human-based we had an IRS umpire sitting there already, so there is some precedence.

    The faults regarding players interacting (§13.4.4 hindering an allowed shot and §13.4.3 going under the net) contain subjective judgement; as such, I don't think they are good candidates for a review.

    With normal cameras, it will be very hard to catch double hits and players touching the shuttle, both because you need focus/framerate as well as positioning. Detecting these faults would require a prohibitive number of (high-framerate) cameras so that you get a 360° degree view of everything. Sure, one could allow challenges and then just judge No decision, but that does not seem that helpful.

    Fault receiver can be checked automatically in principle, and by an IRS umpire with a slow-motion camera.


    In summary, some faults are good candidates for challenges, while others (with current technology and budget) are not. If you allow challenges where No decision is a regular result, I don't think it would be helpful for the flow of the match. If you limit the faults that can be challenged (say, §§ 9.1.4, 9.1.9, 9.1.7, 13.4.1, 13.4.2 only), then you'd have a lot of discussions about challenges, which would detract from the game. Therefore, with the current technology and budgets, I don't think fault challenges are a good idea.
     
    #3 phihag, Dec 17, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2016
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  4. badmintony

    badmintony Regular Member

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    Giving the player a chance to also challenge an umpire or a service judge's call I think may still be a good idea. If a player can challenge line judge's calls, why not the umpire's and service judge's? Maybe there should only be a limit.

    Or maybe the coaches have the right to make the call as I don't see any of them doing the complaints and it's always the player doing so.
     
  5. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    How would you implement it?
     
  6. badmintony

    badmintony Regular Member

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    Well, I can imagine it could basically be reviewing the replay of the called fault to determine if the challenge is good or not.

    One good example is LCW's very recent match where the replay very clearly showed he didn't touch the net and yet he was faulted.
     
  7. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    Did you read phihag's post?
     
  8. stradrider

    stradrider Regular Member

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    The replay did not clearly show that that fault was wrong. We don't see the top of the racket when it passes the net. In order to overrule the decision of the umpire you would need to evaluate the footage from all the directions and it will take too much time and too many cameras. This is really unnecessary, even line challenges already delay the game by too much and often used to take a break...

    Remember that an umpire is the qualified impartial person on court that knows all the rules and is in charge of the game. But he is still a human that can make a mistake like anyone else. If you count how many unforced errors LCW made during the game, pinning his loss on one decision of the umpire and saying that LCW lost because of the umpire's mistake is incredibly fan-boyish.

    I don't want to sound harsh, but your suggestion to involve coaches in the judging is simply ridiculous. They are the last people you want to ask for the opinion...
     
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  9. pcll99

    pcll99 Regular Member

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    Let's say after reviewing the IRS, the referee determines that the net fault call by the umpire is wrong.

    Who should be awarded the point? The person who was faulted?
     
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  10. visor

    visor Regular Member

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    10 yrs from now, I'm pretty sure there will be video replay challenges available for the players to challenge these difficult subjective calls like net kill faults and service faults. Looking forward to it.
     
  11. stradrider

    stradrider Regular Member

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    Today, in 2016, while we talk about colonizing the Mars, there were no proper synthetic shuttles created yet... The IRS is only on one court and only at Superseries level tournaments - nowhere as advanced technology as most of you guys out there imaging.

    At some point there probably going to be sensors that can sense if you touched the net, or invaded an opponent court, may be service faults, may be for the line calls. 10 years from now? Forget it...
     
  12. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    Since there is no review by IRS, there no point in asking this question...:D

    Anyway, you still have the option of a let with a point replay.
     
  13. jjashik

    jjashik Regular Member

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    You guys have probably seen it already, but I watch this one umpire officiating two games, and in both he makes bad calls for net touch on the player going for the net kill.

    First is LCW vs VA:


    The second is VA vs Son Wan Ho:


    Third is later in that same game:


    Let me address the second call where the umpire judges that Son Wan Ho touched the bird before it crossed over to his side. The replay is very tight and one could argue either way, so I am fully ready to give the umpire the benefit.

    But the other two calls, faults on LCW and SWH are problematic because the umpire assumes in both cases that because the net is disturbed the player must have touched it. Yes, both players' rackets were very close to the net, but that is simply the nature of a net-kill. You can sense the umpire's reflex in calling a fault as soon as he sees the net movement. What the ump should have done before calling the fault is to observe whether the shuttle behaves as if it deflected or not. In both cases, the shuttles clearly behave so. It's like a cop who arrests and jails the first guy he sees running after a reported robbery, without assessing all the facts.

    My ultimate question is whether these umps or their superiors review with video their performance (i.e. calls) afterwards so that they can ensure top officiating performance. This ump clearly had no review between those two days. (If he did, he would not be so adamant on calling that third one in Son Wan Ho's case) One easy solution to this whole problem is to allow the players to challenge these calls in televised matches. They already have hawk-eye for line calls. Why not allow them 1 or 2 challenges for other calls, and then the video replay could be used. If the replay shows that a bad call was made, then "challenge successful". If it confirms the ruling, or is inconclusive, then "challenge unsuccessful". In these cases the net cam would have allowed any such challenges to be reviewed, and corrected if need be.
     
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  14. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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  15. jjashik

    jjashik Regular Member

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    Please move my post as you deem appropriate.
     
  16. SolsticeOfLight

    SolsticeOfLight Regular Member

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    Or if the umpire finds it difficult to call, let the point play out, then ask for a video umpire to make the call.
     
  17. pcll99

    pcll99 Regular Member

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    I have an idea.

    BWF should develop an app to analyse the live feed from the camera at the net.

    The smartphone can call a fault at the net instanteously!!!

    Isn't it a great idea!!! :D
     
  18. jjashik

    jjashik Regular Member

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    Here is how such a play should be umpired:
     
  19. visor

    visor Regular Member

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    Heck... don't even need a video cam at the net. Stick a smartphone there instead, turn on the app that constantly video monitors the net, and it'll instantly sound an alarm when a fault is detected...
     
  20. juneau-AK

    juneau-AK Regular Member

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    although I reckon this is tongue-firmly-in-cheek response, technology is not the answer, better training is. The game is played by humans, and it should be officiated by humans. Hawkeye shows something so different than what the video coverage shows. This is the MSF from Dubai 2016; the shuttle landed on the left-half of the evens-court (as seen from Tian's side)

    2016-12-25-sm.jpg

    This was called out, Tian challenged. Hawkeye predicted shuttle landed, like 20" from the centre line; see below.

    2016-12-25 (1)-sm.jpg

    It was no wonder that Axelsen rebelled, and had to be managed by the umpire to accept the decision and continue to play.

    In case of the umpire calling fault on net play as inquired by the OP, the umpire-call seems more hope and even more guess-work. They are probably instructed and coached to call it immediately, irrespective of the likelihood of being wrong. I particularly like it when they dig a bigger hole for themselves by explaining the situation. Such calls are no different than the ghost calls that several others have also made, and does nothing to improve credibility and trust in the umpire's decision.

    Players now not only must win the rally against opponent, but also must tackle the situation/s created by line calls; and sportsmanship be damned, there is a million dollar prize money at stake.
     

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