Thread: Bad Line Calls
11-20-2008, 12:29 AM #1
Bad Line Calls
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.
11-20-2008, 12:46 AM #2
11-20-2008, 01:15 AM #3
i saw that, it was hilarious looking back on it, but while it happened, it was pretty lame, watching that happen.
11-20-2008, 02:07 AM #4
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!
11-20-2008, 04:29 AM #5
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?
11-20-2008, 04:42 AM #6
Oh dear. Concentrating is really really hard, especially in a women's doubles game..
11-21-2008, 08:07 AM #7
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.
11-21-2008, 08:58 AM #8
11-21-2008, 09:16 AM #9
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 .
11-21-2008, 12:09 PM #10
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
11-22-2008, 01:36 AM #11
11-22-2008, 01:43 AM #12
11-22-2008, 11:03 AM #13
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.
11-22-2008, 08:54 PM #14
11-22-2008, 09:42 PM #15
11-23-2008, 10:51 AM #16
11-24-2008, 01:38 AM #17
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.
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