Technology to the referee’s aid

There is nothing more frustrating and cringeful for a sports fan to watch than the replay of a play on which the on-field umpire made a wrong call. Whether that call was in favour of your team or against, means little when the contract of fair competition is breached. Fans are left to reconcile their rationales and emotions using few techniques. The fanatics among us choose to vent frustrations quite vocally and in an increasingly intolerant trend, even by physically destructive means. The casual follower is more forgiving and sympathetic to the plight of the umpire who is expected to make that split second call under immense pressure while the rest of the public is awarded the benefit of reviewing the play on television from many angles, at varying levels of optical and digital zoom as well as in ultra-slow motion. In other cases a heat sensing camera, a high sensitive microphone and other gadgets from the espionage trade are employed.

Chalking off such incidents to human error has been the best soothing balm that administrators of the sport have offered for the longest time. However, some sports, over the last couple of decades, have decided to leverage the technological advancement as a viable option to rectify this. Real time decisions could either be deferred or reviewed by off-field referees. This has eliminated a lot of heartburn among the sports fans. Precluding any chance of human error as well as any possibility of malicious intent has proven to be a success among the fans. Nobody likes to hear or talk about the mistakes of the umpires once the match is over. The focus should be on the competitors and the competition.

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