NBA basketball

The same technology that’s in place for soccer and tennis appears to be headed to the NBA.

The NBA announced a partnership with Sony Sports to bring in Hawk-Eye technology that will follow players and the ball to help with various calls like out-of-bounds, and goaltending. This process will be implemented starting in the 2023-24 NBA season.

At first, Hawk-Eye will be used by referees to review calls, but eventually, the hope is to have it automatically make those calls without referee input. Similar to how, at the Australian Open and U.S. Open, Hawk-Eye replaced line judges entirely.

In addition to tennis, Hawk-Eye is used in soccer. Goal-line technology has been a standard part of the sport for over a decade. More recently, Hawk-Eye was used at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, where referees could determine offside calls more efficiently.

This should have benefits from a fan enjoyment perspective, as well as the broadcast. While everyone wants to ensure calls are correct, a lengthy review could really hurt the flow of a game. Especially toward the end. As we’ve seen in other sports, calls that would take minutes to review take seconds with Hawk-Eye, and there’s hope it will do the same with out-of-bounds and goaltending calls. While it won’t stop every lengthy review stoppage, it’s progress.

In addition, Hawk-Eye will have an analytics component as data derived through the system will provide “virtual game recreations” and the ability to have automated graphics using those stats.

[Front Office Sports]

About Phillip Bupp

News editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing, highlight consultant for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them.

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