Hawk announce partnership with NFL

Admin / Calcio Digital

Jun 30, 2021

In the NFL's continued efforts to enhance and streamline its instant replay process Hawk-Eye Innovations is to aid officials and shave seconds off delays.

In the NFL's continued efforts to enhance and streamline its instant replay process Hawk-Eye Innovations is to aid officials and shave seconds off delays.

Hawk-Eye's state-of-the-art replay system that will allow the NFL to process live video in real time and sync up various camera angles seamlessly. This comes on the heels of team owners approving expanded duties for replay officials to help with clear, obvious and objective aspects of a play for game administration purposes.

Hawk-Eye is a leader in the sports technology field. It has been used for goal-line tech in international soccer, pit-lane officiating in NASCAR, and it's perhaps best-known for its optical tracking system that enables electronic line calling in tennis.

The NFL will use Hawk-Eye's Synchronized Multi-Angle Replay Technology (SMART) to get control of live video feeds from broadcast partners. All of those feeds can be synced together with time stamps to provide multiple angles of the same play at the exact same time. (TV partners have done something similar for viewers over the years, but not this precise or this quickly after the play.)

The point here is to both get as many calls as possible correct but also speed up the game. Of the 40,032 plays in the 2020 season, only 364 were reviewed. That's slightly lower than the league's 10-year average of 400 plays reviewed since 2011.

Interestingly, the NFL saw its highest reversal rate ever in 2020. Never before had the league seen half of its reviewed plays overturned, and going into 2020 only 38.6% of all reviews had been overturned since 1999. But in 2020, 54% of all reviews were reversed, representing an increase of 7 percentage points from the previous season.

The high percentage of reversals could be due to any combination of factors: no preseason warmups for officials to get into their groove, improved in-stadium technology gives clearer pictures and/or coaches simply getting better at what close calls to challenge.