Hawkeye appears at badminton matches? (Part 1)

We mentioned previously how badminton is the fastest ball sport so, with judges relying on the naked eye and the shuttlecock flying through the air like a shooting star, there are occasional disputes about whether the shuttlecock is actually “in” or “out” when it lands. There is also the risk that a patriotic line judge will make a call that favors his compatriot. Just think, if a disputed call happens at the end of a match at a key moment when there is only one point between the two sides, the player who suffers will be sure to be depressed and helpless; the spectators will feel disappointed and dissatisfied that an exciting contest has been suddenly brought to an end in a ridiculous way.
For this reason, there has been wide speculation for a long while that the Badminton World Federation (BWF) will adopt the Hawkeye umpire support system used at the four tennis Grand Slam events. A decision was actually made by the BWF three months after the London Olympics to adopt a similar system to make competition fairer. What actually is Hawkeye? Most people probably don’t really know. The Hawkeye system combines six high speed cameras and a complex computer calculation system that tracks and calculates the position of a ball/shuttlecock as its moves through 3D space. It was first used in baseball, and was officially adopted at the US Open tennis tournament in 2006.
A Hawkeye camera being installed at a tennis stadium
(Photo source
A fully-installed Hawkeye camera
(Photo source
Hawkeye cameras installed around a tennis stadium
(Photo source

Hawk-eye can make mistakes too!

Has everyone noticed how Hawkeye reaches its decision? It uses computer animation to show where the tennis ball lands. Although the system is claimed to be as keen-eyed as a hawk, the result is still only a computer simulation. There have actually been cases in which a player has challenged the line judge’s call, the Hawkeye system has supported the judge, but the slow-motion replay showed that the player was right to challenge the call.

Setting aside the question of the accuracy of the Hawkeye system, it seems that there is no way that the Hawkeye system can be used to simulate where a shuttlecock lands because calculating the flight path of a shuttlecock is 10 times more complex than doing the same for a tennis, cricket or football. A shuttlecock isn’t perfectly round, it’s cone shaped, and not only that, it spins continually as it flies through the air, there is also a tiny gap between the base of each feather, and a shuttlecock is being continually worn when used in play. These factors make computer simulation of the landing spot of a shuttlecock extremely difficult. The landing spot of the ball is simulated
following various calculations
(Photo source:

Consequently, taking into account cost and actual application, the BWF decided to adopt the Instant Review System (IRS) and the Court Challenge System. These were trailed at the Malaysia Open in January 2013 and the plan was to formally introduced them at the Djarum Cup Indonesian Open in June, however, with “More testing is needed” as the reason, the adoption of the IRS was postponed. The BWF then announced at the end of 2013 that the IRS would be adopted at the December Super Series Finals, without doubt the introduction of the system at this event an attempt by the BWF to attract more top players. “Badminton King” Lee Chong Wei became the first player to use the IRS to use the Court Challenge right and his challenge was successful! (The above contents represent the views of the author and not this company)

( Edit by VICTOR Badminton )



- Well-known badminton blogger -
- Obsess in international badminton event since 2008 Beijing Olympics
- Specialize in analyzing world badminton players’ affair
- Worked in international news agency as editor and reporter
- Translate a lots of international badminton news and interviews
- Interviewed many top badminton player and coach in the word