Monday, January 20, 2014

Just keep lowering the bar

And everyone can jump over it.

A few years ago, Pam Shriver announced the result of a study that had been done on the accuracy of line officials. They were correct 70% of the time. Just as I was thinking "that's even worse than I thought," Shriver told us all how great it was.

A while ago, an announcement was made that at the 2014 Australian Open, the officials have been correct 70% of the time in the women's matches, and 75% of the time in the men's. Then ESPN commentators told us something special must be going on for the line officials to be that good.

What if I "got it right" 70% of the time in my job? I would be searching everywhere, for either another job, or a way to correct my apparently errant ways. If your job is to call the lines, then 70% (or even 75%) accuracy isn't good at all. But ESPN says it's great, so you know, it must be great.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Was this based on observation of the video of the points, or the HawkEye version? HawkEye is often wrong when compared to the video either due to bad design or manipulation. Yes, there are powerful betting interests who might wish to influence matches. A few calls at the right (wrong) moments and a match result can be turned on its head. The MacCam was a far better idea.

Diane said...

That's a good question, and I don't know the answer. Someone else might.

Eric said...

love you Diane. :)

Diane said...

:)

Colette Lewis said...

I think you're being unfair Diane. Officials have a much higher percentage of correct calls than 70. That is their accuracy on balls close enough to be challenged, and the margin of error on Hawkeye is such that it really can't be seen as the "truth."

Diane said...

I don't consider Hawkeye the truth, to be sure, though I think it comes close. The first time around, they said that 70% was on all calls; this time around, it's on balls close enough to be challenged. And to me, even considering that, 70% just isn't high enough to seem efficient. Obviously, there's plenty of room (no pun intended) for disagreement. But I would like to see something better than 70%. Just me :)

Doug said...

Video replay (MacCam) of the ball contacting the court is what is needed. It was done now and then for the tv audience. MacEnroe promoted the idea. The computer does not show the ball, it shows a cartoon of the ball, and the cartoon can be manipulated easily. Moreover HawkEye often cannot "see" the ball from the angle that would show whether or not any part of the BALL itself, and not a shadow, had indeed touched the line or not.