Hawkeye gets European OK, Games may follow
The Hawkeye ball tracking system will be in place at the Champions League Final Four in Poland next month, the European Volleyball Confederation (CEV) said on Monday, paving the way for its possible introduction at the London Olympic Games.
"The Hawkeye system will be used for the very first time in an international competition as even (world`s governing body) FIVB never used it," CEV`s press officer Federico Ferraro said.
"We`ll see what kind of reactions we`ll receive after the Final Four tournament and then we`ll have to see what the FIVB think about it."
While there have been calls for the system to be used at Olympic volleyball events, it is a decision which can only be taken by the FIVB. "We (CEV) do not have any influence on the procedures developed for the Olympics," Ferraro said.
The system in Poland will allow team captains the possibility to challenge the decisions of the referees twice per set using ball-tracking TV replays.
The Polish volleyball league has successfully used the system in domestic competitions on several occasions since 2010 with the majority of players and coaches saying it is the best way to avoid controversies.
"I am really positively impressed by the system," said CEV`s President of the European Cups Commission Riet Ooms after visiting Atlas Arena in Lodz, where the Final Four will take place on March 17-18.
"The system helps control emotions and nervousness out there on the court," Ooms added.
"The players stay cool, and on the other side the referees are always sure that finally the right decision is being made. Additionally, the system does not influence the normal pace of the game as all discussions are quite quickly finalised."
The challenge system is already in use in tennis, cricket and some other sports.
Polish team Skra Belchatow have already qualified for the Final Four tournament as hosts with other three participants to be decided later this month.