business

Let's Go To The Videotape, Mr. Mc Enroe

Line disputes between players and judges are common at most tennis matches. To make such decisions strictly impartial, an Israeli software company, DSI of Givat Shmeul, a subsidiary of the U.S.-based DSSI, has developed an Automatic Line Officiating System. ALOS includes an array of video cameras that record the ball's position at any point on the border of the court. The results are then visually displayed to officials and spectators--all within half a second. DSI President Samuel Fogel says that a commercial system, which he plans to lease, will be out within a year.

Line systems are not a new concept. Two alternative systems have already been developed in Australia and the U.S. A line system from Canada, Accu-Call, relies on an overlay of electronic circuitry around the court. However, these have not been adopted extensively for tennis tournaments. Fogel is marketing the ALOS system as a way to save big on officiating costs--and hoping it will catch on.

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