Today, Ireland’s most trusted optician*, Specsavers, was announced as the official sponsor of the new Hawkeye points detection technology at Croke Park.
This state of the art system will be used for both Hurling and Football games at Croke Park, and will support the decision making of the referee in the eventuality of any ambiguity as to whether a point has been scored or not.
Hawkeye at Croke Park will be utilised for the first time on 1 June at the Leinster GAA Football Senior Championship Quarter Final double header for the Westmeath/Carlow v Dublin and Offaly v Kildare fixtures.
Speaking at the launch, Specsavers joint venture partner Seamus Breslin, commented: ‘Specsavers is very excited to be involved in such an innovative piece of technology as Hawkeye at Croke Park. We are delighted to be working with The GAA on providing the best possible view for both referees and spectators.
‘With 44 Specsavers stores located all over Ireland, we know from our staff and customers just how important a point decision can be. Hopefully this will significantly reduce the number of times we hear ‘Should’ve gone to Specsavers’ addressed to the referees’.
Hawkeye, which is a Sony company, has a proven track record in both cricket and tennis and has been trialled over the last two years at Croke Park. Within the stadium there will be six cameras, four located in the stands and one behind each goal. During play, if there is uncertainty as to whether a point has been scored the referee will refer to Hawkeye which tracks the ball in real time. The height of the posts can be virtually increased if the ball has gone over the height of the posts. The big screen at Croke Park will show the trajectory of the ball and say whether the shot is a point or not.
Commenting on the announcement Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Gael Liam Ó Néill said: “This is an exciting development that we believe will bring further clarity to our games and crucially to the detection of scores.
“We have worked hard to ensure that the system will work for Gaelic games and I am confident that the technology involved will ensure accuracy and fairness at the heart of the all important score recording process.
“I look forward to our partnership with Specsavers and believe the roll out of the system has the potential to add further intrigue to what are already hugely exciting games, both for those in attendance at Croke Park but also for viewers at home.”