Monday, April 18, 2011

A question about Hawk-Eye statistics: who owns them?

I've been working on a course project that looks at the various aspects of the Hawk-Eye system used in tennis for adjudicating line calls.  For those that don't follow tennis, Hawk-Eye is a computer vision-based system, that infers the trajectory of the ball on the tennis court and calculates where it hit the ground (inside, outside, on the line, etc.)  The idea is to eliminate the human sources of error when calling the ball "in" or "out"; errors that can be all the way from "the ball is too fast for the human eye" to "the linesman hates this player."

But there's one place where I'm getting stuck.  The Hawk-Eye system, once deployed on a court, generates a bunch of statistics about the ball placement.  Who owns these statistics?  The tournament organizers, who have presumably purchased the Hawk-Eye system?  The television stations, like Tennis Channel, who use the Hawk-Eye generated statistics (and the awesome visualization) in their broadcasts?  Or is it a combination of the two?   And if someone wants to use the Hawk-Eye statistics for coaching or strategic purposes (say, for Andy Roddick to figure out how to beat Federer in the next match), how do they get those statistics?

Any help would be much appreciated.  If you have any suggestions, answers or tips (including books or links I could look up), please use the comments.  Thanks!

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