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TMO and TV directors

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Post by Poorfour Tue 14 Feb 2023, 1:31 pm

There have been a several incidents over the last few weeks where the TMO and ref have not been shown the most important angle for a decision by the local TV director.

The James Lowe non-try at the weekend was a strong example - two angles were shown by the TMO to Wayne Barnes. The front on view made it look as if Lowe's foot might have brushed the grass over the line, but not conclusively; the rear view made it look clear that he hadn't. Only after the try had been awarded did much clearer footage emerge showing that his foot was in touch.

It's not been the only incident like this - there were a few in the Champions Cup games in particular where the decisive angle wasn't made available at the time of the decision.

I don't know enough about TV production for sports to know if there's a genuine reason for this - e.g. does higher res footage take longer to extract? - but it would be interesting to know if anything could be done to ensure that the TMO has access to all the footage. For example, could they have a technician in the van with them who has access to all the camera feeds so they're not as dependent on the production team?
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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 15 Feb 2023, 8:24 am

Not sure what could be done really. Unless the tmo is told of every camera and if that feed isn't available the benefit of the doubt goes to the away side. What happened in the Ireland game was dodgy as but its a small wedge of the pie and obviously not just that director that helped his side.

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Post by mountain man Wed 15 Feb 2023, 8:50 am

Blimey whatever you do dont go onto a BBC HYS and hint it might possibly be not a try.
You'll be branded all sorts of names.

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Post by profitius Wed 15 Feb 2023, 9:23 am

Maybe the TMO had too many angles and not enough time. With all the controversy over this it's only going to force TMOs into looking at every multiple times which will put people to sleep.

Some people say it could have been a penalty try to Ireland which would have got ireland 7 points instead of 5. I couldn't be arsed looking back as these things come down to fine margins.
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Post by Sgt_Pooly Wed 15 Feb 2023, 9:26 am

I read somewhere over the weekend from someone linked to production(I can't quite recall where) that all the angles are available, it's up to the TMO what he shows. I don't know how true this is.....but apparently the TMO had access to the angle for Ireland game.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 15 Feb 2023, 9:27 am

profitius wrote:Maybe the TMO had too many angles and not enough time. With all the controversy over this it's only going to force TMOs into looking at every multiple times which will put people to sleep.

Some people say it could have been a penalty try to Ireland which would have got ireland 7 points instead of 5. I couldn't be arsed looking back as these things come down to fine margins.

It definitely wasn't a pen try as there was an attempt to wrap. It's an issue across the game. You see the away sides misdemeanours repeated on big screens and high looking tackles disappear for the home side. Puts the refs in really awkward positions as they can either ignore foul play or play to the tune of the home crowd.

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Post by lostinwales Wed 15 Feb 2023, 9:34 am

I guess as far as the Ireland France game goes the 'try' was not a deciding factor and Ireland were well on top over the course of the game. I could imagine the French being pretty upset if it was though.

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Post by Pete330v2 Wed 15 Feb 2023, 9:41 am

"TMO and ref have not been shown the most important angle for a decision by the local TV director."

I was watching a podcast (I can't remember which) where the host and guests spoke about this at length. They mentioned that the company and director were not local so it wasn't the underhanded work of an Irish director. I can't find any evidence to back this up so perhaps some of you folks know.

It's not something that's going to go away, the mixture of pressure to keep the game moving and human error will at times result in these decisions, rightly or wrongly. I mean last year in Paris there was a clear forward pass for France's opening try, it was quickly forgotten after Hansen's score but if he hadn't scored, I wonder would we still be moaning about the forward pass.
If we're going to go into the minutia of the Lowe incident it's indeed shocking that the foot in touch was missed but equally shocking that the French foul play in attempting to defend the score. Shouldn't Ireland have had a penalty at the restart?

It's a field sport, the officials won't always get things right and there are piles of screen shots online of other 'moments' Barnes missed. If he were to catch them all the games would last all day.

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Post by mountain man Wed 15 Feb 2023, 10:56 am

lostinwales wrote:I guess as far as the Ireland France game goes the 'try' was not a deciding factor and Ireland were well on top over the course of the game. I could imagine the French being pretty upset if it was though.

Ireland won by more than one score but momentum is a big factor. If try ruled out then who knows what would have happened. Maybe Ireland would have still won but maybe not.
However, why have TMOs at all if correct decision not reached or the definitive camera angle not shown/used.
I have no skin in this as I'm English but I do like to see correct decisions made. This wasn't one.

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Post by Heaf Wed 15 Feb 2023, 11:16 am

For me there are some key questions that we need clarification around ...

Do the TMOs actually have access to all the angles or not, as there seem to be differing statements made around this? If not this is clearly an issue that needs to be addressed.

If they do, in this particular incident did the TMO have access to the 'telling' view but for some reason not look at it, and if so why not?

If he did look at it, WTF?

Finally, although we'd assume so, is what we're being shown on the TV during the review process always the same as what the ref is seeing on the stadium screen?

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 15 Feb 2023, 11:24 am

It's the same feed so yes.

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Post by Pot Hale Mon 27 Feb 2023, 3:21 am

There was a video made about this topic a couple of years when they introduced the Hawkeye system.

At test matches, where there could be 20 different camera feeds, the TMO is provided with a separate set of feeds from each camera, and screens to view them - sometimes 4-8 angles per screen.  The feeds are independent from the TV production box where the director calls the shots for selection.   As we have sometimes seen/heard, a ref can ask the TMO to look at an incident whilst the match continues.  The TMO I(or an assistant analyst) can replay an incident, and sometimes by dint of the timecode lock, get all camera feeds to rewind to the position that he/she wants to look at, and see it from different angles.  When the ref requests a large screen replay, the TV director cuts to the TMO feed which sometimes shows the TMO looking at screens, and the angle he is looking at, and plays back the incident using a selection of different angles.   It is the TMO who decides what shots go up on large screen for an incident, not the TV director, as laid out in 6N and WR rules around broadcasting and TMOs.

As I understand it, there was a French TV camera operator running the touchline who was sending additional feeds to Paris for their production.  It was his shots from behind that were picked up initially by French TV and then the home TV production team were provided with the footage for use in their studio discussion.  

For many years, rugby matches in Lansdowne were actually recorded by the BBC who had the production contract and they provided the feed to RTE, the Irish national broadcaster.

About 12-15 years ago, RTE sold all of its outside broadcast facilities to a private independent production company, and hired them in to do OBs as and when required with an independent production company. A number of these company now exist.

The crew they might use/hire could be a mix of different nationalities, so assumptions that the local person in the box has a particular bias could be well wide of the mark.
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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 27 Feb 2023, 6:28 am

Except in this case the angle wasn't used, it was said that those were all the angles available and then immediately after it was given they showed the mystery angle pace then cut away...

Still dodgy.

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Post by Heaf Mon 27 Feb 2023, 11:48 am

The TMO part seems reasonable from what Pot says - but the local director, if they are so inclined, can still replay stuff in the live feed that's beneficial to their own side to get the crowd baying and thus get the officials' attention.  

The perception we see this more in France could maybe be that knowing French employment trends it's much more likely to be a closed shop with only French companies allowed to do the broadcasting, than maybe elsewhere where it's more independent production companies?

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Post by Poorfour Mon 27 Feb 2023, 12:26 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Except in this case the angle wasn't used, it was said that those were all the angles available and then immediately after it was given they showed the mystery angle pace then cut away...

Still dodgy.

From what Pot Hale wrote, there was an additional cameraman sending a feed that may not have been immediately available to the TMO. The TMO did say that they'd shared the best angles (which presumably means the best angles they'd seen)
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Post by Pot Hale Mon 27 Feb 2023, 3:15 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Except in this case the angle wasn't used, it was said that those were all the angles available and then immediately after it was given they showed the mystery angle pace then cut away...

Still dodgy.

If it was shown immediately after it was given, and before play re-started from halfway, there was time for further TMO intervention if something extra was spotted.

The law is now that a try can be reviewed, even if the conversion kick has been taken.
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Post by Poorfour Sun 19 Mar 2023, 9:05 pm

Rugby Special tonight looked at the Steward red card and pointed out that the time from the forward pass to the collision was 0.6s. Human reaction speed to visual stimuli is around 0.2s, which gives you a sense of how little time Steward had to react.

It made me think: should slow motion replays be required to include a time code on the clip so that the ref team can better judge the actual speed at which things are happening?
And should WR do some research into how long it takes people to react to a change so that refs also have a sense of what is achievable?
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Post by TJ Sun 19 Mar 2023, 10:05 pm

REfs often askfor a normal speed replay to judge the timings and speeds

With Steward - if he had enough time to jump toward keenan and turn he had enough time to put his arms out

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Post by Recwatcher16 Sun 19 Mar 2023, 10:12 pm

Owen Farrell after the match was asked by irish journalists about England height in the tackle, in relation to the Steward incident. Borthwick interjected and stated Steward didn't actually make a tackle. Keenan initially shapes to kick the ball and Steward reacts to that rather than Keenan subsequently lurching to catch the bounce of the ball.
Essentially Steward got penalised for being physically bigger than his opponent  who came off worse in the subsequent contact.

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Post by Duty281 Mon 20 Mar 2023, 12:09 am

Did anyone see the TMO debacle in the cup final earlier?

At around 79 minutes, an Exeter player takes an almighty whack to the head, which actually knocked him out for a couple of seconds, but the TMO claimed that he couldn't see any clear head contact. Horrific officiating. It was 17-17 at the time, and if the TMO saw the head contact it would have resulted in an Exeter win as the penalty would have been bang in front. Fortunately, Exeter won it in ET anyway.

That wasn't the only error the TMO made. Midway through the first half, an Irish player's shoulder connected with the head of an Exeter player. This was either missed or deemed OK.

I might bang on about it too much, but the standard of rugby officiating worldwide is hugely concerning. I appreciate the game is very difficult to referee, however it seems every week there's a basic error being made.

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