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Decision Review System

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UPSC Syllabus: 
GS Paper III – Science & Technology

Sub Theme:  What is DRS?

It is a technology-based system used in cricket to assist the match officials with their decision-making.

On-field umpires may choose to consult with the third umpire (known as an Umpire Review), and players may request that the third umpire consider a decision of the on-field umpires (known as a Player Review).

It uses television replays, technology that tracks the path of the ball and predicts what it would have done, microphones to detect small sounds made as the ball hits bat or pad, and infra-red imaging to detect temperature changes as the ball hits the bat or pad.

What was the issue with the silicone tape on the bat?

Hot Spot did not show a mark on the bat after a noise was heard on Snickometer. This led to the allegation that Batsmen were using silicon tape to fool the system.

 What is Hot spot technology in cricket?

Hot Spot is an infrared imaging system used in cricket to determine whether the ball has struck the batsman, bat or pad.

Thermal imaging cameras measure minute amounts of heat generated from the energy transfer when the ball hits another object. This is seen as a white spot when a negative image is then produced.

Silicone Tape on bats

The laws of cricket allow for tape to protect and repair bats and fibreglass tape, which contains silica rather than silicone.

Silicone is used as an insulator in the motor industry and has medical applications.  It is transparent. Theoretically silicone and silica have low thermal conductivity that could reduce heat transfer and friction.

 Why changes were required in the DRS system?

Under DRS, 50% of the ball should predictively hit the “wicket zone” for an on-field not-out decision to be reversed.

So if the ball-tracking simulation showed the ball to be clipping the bails, the on-field verdict, even if it was not out, stood because the “wicket zone” ended below the bails

So two balls, both predictively shown to be hitting the stumps, can both be out and not out depending on the on-field umpire’s call.

 What is umpire’s call?

Umpire’s call is about the DRS giving the benefit of the doubt to the decision taken by the on-field umpire. In LBW decisions, as per the existing rule, at least 50 per cent of the ball has to hit any part of a stump. If it is less than 50 per cent, then a batsman will survive on umpire’s call if the on-field decision is not out.

 MIT study on limitations of DRS system

The error in predicting the height can be as high as 23 mm and width 8 mm. The requirement that half the ball (the radius of a cricket ball can range from 35.6 mm to 36.4 mm) should predictively hit the “wicket zone” is to cover for this possible error. There should be enough time between a ball bouncing and striking the batsman — four uninterrupted frames The size of ball changes during the course of the match.  Faster and fuller deliveries will have fewer frames of video available.

Tennis vs cricket – Hawk Eye Use

In Tennis the ball actually hits the ground before a decision is made, whereas, in cricket, it is purely a prediction.

Even in tennis, the use of Hawk-Eye for calls as close as 1 mm, (in or out) when the figure for maximum error in the technology is around 3.6 mm has invited criticism.



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