Thursday 13 March 2008

New technology at the 'Wharf

The East Wintergarden venue at Canary WharfNew refereeing technology is being used at the ISS Canary Wharf Squash Classic this week.

The PSA is trialling a new device to assist the three-referee system that has been used periodically in events over the past year.

TRI–REF is a wireless electronic system been developed by Michael Castleton of Security Foiling Ltd and the PSA ...

I wrote about the success of the three-ref system at last year's Docklands event. The new devices have been designed to replace the hand signals that the existing system requires, with the hope of even greater consistency in decision making.

PSA board director Tony Hands explained:

"The prototype model will allow three referees to make a decision independently and without the knowledge of their fellow arbiters. When the three decisions have been entered into the keypads, the head referee will see the resulting decision on his keypad and will announce it to the players and audience."

Squash is in a great position to enhance all areas of the sport through technology, and the TRI–REF system sounds potentially like a great enhancement to its officiation.

In an additional technological improvment on previous years for the Canary Wharf event, a huge TV screen is sited above the glass court so all spectators can see action replays and close-ups of the players, together with a full range of tournament stats and commercials.

ISS Canary Wharf Squash Classic


  1. I thought it worked well last night except in the 4th match where a decision was queried and the umpire was asked to explain why it was or wasn't a let and the umpire had to concede that he couldn't because it was a majority decision and he had been the minority. Not sure how you get round that though!

  2. I can't decide whether that's a positive outcome for the technology of not! I'll look out for similar situations when I go this evening..thanks for posting..

  3. When I read "technology" I got excited. But this is a three way voting system!! While the idea of using this as an arbiter may be a good one, it is hard to even call this "technology". The judges could use ye olde "paper, scissors, rock" simultaneously to achieve the same effect.


  4. The whole point of the system is that it means the majority rules. So the fact a player questioned the decision even after at least 2 of the 3 reffs called it down or a let or whetever just goes to show that there needs to be rules enforcing the system. Pretty bad sportsmanship if they cant take a decision even after 2 reffs agree.

    The reffs need to get better to though - they cant make obvious mistakes anymore. And if they do make these mistakes then it suggests that they shouldnt be allowed to reff matches in the first places and that there is a problem with the assessors. That or the WSF need to seriously find some sponsors to subsidise the presence of top quality reffs to attend big events like Canary Wharf because its not in the promoters interest to pay for three top whack reffs when one will suffice.

    WSF doesnt seem to be to proactive in that respect though.

  5. The technology was not used last night (semis) - I gather there were some problems earlier on in the week.

    A drawback of the hand signals that was evident last night was some over-excited spectators taking it upon themselves to act at fourth or fifth referees ... they were politely told to put their hands down ...


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