I recently heard a volleyball podcaster extol the virtues of the the Hawkeye System being used now in (some) FIVB events for the video challenge. The system uses 16 cameras that track the ball at every moment along its path and creates an animation which then shows exactly the place the ball landed. He went on to say that this version was much better than a match official watching a video to determine whether the ball landed in or out.
The argument makes some intuitive sense. The picture is very clear and of course, computers are computers. It is also unquestionably better and easier for spectators and TV viewers to understand what has happened. There is however one fairly important point. Why is it better to use a computer generated representation of where the ball should have landed than an actual video of where the ball actually landed. Is it because we don’t trust a match official to be honest with what he is seen on the video? Is our trust level really that low?
The video below shows pretty clearly that a computer generated representation is not necessarily reality. And the comments in the World Of Volley article (here) show that people will still believe Hawk Eye even when there is contrary evidence.
Personally, I vote for reality. No matter how pretty the pictures are.