Making sense of sensors

During last night’s women’s final of the M&M Meat Shops Canadian Junior Curling Championships, something crazy happened. Danielle Greenlees, throwing lead stones for Team Ontario, was called for two hogline violations. While the first one may have been debatable, no one can deny she got hosed on the second one. Click here to see for yourself (hat tip to Lost Its Handle).

Greenlees’ hand is clearly off the handle before the hogline. Clearly, as in … well … there’s no question about it. But for whatever reason, the red light on the stone went off – not the green one.

An official came down afterwards to test the rock, and it appeared to be working properly during those tests. As a result, Greenlees was found to be in violation.

But here’s the problem: Anyone watching the game could plainly see that she released the rock well before the hogline. And even if someone missed it during the live action, a quick check of the replay would have confirmed the obvious.

But replay wasn’t used. And not one official raised their hand and said, “Um, wait a minute. This is a national final and those sensors clearly aren’t working right.”

There was none of that. They just removed Greenlees’ rock from play, and went on with the game.

You hate seeing mistakes in important situations, but it drives you even more insane when it’s so clearly correctable. Can we please use replay in these situations? When the sensors – because of low batteries or whatever – let us down, can we please go to the replay and get the call right?

Granted, the two violations probably didn’t have that much to do with the outcome. It would be hard to make that argument about an 8-2 game.

But the whole thing just looked ridiculous.

It’s an easy fix. Let’s use replay if something like this ever happens again.


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