At tennis tournaments with hawkeye, a player is allowed 3 challenges to a call made as to whether a ball was in or not, and losing one challenge each time they are wrong.

I can understand limiting the ability for a player to make a challenge, but every call made is seen on the computer by the hawkeye technicians.

What is the reasoning behind the ATP rules for not allowing hawkeye to interfere whenever a wrong call is made? And moreover, why not scrap linesmen and simply have hawkeye alert the umpire?

2 Answers 2


At present the problem with not allowing Hawkeye to automatically correct a wrong call is the cost of installation. Many articles suggest the cost is $60,000-$100,000 per court. The price will go down as the technology improves but it is too high to be installed at every place as of now.

Another thing associated with cost is the likelihood of technical problems or electronics failures, and backups would add on that cost.

There are other issues that make it unlikely that linesmen would be replaced altogether.

Geoff Pollard said "We might have electronics failure," (if that happened) where do you find 350 linesmen at short notice?"


Paul Hawkins of Hawkeye Innovations said he believed the ITF was looking only to use the machines for replays of disputed points.

"I think that's what they want," he said. "I think with machines deciding every point it would become too sterile."

Blockquote of Pollard and Hawkins was obtained from The Age article by Richard Hinds in source given below.

As of now only bigger tournaments are able to employed this technology even with backup but that doesn't justify scrapping a linesman altogether. But we can't neglect the idea that this won't happen in future, when price is justified.

Sources used for this answer: The Age, Reuters, USA Today, The Atlantic, Sports Illustrated, The Guardian and rediff.

  • While this explains what Hawkeye is, it doesn't address the question.
    – Chenmunka
    Jul 7, 2017 at 7:44
  • @Nij changed as much as I could but not sure if it's still sound as opinion. Jul 8, 2017 at 6:32
  • 1
    I believe you've made it factual and referenced. Personally, I would have expected exactly those factors to be the block: traditionalism and redundancy and cost.
    – Nij
    Jul 8, 2017 at 8:44
  • @Nij traditionalism is mentioned in many articles but I didn't find a proper way to mention in the answer. Jul 8, 2017 at 9:09

Well, it seems that your wish will come true in near future. ATP will try a new system with no line referees on NEXTGEN Finals in November. They will have automatic hawkeye to signal any out during the game instantly. Source: tennisproguru.com, or here if you understand Swiss German.


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