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GoalScan is set for Sixways trial
DODGY decisions could be kicked into touch with an innovative new goal-post technology set to be trialled at Sixways today.
GoalScan is the creation of Hereford-based IA Technology Limited and it is designed to remove any doubt as to whether a penalty, conversion or drop-goal has been successful or not.
The pioneering technology has been approved by both the Rugby Football Union (RFU) and International Rugby Board (IRB) for experimentation at elite level and Worcester Warriors will be hosting the initial stages of the testing.
The GoalScan system works by generating an electronic curtain from the crossbar upwards which, when intruded by a rugby ball, transmits a signal to the referee. It will also, if required, activate flashing lights within the bar, LCD units and television monitors.
The outcome of huge matches often hinge on the touch judges deciding by sight whether or not a kick at goal is good, which is certainly fallible, as famously proved in the clash between Wales and South Africa at the 2011 Rugby World Cup.
James Hook’s 14th-minute penalty seemed to go through the posts, but it was not given by the touch judges or referee. Wales lost the match by one point and subsequent replays showed that the penalty had, in fact, been successful.
IA Technology took GoalScan to CEO of the RFU Francis Barron, who then arranged a meeting at Twickenham and it is now anticipated the concept will be progressed in partnership with the IRB.
The company now hope their technological breakthrough can make a real difference in the sport and Warriors executive chairman Cecil Duckworth is a big fan of the idea.
He said: “We have experienced some doubtful decisions here at Sixways, so when I was approached by IA Technology we immediately thought it was a great idea.
“I contacted the RFU who were also very impressed. Hopefully, it will be accepted by the IRB and I give the project my wholehearted support.”
If today’s trial is deemed a success, the next step will be for IA Technology to design and build prototypes for trial at Twickenham. Duncan Williams, managing director of IA Technology, added: “Ejection seat electronics are part of our core business and one of the reasons we enjoy the reputation we do for providing reliable equipment.
“We test our equipment to destruction, if it were to fail the consequences would be catastrophic and fatal.
“In the electronics world the key indicator is the MTBF — Mean Time Before Failure.
“We’re proud that our MTBF currently stands at zero and GoalScan will be manufactured to those same exacting standards.”