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VideoReferee at Olympic Canoe Slalom competitions

VideoReferee at Olympic Canoe Slalom competitions

Broadcast Solutions supports the Olympic Canoe Slalom tournament in Rio de Janeiro at the Deodoro race course with two VideoReferee systems.

videoReferee by is a specialised solution that helps judges and officials in dubious situations and offers safe decisions. It will be used at Canoe Slalom competitions during the Olympics in Brazil as well.

Canoe Slalom is one of the most dynamic and most spectacular boat sports. The aim is to complete in a very short time a white water course and to pass through gates downstream or upstream correctly. The gates should be passed completely without touching the rods. If this fails, the athlete will receive penalty seconds for touching the rods or missing the gate. Whether a rod is touched or a gate has been passed correctly, is often difficult to judge during competition. In order to assist the referees on the course in questionable situations the International Canoe Federation ICF has implemented video judging systems in international competitions since the year 2007.

However, the common technical tools in use often reached their limits because of to little perspectives and available camera signals. Beforehand the simultaneous view of several signals and perspectives was difficult to achieve and obstruct fair decision-making. An unsatisfying situation for athletes and fans alike. First Use of videoReferee at the European Championships For the 2015 Canoe Slalom European Championships the organizers went new ways. During the Canoe Slalom European Championships in Markkleeberg (Germany) ICF supports the local host with the implementation of video judging systems using a videoReferee system.

With videoReferee the referees had access to up to 11 camera signals in HD quality. In the competition, all signals could be viewed and marked simultaneously during continuous recording. videoReferee offered the organizers and referees unprecedented opportunities to clarify controversial scenes, thus ensuring more fairness during competition.

Jean Michel Prono, Chairman Canoe Slalom, International Canoe Federation (ICF) on using videoReferee during the competition: “videoReferee answers our needs for a fast review of a situation while the race is still running. It really solves the problems we have with dubious situations.” The videoReferee system used during the Canoe Slalom European Championships proved its flexibility in practical use. It was integrated easily into the existing infrastructure of the event and had access to two signal sources. On the one hand the system used the signals of the cameras already on-site. Additionally, videoReferee used video signals provided by the local host broadcaster. Using videoReferee and realising the optimal and best possible coverage of the 270m long race course with up to 25 gates offered the event organizers new opportunities and quality in assessing contentious scenes, never attained before. The recording of all material with videoReferee provides additional benefit. New ways to use the recorded video material for marketing purposes arise for event organizers as well as sports organisations.

In 2016 videoReferee systems were in use during several Canoe Slalom Worldcup tournaments around Europe like the European Canoe Slalom Championships in Liptovski (Slovenia), the World Cup Series in Ivrea (Italy), La Seu d’Urgell (Spain) or Pau (France), using some of the most famous white-water courses in the world. During these competitions an exciting new discipline tested the system. In Canoe Slalom Cross three athletes start simultaneously by plunging into the water and have to pass only 4 rods and to do a role. For next years’ competitions in Canoe Slalom Cross extensive testing and use of the videoRefeee system is scheduled.

Broadcast Solutions supports the tournament at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro now with two systems at the Deodoro race course. The main system is a videoReferee MKIII with 12 channels recording simultaneously. A videoReferee MKII with up to 11 channels is used as a backup system. (7/16)


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