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NRL To Trial Forward Pass Detection Technology

NRL To Trial Forward Pass Detection Technology

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he National Rugby League (NRL) is set to trial micro-chipped balls which will detect forward passes.

Nine’s Wide World of Sports (WWOS) reports the technology, developed by a NASA nuclear scientist, involves a microchip implanted in the game ball and “a series of tripod mounted beacons placed around the field.”

The technology, known as Sportable, has already been used in Rugby Union, with WWOS reporting England rugby union coach Eddie Jones used it to analyse the hang time of a kick.

In 2019, Sportable technology was trialled at the Rugby X tournament in London.

CEO Dugald Macdonald told NS Business how the technology works.

“The high precision RFID [radio-frequency identification] tracking we use is accurate to the nearest centimetre, and is embedded in the ball and the devices worn by the players,” Macdonald said.

“We then superimpose a virtual 3D grid on the field so that the devices recognise hen the ball has gone over a certain height or when it has moved forward relative to the ball carrier,” Macdonald told NS Business.

Similar technology is due to be trialled in training matches, but the NRL’s head of football, Graham Annesley, told the Sydney Morning Herald that its “very early stages.”

“All we have agreed to is a trial of the technology in training matches to determine whether the technology meets out needs,” Annesley said.

“If we’re convinced it is accurate and suitable, we would need to build a business case to take to the commission,” he said.

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