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Mar 27

Bad Usability: New Tennis Challenge System

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At the NASDAQ tennis competition that is running at the moment, we see a new feature in Tennis. The players have the ability to challenge a call that is made in a game (They get 2 calls per set + more for tie-breaks etc).

This sounds reasonable right? Just like american football and the like.

The problem is that this is exactly the wrong way to do this. Is the reason for this rule change to get calls right? or to stir up the crowd/players?

If the reason is to make the calls right, why wouldn’t you have the following process:

  • The scoring system is aware of who was awarded a point
  • The scoring system can talk to the hawk-eye video system that can tell it whether the ball was in/out
  • If there is a mismatch (point was awarded to player one, even though the ball hit by player two did in fact go in and the ball never was hit back) then the system itself can warn the chair umpire who can give the point to the correct person.

If we want to use computers to help us out here, let’s do it all the way, and not rely on the poor players to decide when to call or not!

One Response to “Bad Usability: New Tennis Challenge System”

  1. Kevin Says:

    I wrote a great article about the new challenge system, how it works, and how it affects the game of tennis…..check it out:

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