"Not out"? A sociomaterial perspective on decision review systems in professional cricket

Ian McLoughlin, Patrick Dawson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Management research on the relationship between sport and technology remains surprisingly limited given that the production and consumption of sporting events is increasingly interwoven with the use of new digital and network technologies (Kruse, 2010). For example, the increasing use of data analytics to track and evaluate on-field performance (Anderson and Sally, 2013), the use of mobile and other technologies to enhance the spectator experience (Kruse, 2010) and the globalisation of sporting markets and identities enabled by the network society (Hutchins and Rowe, 2013) are all transforming sport as a business and consumer experience. In this chapter we focus on the manner in which digital technologies are being deployed as aids to match officials – umpires, referees, etc. – in making on-field decisions during match play. The first and probably most well-known example of this type of innovation was the deployment of the “Hawk-eye” system in some “Grand Slam” tennis tournaments (Collins and Evans, 2008). This system used ball tracking technology to provide a means of determining the trajectory of the ball through computer generated images. In this way a ball could be deemed to be “in” or “out” or “over the line”, etc. Our focus is on the “Decision Review System” (DRS) introduced into international test cricket over the past few years. As we will see, although intended to provide an on-field aid to umpires and eliminate human error in match adjudications, the deployment of this system has proved highly controversial.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSport Entrepreneurship and Innovation
EditorsVanessa Ratten, João J. Ferreira
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781315393377
Publication statusPublished - 25 Nov 2016


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