Computers and electronics have come to tennis. A computer-controlled line-call system will be used for?
GV Ilie Nastase of Rumania in action and umpire calls ball out.
MV Nastase protesting to linesman and umpire. (5 shots)
SV Tennis players on new court playing with conductive tennis ball.
MV Umpire with computer box. (2 shots)
CU Tennis ball in hand and then man bounces ball on out-of-court line.
CU Computer box with high-pitch "out" signal and indicating light on computer panel.
MV Man holding ball places it outside court near baseline. Signal lights up then is cancelled by umpire. (2 shots)
SV Doubles game in progress.
The "Subacall" Electronic Line Call was developed by Dr. David Supran in conjunction with Slazenger, who had to manufacture the special, electrically conductive tennis balls. Dr. Supran will soon be marketing the "line-call" version, which, in its present form, will cost about 6,000 (10,500 US Dollars) retail. The Trophy Pernod indoor tennis circuit lasts three weeks, beginning 26 September 1977 and will be played in Edinburgh, Washington and Bournemouth in the United Kingdom.
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Background: Computers and electronics have come to tennis. A computer-controlled line-call system will be used for the first time in competitive tennis next Monday (26 September) when the Trophy Pernod indoor circuit tournament begins in Edinburgh, Scotland. The new system could eventually replace linesmen at tennis matches, particularly as plans are already well advanced to produce an even more sophisticated version to detect net cords and foot faults.
SYNOPSIS: Some of the world's greatest tennis players, such as Ilie Nastase, heave often won or lost crucial matches on a linesman's call. And, although they may protest about a line call, there has been no way of actually proving to the umpire whether a disputed "out" call - or the lack of such a call - was correct. Now, thanks to scientific research, the anguishing problems for players and linesmen alike could be over.
Four English international players put the new electronic line-call system to the test on Monday (19 September). The new system took seven years to develop.
The umpire sits in his usual position, but with a computer control-board to tell him whether a ball is in or out of court.
A new fabric on the tennis ball is electrically conductive. When a ball lands out of court, the umpire's control board emits a high-pitched sound and the "out" light comes on. The ball has completed the electrical circuits embodied in the area just outside the white line.
For tennis players, the new system eradicates linesmen's errors. But it also reports, unfailingly, every mistake by the players.