The Digitisation and Automation of Sport Umpiring

On the last Sunday of every month, I wake up aaram se, fill a large beer mug with tea, and read the 3 monthly articles that digital mags like The Atlantic, New Yorker and The Onion offer to their “budget readers”. Selecting which 3 articles to read is sometimes, not often, more fun than the reading itself, but life is full of compromise.

Usually I read about nothing related to tech. Archaeology, astronomy, palaeontology, conspiracy theories, sports, history and culture is the usual fare.

This month, I decided to read one article at the intersection of sports and tech. This New Yorker article talking about “umpiring machines” in baseball. All sport have introduced some manner of technology in the decision making - VAR, Hawkeye, speed cameras have become all too common. But several levels of professional baseball appears to have automated all aspects of umpiring and decision-making. The umpire has an earpiece, all calls are communicated into it by the machine. The umpire’s role has been reduced simply to relaying the information to other humans.

Wondering how other sports will work if that happens.