Canoe Slalom event in Germany marks first use of videoReferee judging system

CanoeEC-2326 copyBetween May 28 and 31 the elite of European canoeing met in Germany for the Canoe Slalom European Championships. During the competition the International Canoe Federation ICF supported the local organisers in implementing video judging systems, using a videoReferee system. At Canoe Park Markkleeberg (Saxony), one of the most modern white water systems in the world,’s videoReferee system was used as an additional tool for monitoring the gates. This first use of videoReferee was also a test for the Canoe Slalom World Championships to be held in London in September.

In order to assist the referees in questionable situations the International Canoe Federation ICF has implemented video judging systems in international competitions since 2007. However, the common technical tools in use often reached their limits because of poor perspectives and available camera signals.

The organisers of the 2015 Canoe Slalom European Championships went in a new direction. During the Championships in Markkleeberg (Germany) ICF supported the local host with the implementation of video judging systems using VideoReferee. With this system the referees had access to up to 11 camera signals in HD quality. In the competition, all signals could be viewed and marked simultaneously during continuous recording. videoReferee offered the organisers and referees unprecedented opportunities to clarify controversial scenes, thus ensuring more fairness during competition.

Jean Michel Prono, Chairman Canoe Slalom, International Canoe Federation (ICF) said, “videoReferee answers our needs for a fast review of a situation while the race is still running. It really solves the problems we have with dubious situations.”

videoReferee is a multi-channel recording and playback system, already used as a multi-channel referee system in the Kontinental Hockey League KHL, the top Russian ice hockey league. videoReferee is designed as a portable and cost-effective video judging system for sport events and is used by referees to assess contentious situations.

The marking of contentious scenes can be done automatically using algorithms or manually by the referee at the workstation. Using the controller, individual channels can be selected or special situations can be searched and marked – all in realtime. The operator can flag selective scenes during live recording or by accessing previously recorded material. The users can choose between the simultaneous view of all channels, single view or zoom view. With videoReferee it is possible to export marked scenes to DVD or MP4 file for backup reasons as well as to record entire sport events.

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