VAR used by The International Swimming Federation for first time in water polo at Olympic Games
At the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Slomo.tv’s videoReferee-SR system was used to provide video assistance to referees during the water polo competitions.
To achieve correct and error-free refereeing for Tokyo 2020, The International Swimming Federation (FINA) chose Slomo’s video assistant referee (VAR) technology.
FINA decided to adopt this technology for water polo in 2018. Since 2019 Slomo’s system has been deployed in numerous international competition by FINA in the run up to the Olympics.
Commented Andrey Kryukov, FINA bureau member: “Fair play at water polo competitions is our priority. We strive to create all the conditions and provide referees with all the necessary tools to make the right decisions in controversial moments. Our cooperation with Slomo.tv has resulted in the implementation of the video assistant referee system, which has significantly reduced the number of errors that may occur due to objective reasons. We are glad that for the first time in the Olympic history of water polo such a system has been used, and moreover, very effectively and successfully.”
For international water polo competitions, FINA uses the videoReferee-SR which works with eight compact mini-vR-Сam cameras in 3G mode (1920x1080p50). The system features a high performance intuitive interface, as well as the ability to simultaneously search through 4 video channels. The review of each moment is available almost instantly. The compact size and light weight (1U, 5.6 kg) of the videoReferee-SR allow it to be easily transported between arenas.
To improve visibility of objects and athletes, FINA uses a specially designed version of the mini-vR-Cam cameras to suppress the water light glares and improve image quality, using polarization filters.
“FINA and Slomo.tv have been cooperating for a long time on the implementation and usage of video assistant referee systems in water polo. Taking into account all the features of the sport, a specialised version of the videoReferee-SR server was developed to meet all the requirements of the Federation. We would like to thank FINA for their trust, and are glad for positive feedback from the referees who worked with the system at the Tokyo Olympics,” said Igor Vitiorets, CTO at Slomo.tv.
Prior to the scheduled start of the 2020 Olympic Games, the videoReferee-SR system was used at many international competitions, including the 18th FINA World Championships 2019 in Gwangju, and the FINA Men’s Water Polo World League Super Final 2019 in Belgrade.
International Swimming Federation FINA and Slomo.tv will continue to cooperate on the video-refereeing in water polo.