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Archive for April 1, 2021

April 1, 2021 — Another new TV contract could connect field hockey and lacrosse

National and international television broadcasts for prominent games in both field hockey and lacrosse have been scattered across numerous streaming sites, web presences, and cable sports entities over the years.

But TopOfTheCircle.com has learned that a new player could be coming onto the scene after the expiration of some of the major contracts. That player is Nickelodeon, which saw boffo ratings for an NFL Wild Card game shown on the network in January.

Sources say that the acting talent on the network, including Gabrielle Greene, could be paired with prominent field hockey and lacrosse talent in the entertainment scene.

A list of enhancements and coverage elements has been drafted, including the following:

  • Penalty corners in field hockey and free positions in women’s lacrosse will have an insert of SpongeBob in the goal at the inception of the play.
  • Umpire penalty cards will have a “slime” element to them. A player getting a green card will also receive a virtual shot of green slime. Yellow and red cards will also have the requisite color of slime attached to the penalty.
  • Goal cages will have Hawkeye goal-decision technology built in so that the goalposts flash when the entire ball crosses over the goal line. The Hawkeye system can detect a flying object traveling at more than 150 miles an hour, as it has been tested in the world of tennis and soccer.
  • When a goal is scored, the goalposts not only will flash, but virtual cannons at the corners of the pitch will pump out confetti which will not have to be swept off the playing surface.

None of the game enhancements, except for the goal-decision technology, will be visible to live viewers, a feature which has caught the attention of some world governing body decision-makers.

“Having a broadcast partner with such a wealth of experience in reaching youths would be an absolute winner,” said FIH broadcast chair Avril Folle. “I mean, in hockey especially, we’ve been relying on the referral system, but can a camera see through a goalie pad to see if the ball crossed the line?”

“I thought we’d go for a while without technology interfering with the game,” said World Lacrosse electronic media coordinator Nalaka Araw. “But the NCAA game a few years ago between Florida and Penn State, involving the ball hitting the crossbar and dropping nearly straight down, was a harbinger of things to come. This year, if you notice, there have been some phantom goals scored when the ball hits the upper part of the netting and drops down. Though we have three umpires out there, it’s hard to be absolutely sure of the goal.”

Owing to complications with contract negotiations, the earliest we may hear something definitive is April 1, 2022.