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Soft signal meaning, Why is so important ?

Updated: Dec 9, 2021

The Soft Signal

cricket, 19-3-21

Explanation :

A soft signal is the decision that is made by the umpires in the field, that decision will be reviewed by the TV umpire to check whether it is wrong.




Pic credit : bcci.tv


Role of the umpire in upstairs :


You should note here that I stated TV umpire rather than the Third Umpire the reason behind is that a Third Umpire is one who been called by the players on field to challenge the decision that is made by the umpires on the field, on the other hand a TV umpire is one who helps the other two umpires standing in the field to confirm their decision or either correct them whenever they are wrong. So, in either of the cases the umpire upstairs needs a clear evidence that shows that the on field umpires are wrong. This is because of which the umpires on field are making decision in real time and has the advantage of viewing as it as (ie) a 3D perspective, while the umpire upstairs will always have an angle unavailable. This along with the fact in mind that the rules are designed for the umpire on the field to make decision and not for the one in the upstairs means that the umpire in upstairs will always be in the 2nd thought and will always continue to make decisions based on the decision made by the other two counterparts. Adding all these in the tech behind all of these that allows us to have a 3rd umpire is not at all near perfection.


Pic credit : bcci.tv





Technology is imperfect :

The technology that is creating these beautiful videos is not even producing videos, it is just running either 24 frames of photos per second in our screen hence the name 24fps( frames per second ). So, when a very fast moving object that is the ball here is captured only 24 times per second all the remaining time which is what ever the time between each frame is not captured, which means the decision made by the TV umpire is looking at lesser action than the on field umpire. To counter this the high speed cameras where developed those have much higher fps such as 100 or 200 fps, which means they actually capture much more action than the older ones. But the high speed cameras are not used for all the angles or rather all the cameras in the field are not capable of higher frame rates due to the logistical reasons. One of such reason being to produce a video for TV or the internet fps should be somewhere between 23.976 and 60 so we have to scale a very high frame rate video in to much much smaller fps, which will take lots of computing power and takes some time and the solutions we have are not very cheap so most of the times the higher fps cameras are only used in the front on and side on angles ( straight on angle and square angle ). Without getting into too much technical details of shutter speed and sensor sizes and lens distortion this is a much simpler version that I could tell you as a Video maker and editor.


Pic credit : bcci.tv


Any which ways the solutions we think are perfect are not that good, so we need to give to the more humanly solution that is an umpire who resembles us more than a imperfect technology. I hope this clears your doubt about the Soft signal and why TV umpires rely on the on field calls. Please check out our other articles and subscribe to our blogs and You Tube channel for more quality news and explanations. Thank you from my bottom of my heart for reading till the end, this is Karan let us have another quality reading time after sometime. Please share with your friends :)


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