NBA to use Hawk-Eye tracking system to follow players, ball

The NBA and Sony Sports on Thursday announced a multiyear partnership with Hawk-Eye Innovations that will change how the league tracks in-game action.

Hawk-Eye's optical tracking technology is designed to capture player and ball movement in real time in three dimensions.

The NBA's adoption of Hawk-Eye technology follows its widespread use in other sports, including tennis and soccer, where it has helped referees quickly review officiating decisions, including offside calls at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

The technology replaces the "center of mass" tracking system used by Second Spectrum, which estimates each player's location using a single point location.

The introduction of "pose tracking" provides new officiating capabilities to support better and faster decision-making, with the intent to increase the accuracy of officiating calls and the speed of play. In addition, the system will give the NBA and its teams the ability to measure and analyze athletic movement in new ways.

Sportradar, the NBA's exclusive data provider, will work alongside Hawk-Eye to allow for the generation of tracking data sets, metrics, advanced stats and insights.

In a statement, the NBA indicated that the leaguewide implementation of Hawk-Eye's optical tracking technology will begin in the 2023-24 season.

The NBA also announced a multiyear partnership expansion naming Second Spectrum an official NBA League Pass augmentation provider and an official team analytics provider.

Second Spectrum augmentation technology will be used to create automated, enhanced graphics based on optical on-court data for alternate telecasts on NBA League Pass. The alternate telecasts will feature advanced team and player statistics integrated into the stream.