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Nearly deleted photo helps shot putter secure gold

By dpreview staff on Aug 23, 2013 at 09:00 GMT

Reuters photographer Kai Pfaffenbach found himself unexpectedly on the other side of the lens at the IAAF World Championship Men's Shot Put Finals. His photo of Germany's David Storl was used as evidence in a decision that overturned a 'foul' call and awarded the athlete a gold medal. When it was called into question whether Storl stepped outside of the ring in his attempt, Pfaffenbach discovered that his image from a remote camera clearly revealed Storl's attempt to be fair. The attempt was ruled valid, Storl was awarded the gold medal and Pfaffenbach received a great deal of thanks from the shot putter.

Photo by Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters.

Pfaffenbach's camera was in the right place at the right time, but only because he'd been trying to get a particular shot of the action. He was on the verge of deleting his photo when he noticed that Storl's throw was in question and came to his aid. In other professional sports, cameras have been installed to provide final ruling on questionable plays. England's 20 Premier League football stadiums have all been equipped with goal-line technology, and though the season just started last weekend they've already been put to use. While American football has yet to adopt anything quite like that, network TV coverage this year will take advantage of endzone multi-camera rigs just for fun

Comments

Total comments: 37
plasnu
By plasnu (8 months ago)

No one was taking videos?

2 upvotes
Franka T.L.
By Franka T.L. (8 months ago)

The real question one must asked : how come the sport community had still not able to integrate better the technology available to them to better police and judge. Sport events usually happen at a fast pace, a pace that even the most trained might find challenging and missing some key event happening. This is where technology can help and should.

7 upvotes
Marty4650
By Marty4650 (8 months ago)

I believe ice hockey has used some sort of sensor system for goal scoring for quite some time now.

And if we ever grow tired of baseball tradition, we might replace the baseball umpire with electronic sensors for judging balls and strikes.

We certainly have the technology to put sensors under the three point line in basketball, so any dispute about whether the player stepped on the line could be easily settled.

I think the only thing preventing technological solutions is that the fans prefer arguing about close calls rather than knowing with certainty where the ball or puck was. It's "part of the game" now.

1 upvote
shutterhappens
By shutterhappens (8 months ago)

The judges would cry foul if you take away their jobs.

0 upvotes
jande9
By jande9 (7 months ago)

No sensors are used in ice hockey. There is a goal judge who sits behind the glass and turns on the goal light if a goal is scored. They do use video replay if there is doubt.

0 upvotes
Stanchung
By Stanchung (8 months ago)

I'm sure the judges were only interested in this part of the throw as they were there to notice all the others and don't need further sequential pictures as proof.

Good job on the part of the photographer.

0 upvotes
irm
By irm (8 months ago)

I must be looking at a different photo, there is nothing in that photo that would help a judge make or correct call?
Secondly you would need a video camera to see what happens with the free leg at follow through.
Third, athletic judges are not allowed to look at video/photos during the competition. It could be submitted on appeal and is accepted on the discretion of appeals team.

3 upvotes
jess shudup
By jess shudup (8 months ago)

It was a question of a foot foul within the circle-
http://au.eurosport.com/athletics/world-athletics-championships/2013/photographer-s-camera-wins-shot-put-title-for-storl_sto3885044/story.shtml
and apparently the officials, and competitors, were satisfied with the decision. Second place (silver medal) did not appeal...

0 upvotes
irm
By irm (8 months ago)

Hi Jess,
I realise that there was an injustice nearly done. I was pointing out that the judge was in error accepting the photo. For a foot foul to happen the foot has to be outside of the circle.
At that level of competition there are usually one or two video cameras on every event, not seen by spectators or officials. The results are available to the jury in case of an appeal.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Petka
By Petka (8 months ago)

Those 5 pictures do not show if a foot touched the top of the curved wall lining the ring, as the series do not go far enough in time. That would be a foul, and only video (or sharp eyes) could prove it. Also the athlete must get out of the ring using the back 180 degree sector of the ring, that part of the attempt is also missing in the series. The judges made a mistake by accepting this kind of outside evidence for one athlete and one attempt. The same should be available for all. Athletes were pros, judges amateurs.

Comment edited 33 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
PowerG9atBlackForest
By PowerG9atBlackForest (8 months ago)

"...Also the athlete must get out of the ring using the back 180 degree sector of the ring, that part of the attempt is also missing in the series..."

This part never was in question.

Comment edited 12 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
PowerG9atBlackForest
By PowerG9atBlackForest (8 months ago)

"... Third, athletic judges are not allowed to look at video/photos during the competition. It could be submitted on appeal and is accepted on the discretion of appeals team... "

This forum is a forum for photographers not for officials of Athletic Associations. Praise to the technology of photography and to the people practising it as they sometimes can change the world into a better place!

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Witstert
By Witstert (8 months ago)

Surely whatever is happening with the any part of his body during followthrough is irrelevant because the shot has parted company with his hand. When does followthrough end, then? From the photo it is obvious that no part of the sole of his shoe is on top of the board or up the inside curve of the board.

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Vitruvius
By Vitruvius (8 months ago)

Interesting that a German photographer from Reuters Germany is even allowed to talk to judges at a professional event and provide forensic evidence to a judge to support a German athlete.

Should each country be looking to secure positions in the media to ensure they get real time photographic evidence to the judges on the field for their country?

0 upvotes
amd
By amd (8 months ago)

It looks like the athlete deserved his medal. That's what counts. Not the right place for nationalism.
<disclaimer>I'm not German<disclaimer/>

4 upvotes
PowerG9atBlackForest
By PowerG9atBlackForest (8 months ago)

"... Should each country be looking to secure positions in the media to ensure they get real time photographic evidence to the judges on the field for their country? ..."

He used a Canon, not a Leica :-))

0 upvotes
Mekka Man
By Mekka Man (8 months ago)

I am not sure if this photo proves anything. After a shot putter, discuss thrower or even javelin thrower release the projectile, their momentum is what usually pushes them out of the legal boundaries for a good throw. We would need to see a few more frames of and after the release to confirm the validity of this throw. The judges must have viewed other frames to make their decision.

2 upvotes
GaryJP
By GaryJP (8 months ago)

Once they have released it, the throw is done.

1 upvote
pocoloco
By pocoloco (8 months ago)

No... after the throw, they are not allowed to step outside the boundary at the front. If momentum even causes them to tip the ground outsidectge boundary, the shot is foul. The atletes know very wel f they put up a decent attempt or not, if they feel it was a crap attempt after the throw, and after the projectile landed, they just leave the ring at the front, or tiptoe the ground outside tge boundary so they invalidate the shot to prevent the jury from heaving to measure it.

4 upvotes
PowerG9atBlackForest
By PowerG9atBlackForest (8 months ago)

"... The judges must have viewed other frames to make their decision... "

Actually, the judges did. What you see here on dpreview is one frame out of a series of frames.

On tv, the world was clearly able to see that the athlete's performance was correct (and numerous replays in slow-motion were given, too); obviously, the judges were not.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
PowerG9atBlackForest
By PowerG9atBlackForest (8 months ago)

"... Once they have released it, the throw is done..."

The athlet then just has to make sure that the distance will be recorded. Which will not be done when an incorrect throw has been given ;-)

0 upvotes
Keith_Dotson
By Keith_Dotson (8 months ago)

Another important discovery - in the bottom right corner, proof that Andy Warhol is still alive?

21 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (8 months ago)

The only camera that should be used in replays is the officially designated camera.

1 upvote
PowerG9atBlackForest
By PowerG9atBlackForest (8 months ago)

Yes, because the truth is always with the officials only.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
Andy Crowe
By Andy Crowe (8 months ago)

I'm surprised they don't use video to settle questions of foul throws.

0 upvotes
Jimmy jang Boo
By Jimmy jang Boo (8 months ago)

You're right, something smells afoul... blackmail / bride... perhaps it's a photoshopped ruse.

0 upvotes
vFunct
By vFunct (8 months ago)

Wasn't there an episode of The Brady Bunch with the same story? With Greg photographing the receiver catching the football in bounds?

5 upvotes
Vergilius
By Vergilius (8 months ago)

I don't know much about the rules of the sport. What does "attempt to be fair" mean? Can a shot-putter go over the line but not be disqualified if he can somehow prove that he was trying not to commit a foul? I'm not certain how this photograph proves the "attempt to be fair." Would someone with knowledge of the sports explain it to me, please?

0 upvotes
jess shudup
By jess shudup (8 months ago)

Attempt , in this instance, refers to the throw itself. Hence the photo helped show the attempt to be fair. Not an atttempt to be fair...
Probably would be clearer if written "helped show that the throw was fair".

6 upvotes
Vergilius
By Vergilius (8 months ago)

Thanks, Jess. I was misinterpreting "attempt" as Snorl's internal intention. It's interesting how easy it is to read words the wrong way and come up with a completely different interpretation.

2 upvotes
Ettishole
By Ettishole (8 months ago)

Tricky!

0 upvotes
paulski66
By paulski66 (8 months ago)

I think I saw this on an episode of The Brady Bunch when I was a kid...

1 upvote
Flying Snail
By Flying Snail (8 months ago)

With some quick photoshopping you could prove anything.

0 upvotes
Johannes Zander
By Johannes Zander (8 months ago)

Taken "from a remote remote camera".
Probably controled by NSA ;)

5 upvotes
agentul
By agentul (8 months ago)

this is what they've been fighting for all along. to bring fairness and justice to the world. we have misunderstood their goals.

5 upvotes
Marty4650
By Marty4650 (8 months ago)

Unfortuinately, Mr. Zander will now have to flee to Russia for revealing this to us....

What a terrible shame...

15 upvotes
Johannes Zander
By Johannes Zander (8 months ago)

Now the NSA pulled one remote frome the "remote camera".
Gratings from Russia ;)

1 upvote
Total comments: 37