Friday, August 2, 2013

Crowd sourced decisions, anyone?

With the DRS being lambasted by everyone these days, especially in light of some horrendous decisions in the ongoing Ashes, here's an idea that the ICC could consider.

Crowd-sourcing umpiring decisions.

Let's face it. Real-time media like twitter has cricket fans/commentators/ex-cricketers pouring over opinions about the nature of a decision(out/not out) the moment they catch it live anywhere - stadium, television, internet, etc. They opine their own POVs after watching replays/snicko/hawkeyes. And this operates in fantastical real-time. So, why not make use of it?

The idea I think is for ICC to invest in such a decision making mechanism that lets users vote on every decision *only* when given an option. Of course it goes without saying that everyone gets only one vote per decision.

Some points to consider:
1. What if there are not enough voters?
2. What if you can "fix" the outcome by hiring a load of people to work for you?
3. How quickly?

(1) I doubt if this would be the case given that these days most(okay, I don't have a statistic to back this up) of the cricket watching public spends time online too. Also, the commentators, ex-cricketers are all active in this space as well.
(2) Well, I think there are enough mechanisms already to fight this - like assigning ratings to users based on their past voting history. A good start to such a scheme could be to enlist ex-cricketers, commentators - who are *trusted* - and eventually rope in the general public.
(3) Say 30-40 seconds should be good enough once the replays/hawkeye/snicko show up on TV. Umpires seem to need this time anyways in the current DRS scenario.

Of course, this system is far from perfect but atleast the idea of a single decision making authority making a blunder could possibly be alleviated.

And why shouldn't people have a say? It's their game too after all.

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