I have interesting news from The R&A and USGA!
In a joint statement this Monday they stated (among other things), that as of January 1st 2018 they will no longer accept “viewer call ins”, i.e. viewers calling/mailing/texting informing the tournament officials about Rules infractions they have seen.
1. Only video from broadcast partner.
A new protocol has been adopted with a new set of rules about what will be taken into account, when deciding a rules situation, and the conclusions are:
- Statements from players, caddies, spectators etc. on the course will still be taken into account.
- Only video from the broadcast partner will be taken into account.
- Videos from e.g. a spectator’s mobilephone or camera, will not be taken into account.
2. No more “viewer call ins”.
The procedure for deciding what has happened in an episode involving the Rules of Golf will be changed:
- One or more rules officials will be appointed to look at the broadcast during the tournament and especially to look through episodes where there is a question about The Rules of Golf.
- Calls, e-mails, texts etc. from TV-viewers, who have seen Rules infractions, will not be accepted/used.
3. Video not used in two situations.
They will still not use video-evidence in two situations (Decision 34-3/10):
1. If a player makes a reasonable judgement (the player will then not be penalized, although a video shows, that his judgement was wrong).
2. If something (e.g. the movement of a ball) cannot be seen with the “naked eye”, but only via video footage, such video will not be taken into account when deciding the outcome of the episode.
Read more about the changes here.