Snickometer in Cricket: How Does it Work?

In modern times, our beloved sport, cricket, is incomplete without technology. Cricket has been one of the sports to hop on the latest technologies to integrate them to make everyone’s job easy, be it players, coaches, or umpires.

So far, we have seen DRS, Hawk-Eye, LED stumps, etc. in action. But there’s one more tech that is less talked about.

Which one? The Snickometer.

In this article, we’ll delve into Snickometer’s functionality in cricket.

What is a Snickometer?

The Snickometer is a part of the Decision Review System (DRS), which the third umpire can use if the on-field umpires or players take DRS. The technology helps detect if the ball has come into contact with the bat, other pieces of equipment, or the player’s body.

Who invented the Snickometer?

A British scientist, Allan Plaskett, developed the Snickometer somewhere in the 1990s. Around 1999, Channel 4 in the United Kingdom started using the technology during international matches, though it was limited to broadcast.

How Does Snickometer Work?

The Snickometer technology uses a sensitive microphone placed close to the stumps. The stump mic is then connected to an oscilloscope. 

The stump mic detects sound frequencies that occur after the ball comes into contact with the bat, pad, gloves, or the player’s body.

These sound frequencies are then sent to an oscilloscope. Then the oscilloscope gets into action mode and converts electric signals into a visual graph. 

You must have seen such a graph while watching a match, which shows a spike as soon as the ball comes into contact with anything.

Now, the spike on the graph will assist the third umpire in checking if the ball edged past the bat or pad. If the batter nicked the ball and a fielder caught it, then he would be given out, but if he didn’t, then he would not be out.

Similarly, the umpires can use the Snickometer during LBW review to check if the ball hit the bat first before hitting the pads. 

If there is any spike when the ball is near the bat, then the umpire won’t proceed further to check LBW. However, if there is a flat line on the graph as the ball goes on to hit the pads, then the umpire will continue the LBW review.

Finals Words

There is no doubt technology has made the umpire’s job easier. It has also eliminated any chances of an umpire making any mistakes while making decisions. However, the technology does have its flaws, but it will improve with time.

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