New video review protocols to be introduced in 2018

A working group led by The R&A and the USGA has agreed to adopt a new set of video review protocols in 2018, along with a Local Rule that eliminates the additional two-stroke penalty for submitting a wrong scorecard when the player was unaware of a penalty.

The group, consisting of the PGA Tour, LPGA, European Tour, Ladies European Tour and The PGA of America, as well as the two governing bodies, will implement the following measures from January 1, 2018.

• Assign one or more officials to monitor the video broadcast of a competition to help identify and resolve Rules issues as they arise

• Discontinue any steps to facilitate or consider viewer call-ins as part of the Rules decision process

The new Local Rule to eliminate the additional two-stroke penalty for failing to include a penalty on the scorecard (when the player was unaware of the penalty) will also be available from January 1. All of the organisations represented on the working group will introduce the Local Rule for 2018 and this scorecard penalty will be permanently removed when the modernised Rules of Golf take effect in 2019.

The new protocols also recognise the importance of limiting video review to material obtained from the committee’s broadcast partner. Other video, such as from an individual’s smartphone or camera, will not be used.

David Rickman, Executive Director – Governance at The R&A, said, “This has clearly become an important issue in the sport that we felt we should address at this stage ahead of the implementation of the updated Rules of Golf in 2019.

“We have concluded that whilst players should continue to be penalised for all breaches of the Rules during a competition, including any that come to light after the score card is returned, an additional penalty for the score card error is not required.”

The R&A and the USGA established the video review working group in April to initiate a collaborative discussion on the role video footage can play when applying the Rules, including the pros and cons of its use and also the issues that arise from viewer call-ins.

The new protocols and Local Rule are the latest measures announced by The R&A and the USGA to address concerns related to video evidence. In April, Decision 34-3/10 was issued to limit the use of video through the introduction of a “reasonable judgement” standard and a “naked eye” standard.

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