The Rigour team at work backstage at the Crucible
Anthony McGill may have stolen the headlines as the most successful Crucible debutant this year, but Chinese company Rigour has also created a fine impression on its first appearance at snooker’s Theatre of Dreams.
Rigour, a partner at the Beijing Academy supporting the WPBSA and CBSA, has been selected for events in the UK for the first time this season. It provides the on-screen technology used to track the positions of the balls, a service previously supplied by Hawk-Eye.
The system allows viewers to see certain shots from a player’s perspective, and can also help the referee to replace the balls accurately after ‘foul and a miss’ has been called.
Leading referee Jan Verhaas said: “It’s a very good system which is working perfectly. It’s accurate, quick and it’s the best system we’ve ever used. It’s a lot more accurate and clearer than what we used before. The players can see quickly that the balls are in the correct position.”
Mr Zhang Kechang, General Manager of Rigour, said: “Rigour has been providing a service for World Snooker professional tournaments in China for years, but it means a lot for us to launch this at the Crucible. It’s enjoyable to work in Sheffield and we love the facilities here. We are proud of this experience and it proves the quality of our technology because it’s the highest profile tournament in the world.
“We provided our service at the Masters earlier this year but it’s an updated version that we are using at the World Championship, which passed the test during the China Open. It’s a version with a physics engine which is able to simulate the actual movement of the balls at a perfect level.”
The system can also be used for training purposes and this is being tested at the WPBSA Academy in Beijing.
WPBSA Chairman Jason Ferguson added: “I’m delighted to see Rigour successfully implementing their highly advanced equipment on snooker’s biggest stage. They are an important partner for us in China on many levels.”