In the 2016 Telstra Premiership, the NRL launched its new state of the art centralised facility for in-game decision reviews – the NRL Bunker.

What is the Bunker?

The Bunker is the NRL's centralised facility where the live in-game decision review process will be conducted from season 2016 – the first of its kind in Australian sport.

Where is the Bunker located?

The Bunker is located at Australian Technology Park in Eveleigh, Sydney.

Why has NRL implemented the Bunker?

The NRL has implemented the Bunker to improve the accuracy, consistency, efficiency and transparency of live in game decision making.

The Bunker has been implemented in conjunction with a reduction in interchanges and the introduction of the scrum clock and dropout clock to achieve the NRL's objectives of more game continuity, tightening game stoppages and delivering a better spectacle for fans.

How will the decision review process in the Bunker operate?

For each match of the NRL season, two Review Officials and a Senior Review Official will oversee the decision review process in the Bunker. The two Review Officials will be responsible for making a decision recommendation to the Senior Review Official who makes the final call.

How the decision review process will operate:

  1. 1 On-Field Controlling Referee indicates a live decision (Try or No Try) and communicates to the Bunker what they would like reviewed...
  2. 2 Review Officials will playback and review individual camera replays and verbally indicate decision considerations as they conduct the review – the Senior Review Official will oversee this process and interact with the Review Officials where necessary...
  3. 3 Senior Review Official will consider the decision recommendation from the Review Officials and make the final call...
  4. 4 Decision outcome (Try or No Try) will be displayed on the stadium video screen and into broadcast.

What benefits will the Bunker bring to the game?

The Bunker provides review officials with access to state of the art technology including multiple camera angles and playback control for all reviewable decisions. Touch screen interfaces, zoom functions and split screens will further enhance the decision making process.

The Bunker also provides other benefits including:

  • A secure and remote location for review officials which is conducive to decision making
  • A reduction in the number of review officials adjudicating on decisions, aiding decision making consistency
  • A reduction in the steps required to determine reviewable decisions and faster access to every available camera angle for review officials, aiding decision making efficiency
  • The opportunity to provide live explanations of decisions, aiding decision making transparency
  • The opportunity to centralise the match review committee process and reduce the latency for live statistics capture

How does the Bunker operate from a technical perspective?

  1. In Stadium: The NRL accesses individual camera angles from the Host Broadcast Truck at the stadium outside broadcast (OB) compound.
  2. Connectivity: The individual camera angles are then transported to and from the stadium to the Bunker via Telstra's digital video network platform.
  3. Video Review Technology: Hawkeye's multi angle video review technology enables synchronous playback and a record of the individual camera angles at the Bunker.
  4. NRL Bunker Official Review Room: Review officials are located in the Official Review Room with multiple screens, playback control of individual camera angles and two way audio console to complete the decision review process.
  5. Audio & IP Network: A dedicated audio and IP network solution between the Bunker and stadium enables two way communications between review officials, on field referees and host broadcasters as well as IP data transfer of the final decision from the Bunker to Stadium video screens.

What contingency plan is in place in the event of technology failure?

The in-stadia referees match day coach will fill the role of review official in the event the Bunker experiences any technical issues.

The review process to be adopted in the event of technical failure will be the same as the 2015 video referee solution.