Challenge Accepted: How Stainless Code Helps MLB’s Replay Operations Center

Major League Baseball Advanced Media

Stainless Code’s live data management platform, hapn.in, delivers fast, real-time data collaboration capability to keep games moving.

In January 2014, Major League Baseball announced that it would expand its original video review process to include a wider variety of plays, including those challenged by team managers or initiated by umpire crew chiefs. During each review, the umpires assigned to MLB’s Replay Operations Center, a 900-plus square foot state-of-the-art video facility in its Chelsea offices, review all the available data and video of the play in question and either confirm or overturn the initial call of the play. This process is done live, in front of millions of fans at the ballpark and watching on television and digital devices. Since it was instituted the process has been evolving to meet the changing technologies and expectations of the league, teams, broadcasters and officials.

In order to ensure the process continues to be as effective and efficient as possible, MLB review technology needed to be able to acquire, process, record and report complex data, all while allowing multiple distributed teams to collaborate on the data in real-time. Stakeholders at every level are reliant on the data to be accurate and fast so that the needs of the players, officials, broadcasters and fans are all met with minimal game delays and interruptions. Tasked with building an application to solve this problem, MLB selected Stainless Code’s real-time data ingest and streaming tool, hapn.in, to provide a key component for the Replay Operations Center (ROC), and to develop the ROCPaper app to enable its technical staff to achieve these process goals.

Why hapn.in

Hapn.in is a data ingest and processing tool that pulls in data from multiple, user-configurable sources and normalizes it in real-time so that multiple live data streams can be recorded and processed. Instead of entering much of this data manually, hapn.in automates the collection, storage and reporting of this data while also providing a real-time view so operators can focus on acquiring data that’s not already collected elsewhere. “Hapn.in has allowed us to automatically digest other data feeds and import that information seamlessly into our application. The amount of time it saves us in our live environment is invaluable,” said JJ Bucci, Instant Replay Supervisor. After ingest, hapn.in users can write business logic in LiveScript™; an in-browser, integrated development environment for processing data and creating live APIs. This functionality is crucial in giving MLB the ability to evolve the data streams as the requirements of the review stakeholders evolve.

hapn.in produces live, nightly, post-game, weekly, monthly and seasonal reports delivered to all stakeholders up to the office of the Commissioner of Baseball (anonymized data shown).

The MLB Replay Operations Center team quickly realized that the amount of data that needed to be collected required a large manual effort, and automation of the process would provide a lot of value to their staff. Stainless Code’s hapn.in system provided a clear solution to this problem. By automating the acquisition of data from multiple sources, including ballparks, official game data systems, and the Replay Operations Center itself, hapn.in enabled the ROC staff to focus on acquiring the data that was not acquired already elsewhere, greatly reducing the real-time effort involved and speeding up the process. In addition, the hapn.in LiveScript™ system provides a way to rapidly evolve the system as the changing needs of the stakeholders emerge.

About Stainless Code

Since 2006, Stainless Code has been providing advanced media consulting and technology to top-tier digital media organizations including MLB, the NFL, the Associated Press, Turner Sports and Bloomberg Sports. Stainless Code’s real-time media tagging and management technology is used to rapidly and accurately acquire and process time-indexed metadata for live events. In 2012, Stainless Code was selected as a IBC Innovation Award Finalist along with its technology partners for the development of Turner Sports’ ingest, content management and multi-screen distribution solution. For more information on Stainless Code please visit www.stainlesscode.com.