Inventors Museum to Honor 1st & 10 Line Developer

ALEXANDRIA, VA.—The National Inventors Hall of Fame will induct Stan Honey in May for his enhancements to TV sports viewing, including football’s yellow 1st & 10 line and baseball’s K-Zone technology used to track and highlight pitches.

Honey, one of 15 inductees, will be honored May 3 at the 46th Annual National Inventors Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. The master of ceremonies for the black-tie event will be Mo Rocca, “CBS Sunday Morning” correspondent and host of “The Henry Ford’s Innovation Nation.”

The virtual yellow 1st & 10 line debuted Sept. 27, 1998, during ESPN’s coverage of an NFL game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Cincinnati Bengals. Honey and his team at Sportsvision developed the innovation, which is ubiquitous today in football coverage. The virtual line has been called one of the more important developments in sports broadcasting history.

Other innovations developed by Honey include: RACE/x GPS tracking of NASCAR racers and LiveLine, a helicopter-mounted, GPS-tracked camera system first used during the 2013 America’s Cup.

Honey, a native of San Marino, Calif., holds a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering and applied sciences from Yale University and an MSEE degree from Stanford University. He has received three Emmys for technical and engineering innovations in sports TV and is the co-founder of Sportsvision. He holds 31 U.S. patents in TV graphics and in navigation technology and tracking and is a 2017 inductee into the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame.

The induction ceremony is open to the public, and tickets are available online from the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

Phil Kurz

Phil Kurz is a contributing editor to TV Tech. He has written about TV and video technology for more than 30 years and served as editor of three leading industry magazines. He earned a Bachelor of Journalism and a Master’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism.