Offside calls are remarkably controversial, sometimes leading to goals being disallowed and players and coaches pissed off. Meanwhile, the line referee stands upright with his flag in the air, unwavering in his confidence on the call.
It’s a familiar sight that could add some much-needed drama to a long game, but the call of a bad offside ultimately hurts players, coaches, fans, and the integrity of the game.
That’s why FIFA did it announce(Opens in a new window) New technology designed to help referees make offside calls. The system has already been tested in the 2021 Arab Cup and the 2021 Club World Cup, and it is now Ready(Opens in a new window) for the World Cup.
Using a combination of cameras and artificial intelligence, the technology will determine if a player is an intruder. First, 12 cameras installed under the stadium roof will track each player’s location during a match by capturing 29 data points of body position, at a rate of 50 times per second. Meanwhile, there is a sensor inside The official World Cup ball(Opens in a new window) You will track the position of the ball.
It constantly reviews the data, looking for cases in which a player is offside – generally defined as when he is closer to his opponent’s goal than the second defender at the time the ball is played. If this happens, it generates an alert. Then, a team of referees – read: humans – in the video room review the decision and notify the field officer.
“It is called semi-automatic because the final decision is still made by the referee,” Says(Opens in a new window) Pierluigi Collina, Chairman of the FIFA Referees Committee. “Our goal is to prepare the referee to avoid the need to use technology, but even the best referee can make mistakes and that’s why we’ve implemented a system that can really reduce the possibility that a human error can affect the outcome of a match.”
Collina says players are skilled at playing around the offside line and cases are often pretty tight. Intrusion detection is expected to be added to the Video Assistant Arbitrator (VAR) system to aid in call accuracy.
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Fans at home and in the stadium should expect to see call animations, which the system will automatically generate using the data collected. What fans should Not Expect a dramatic “tape review!” Delay, which detracts from the flow of the game. The system has been designed with speed in mind, allowing officials to quickly review the alert and communicate the final decision to the field referee and players.
Adidas has been designing “official” World Cup balls since 1970. The year is called “The Journey”, meaning “the Journey” in Arabic, in honor of Qatar being the first country in the Middle East to host the World Cup. (Photo: FIFA)
The system is a continuation of a trend to help the referees who preside over the game. The 2014 World Cup in Brazil saw the introduction of the goal line technology(Opens in a new window). For the 2018 World Cup in Russia, FIFA inserted(Opens in a new window) The first complete VAR system, it is called “a new era of football.”
The 2022 World Cup begins on November 21 and ends on December 18 in Qatar.
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