The 2022 FIFA World Cup will feature a ball with a tracking device, ‘semi-automated offside technology’ and fans are already… not a fan

ByLance T. Lee

Jul 2, 2022

By combining limb and ball tracking data and applying artificial intelligence, the new technology provides an automated offside alert to video match officials.

DALLAS — For the first time ever at a World Cup, soccer matches will feature new “semi-automated offside technology,” which includes a ball with a tracking device.

Twelve cameras positioned inside the World Cup stadiums will track the “Al Rihla” – adidas’ official match ball for Qatar 2022 – and up to 29 data points from each player’s limbs and extremities, 50 times per second, calculating their exact position on the pitch, FIFA said. The technology was advertised as “an assistive tool for video match officials and on-field officials to help them make faster, more accurate and more repeatable offside decisions”.

The 2022 World Cup is still months away, but the announcement of the new technology has already not gone down well with football fans online.

FOX Soccer tweeted the news with a social graphic, and fan reaction was decidedly against the idea. Most comments say the technology will ruin the game.

“By combining limb and ball tracking data and applying artificial intelligence, the new technology provides an automated offside alert to video match officials inside the video ops room whenever the ball is received by an attacker who was in an offside position when the ball was played by a team-mate,” FIFA said in a press release. “Before informing the referee on the field, the video match officials validate the proposed decision by manually checking the automatically selected kicking spot and the automatically created offside line, which is based on the calculated positions of the members of the players. This process takes place in a matter of seconds and means offside decisions can be made faster and more accurately.”

Here is FIFA’s presentation of the new semi-automated offside technology:

FIFA said that after video match officials and the referee on the pitch confirm the decision, the exact same positional data points that were used to make the decision are then generated in a 3D animation that details the position of players’ limbs. when the ball was played. The 3D animation generated from this data is what will be displayed on broadcasts and viewers, according to FIFA.

In the example in the video, the offensive player was ruled offside by a toe, kneecap, and arm’s length.

This announcement comes after the introduction of VAR (video assistant referee) technology during the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

“During the FIFA World Cup in 2018, FIFA took the courageous step of using VAR technology on the biggest stage in the world, and it proved to be a resounding success. semi-automated game is an evolution of VAR systems that have been implemented around the world,” said FIFA President Gianni Infantino. “This technology is the culmination of three years of dedicated research and testing to deliver the very best to the teams, players and fans who travel to Qatar later this year, and FIFA is proud of this work, as we eagerly await can’t wait for the world to see the benefits of semi-automated offside technology at the 2022 FIFA World Cup. FIFA is committed to harnessing technology to improve the game of football at all levels, and the he use of semi-automated offside technology at the 2022 FIFA World Cup is the clearest proof of this.

For more information on the new 2022 World Cup match ball, as well as complementary semi-automated offside technology, click here.



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