At the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, offside positions will be checked with a high-tech ball and AI - this should be faster and easier to understand. FIFA will be using a new offside detection system at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar (November 21 to December 18, 2022). As the Guardian reports, AI-based detection will be used, based on the position of the player using twelve cameras and a new ball with a sensor.
The sensor in the ball transmits its position 500 times per second, and the players are located using 29 points on their bodies. In this way, both the position of the player who is being passed and the moment when the ball is passed by the teammate who is passing can be determined precisely.
According to the head of FIFA's refereeing committee, Pierluigi Collina, the data should be evaluated with the help of artificial intelligence (AI). FIFA calls the technology Semi-automated Offside Technology (SAOT). It was developed by a number of universities, including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Referees can check the result themselves
The result of the SAOT analysis is forwarded to an operator and checked by a video referee (VAR). The VAR then sends the result to the referee on the field, who always has the opportunity to double-check the decision himself. According to Collina, the new process should reduce the average time for checking an offside position to 25 seconds from 70 seconds.
The main purpose of the SAOT system is to improve the accuracy of offside decisions, but the timing aspect is also important for many football fans. Unlike sports like ice hockey or basketball, many football fans don't seem used to timed breaks for video analysis.
Ever since technology has increased in football, it has been the subject of some controversial debates among those involved. Above all, the video referee, who later points out wrong decisions to the referee on the field, was criticized especially shortly after the introduction. This was partly due to the implementation: the decision-making process was not always presented in a way that was understandable for viewers.
Technology in football is discussed
However, many football fans are generally bothered by the technologization of the sport, which they believe also thrives on wrong decisions. However, chips in the ball have been standard for a number of years and are used in goal-line technology, among other things. It can be checked exactly whether the ball has completely crossed the goal line, which is necessary for a goal.