Semi-Automated Offside Technology for the 2022 FIFA World Cup

On November 21, Qatar will kick off the FIFA World Cup 2022 with semi-automated offside detection technology. Offside calls at the most-watched sporting event may now be made with more speed, precision, and consistency.

Semi-Automated Offside Technology for the 2022 FIFA World Cup
Image Credit: TheNewsTrace

FIFA President Gianni Infantino announced in The Vision 2020-23 that after the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, FIFA will develop VAR and optimize the use of technology in football. Three years ago, FIFA was the most complex video game on the market.

For many years, FIFA has worked with Adidas, a number of partners, the Working Group for Innovation Excellence, and technology corporations to improve the VAR system. This comprises of semi-automated offside technology.

The innovative system anticipates where each player will be on the pitch by using 12 cameras beneath the stadium roof to follow the ball and up to 29 individual data points about each player 50 times per second. The 29 data points gathered include all important limbs and extremities.

The official match ball for Qatar 2022 is Al Rihla, manufactured by adidas. The sensor is known as an IMU. This sensor identifies kick points precisely 500 times per second in the video operating room.

The cutting-edge device instantaneously warns video match officials in the video control room if an attacker obtains the ball while offside by combining data from tracking the limbs and the ball with artificial intelligence. Video match officials, who independently assess the kick position and offside line, educate referees. It just takes a few seconds, yet it improves and expedites offside calls dramatically.

The location data points collected on the field by the referee and video match officials are used to construct a 3D animation of the players’ limbs. FIFA’s broadcast partners will show this 3D animation to both their viewers and stadium goers so that as many people as possible can understand the message.

Semi-automated offside technology and linked ball technology have been used in FIFA test events and official FIFA competitions such as the FIFA Arab Cup 2021TM and the FIFA Club World Cup 2021.

Referees used sophisticated technology to help video match officials in making quicker, more precise, and consistent offside calls during these games.

The TRACK program at Victoria University and the MIT Sports Lab have shown that limb-tracking systems are reliable. According to ETH Zurich researchers, multi-camera tracking is theoretically feasible.

More testing will be done in the coming months to improve the system before an universal standard is created.

At the Doha Team Workshop on July 4 and 5, each qualifying team will have full access to all technical information, including the semi-automated offside setup and linked ball technology.

We are certain that our referees and other officials who support them in Qatar will have a crucial tool to help them make the right decisions on the field.

It has been referred to as a “robot offside,” which is erroneous. On the pitch, decisions are made by referees and assistant referees.

Director of FIFA’s Football Technology and Innovation Division:

Semi-automated offside systems with 12 cameras and a linked ball will be installed at all FIFA World Cup stadiums in 2022. When a player goes offside, AI will notify video match referees in real time. We’ll keep calling it “semi-automated offside” since the video match officials will double-check the proposed decision before sending it to the referee on the field.

If the same data is used to generate a 3D animation for stadium and television audiences, they will see a realistic representation of what happened when the player was offside. The FIFA Fan Experience Panel assisted in the development of this plan.

Also Read: Qatar World Cup 2022 Enforces Five-Day Quarantine for Unvaccinated Players

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