Technology, cameras and 3D animations: The “semi-automatic” offside or SAOT, instructions for use before the 2022 World Cup

If you’ve ever had to try to explain the offside rule to new footballers, maybe you’ll soon have to tell them about the “semi-automatic offside“. Also called “semi-automated offside detection technology“, the SAOT is intended to complement video assistance to arbitration (VAR).

His role ? Assist the referee and speed up decision-making by monitoring player movements and transmitting information”in a few seconds“according to FIFA. How does it work? Twelve cameras indicating the position of the players on the field, 29 detection points on the players’ limbs and 50 data collected per second or 8.3 million data per match, specified Monday the former star referee Pierluigi Collina, chairman of the FIFA Referees Committee.

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Offside would no longer be determined by VAR, but by technology based on the data collected” said the Italian. Fifa indicates on its website that this data is then “transmitted to the assistant in charge of offside decisions“, which makes a recommendation to the VAR and the referee on the pitch. All in no time.

No (yet) confirmation for Qatar

It is important that the video assistants make an accurate decision but we are aware that we must reduce the time to achieve this” had already explained Collina during the Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi last February, where this technology based on artificial intelligence was tested. In order to allow the public to better understand the refereeing decisions, 3D animations would then be shown on stadium screens.

However, the former international referee refuses to use the term “offside robot“or of”robot referee“. Indeed, the data will always be transmitted to the VAR and the man in black will ultimately always have the last word. Hence the use of the word “semi-automatic“.

Used for the first time during the Arab Cup 2021, the objective is an optimal use in November, for the Mondial-2022. If he says “confident“, Collina did not confirm on Monday his presence for the World Cup in Qatar at the end of the year, specifying to continue “to workon this new technology.

(With AFP)

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