Semi-Automated Offside Technology : Football World Cup
Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) is using Semi-Automated Offside Technology (SAOT) for offside decisions in the ongoing football world cup.
- The point of the offside rule is to prevent attacking players from perpetually camping in front of the opponent’s goal.
- Semi-Automated Offside Technology is a support tool for the video match officials and the on-field officials to help them make faster, more reproducible and more accurate offside decisions.
- There are two parts to the technology — a sensor inside the match ball that is held using suspension technology, and existing tracking tools that are part of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system.
- Every time the ball is hit, data is sent in real time (at a whopping 500 frames per second) to a network of antennae installed around the playing field.
- Additionally, there are 12 Hawk-Eye cameras set up around the turf that shadow both the ball and the players, with as many as 29 separate points in the human body tracked.
- The coming together of the ball sensor and the Hawk-Eye cameras is in effect SAOT.
- These two data sets are run through artificial intelligence software which generates automated alerts about offsides to the match officials.
- This replaces the manual effort taken in poring over replays for minutes on end.