September 26, 2002

End of offside controversies in soccer?: German researchers have invented a computer system that will make offside calls. It sounds like a great use of technology to make one of the most difficult calls in sports. The offside rule is almost impossible enforce properly as it requires officials to watch two places at the the same time.

Tennis has used the Cyclops system for years to make line calls on serves. Will this system be the next to make referees jobs easier?

posted by Steve-o to soccer at 04:42 PM - 8 comments

Here is the CAIROS company's web site with a diagram of how the system works.

posted by Steve-o at 12:15 AM on September 27, 2002

But what would us football fans have to argue about if all the controversy was removed? Next thing you know, you'll have a machine which can identify red-card tackles. Bah, humbug. Seriously, if this system works, it should be used in all UEFA competitions as soon as possible.

posted by salmacis at 03:24 AM on September 27, 2002

Hmmm, how about "passive" off-sides (where the player is not involved in play)? Or a player is out injured off the field? What is to stop strikers removing the tags so they are never offside? Hmmm. I'm not sure I like it even if it was a perfect system - I think that football should be the same game, no matter at what level. So, people playing park football use the same rules as those playing at the very highest level. It's one of the reasons I don't like "right of appeal" for red and yellow cards (this rule is being rescinded in the UK).

posted by BigCalm at 03:24 AM on September 27, 2002

I wish they would just leave it alone! Everywhere you look they are trying to change the game...computers doing offsides, more subs, INSTANT REPLAYS! GOOD GOD man! Just let it be...the game is fine the way it is! So there are mistakes made... What they should be more focused on is training the referees better and making sure they are not biased and/or payed off by teams...such as that asshole Moreno in the Italy-Korea game!

posted by StarFucker at 10:10 AM on September 27, 2002

I completely agree Starfucker. The refs are part of the game, this is the way things work, sometimes there are bad calls.. OH WELL.

posted by elsoltano at 12:39 PM on September 27, 2002

Referees, as elsoltano says, are part of the game. So are mistakes. I would think that most football fans would be against this kind of "innovation." There is just something about having the human element, for better or for worse, that adds to the passion of the game. Case in point: Would we really be happy if we couldn't moan about Moreno until the next WC (thanks, SF'er)? Football fans also tend to be purists. I know I don't like to see the game messed with. Didn't the MLS start with a game clock that the referee didn't control? I'm sure that was an "innovation" that some guy in an office thought would help fans follow the game. How long before that disappeared? Can anyone think of a football "innovation" that has lasted and significantly changed the sport in the last 30 years or so?

posted by rabi at 01:28 PM on September 27, 2002

Yeah Rabi, if I recall correctly the MLS did try that. Then again (I'm assuming you're a Fire fan (excellent supporters!) - I'm a Crew fan btw) the MLS tends to just make things up as they go along. How often has anything stayed the same in this league? One other thing I think is wrong with thinking of ways we need to become more accurate in footie - this is a sport that very much relies on flow. In the NFL instant replay worked (ok, kinda) because it's a stop start game. Things like this would never work in soccer and would make me very sad if they tried it.

posted by elsoltano at 02:08 PM on September 27, 2002

I think something was lost in the translation - it reads to me like it spots if the ball crosses the line - nothing to do with offside........

posted by Brettski at 07:50 AM on October 01, 2002

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