Qatar will deploy semi-automated offside technology for video match referees at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. The new system uses 12 stadium-specific tracking cameras and a sensor embedded in the match ball; In-stadium fans and television viewers will be better served by 3D animation.
Semi-automated offside technology will be used for the first time in the FIFA Men’s World Cup in Qatar in 2022 to speed up and improve the accuracy of judgments.
Video match officials will get offside alerts, which will be vetted manually before being sent to the on-field referee. This technology was successfully tested during the 2021 FIFA Arab Cup and last year’s FIFA Club World Cup.
A 3D animation explaining how the offside decision was made will be shown on large screens inside stadiums and to television viewers at home, improving communication with spectators inside and outside stadiums.
As FIFA president Gianni Infantino explained, semi-automated offside technology represents a progression of the VAR systems that have been adopted worldwide.
This technology results from three years’ worth of committed research and testing that has been carried out to provide what is best for the teams, players, and fans who will be traveling to Qatar later this year.
Gianni also said that the deployment of semi-automated offside technology at the FIFA World Cup in 2022 is the finest conceivable evidence that FIFA is dedicated to utilizing technology to better the game of football at all levels. This commitment will be on full display during that tournament.
The Operation of the Semi-Automated Offside Technology
The new technology makes use of 12 dedicated cameras that will be used for tracking and are installed underneath the stadium’s roof. These cameras can track the ball as well as up to 29 data points from each individual player, performing this tracking at a rate of 50 times per second. This allows the technology to determine each player’s precise location on the field.
All arms and extremities that need to be considered for making offside calls are included in the 29 data points collected.
An inertial measuring unit (IMU) sensor inside the official match ball for the World Cup, which Adidas Al Rihla will manufacture. This sensor will provide an additional crucial component for detecting close calls involving offsides.
This sensor, positioned in the middle of the ball, provides data about the ball to the video control center 500 times per second. As a result, the kick spot may be pinpointed with high accuracy.
The new technology, which combines limb-tracking and ball-tracking data and employs artificial intelligence, sends an automated offside alert to video match officials within the video control room whenever the ball gets caught by an attacker in an offside position when a teammate played the ball.
This 3D animation will always depict the greatest potential viewpoints for an offside situation. It will subsequently be projected on the stadium’s enormous screens and made accessible to FIFA’s broadcast partners to notify all spectators as clearly as possible.
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