Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Goal Line Technology...is it time?

One of the biggest problems in Soccer today is actually awarding a goal. Not a strike from 25 yards out that goes right in the upper 90. But one of those hit of the cross bar bounce on the ground/defender sliding into the goal to clear out/9 people in front of goal can't see shit goals. Goal line technology, made by the same people who have built the tennis system (Hawkeye) was testing several prototypes over the past a few years until last year when the funding was pulled. It was tested at several premier league teams stadiums and all the results seem positive. They use the same technology as the tennis system where several strategically placed cameras watch the goal line from various angles to help with any questionable calls. The system was able to tell instantly whether a goal was in or not. They pulled the funding because some soccer purist believed it to be a step in the wrong direction because soccer is a sport not based on technology and has stayed constant throughout the years. I always felt this technology was needed, having witnessed many goals count/not count that where not registered.

The issue was brought back to fore-front this weekend by what was one of the biggest refereeing fuck ups ever seen. Even more of a fuck up that Graham Poll's infamous 3 yellow cars in the world cup 2006. This happened in the English League Championship which is the league right below the premier league. Watford vs. Reading that ended in a 2-2 tie. Well it should have been 2-1. Reading had a corner, which was headed toward goal by a watford (he saw it late and was trying to clear it out for another corner). Now the ball was heading toward the goal but was going wide, and did go wide. A reading player then saved it...having the ball gone out for what should have been either a goal kick. Keep in mind the linesman is standing on the end line (or near it) because it was a corner. After saving a ball that was already out the linesman flagged for a fucking goal...the play kept on because Reading surely did not think it was a goal, and headed against the crossbar had it come back in play, someone shot it and got it deflected out of bounds. But the ref (who is the youngest ref to do big games at the age of 25) saw the linesman call for a goal and awarded it. The players lined up like it was a goal kick, and then to their shock it was awarded a goal. This gets even better because Steve Copell, the reading manager, who I have a great amount of respect for as a coach basically said they would re-play the game because that goal should not have counted. The linesman said after watching a replay that he had made a mistake, was sorry for it, and said it was an "optical illusion". The 25 year old ref has come under fire as well because they think he should have known, and saw it was not a goal and said to the linesman hey man you fucked up. Here is the "goal", view it for yourself.


nyphon said...

rofl, what an idiot. i'd be ok with instant replay as long as 1)it was only used for goal line situations and 2)it is quick enough to find the correct solution without wasting a lot of time.

Prime said...

pretty much agree with nathan. I would think they should be able to do the goal line technology just like tennis does on out of bounds calls, which takes all of about 5 seconds. the only problem here would be a situation if a goal was called, say the ball was rolling on the goalline and cleared out...and it was replayed not a goal...but even when the guy cleared it the other team prob would have scored on the rebound but stopped playing cause the original goal was scored. Thats probably worded really bad and confusing but its basically the same thing as the fumble debacle in the NFL.

to further extend the technology, and instant reply....does anyone else think that for the NFL it is retarted how the ref on the field has to go under the hood and look at the camera. I dont understand why there cant just be a dude (or multiple people) up in a booth that once a play is challenged they look at it and can make a decision in probably less than a minute (pretty sure this is how they do it in college). Same with the new baseball replay on home runs, should only take like 30 seconds for someone to make this call.

Prime said...

and PS I just watched the clip and that was REALLY BAD. even if the dude is claiming he saw an illusion, arent the other refs competent enough to see that nothign was even close to a goal

pex said...

I think one of the biggest problems with the reffing in soccer is that decisions are final, at least to my knowledge. I think the ref almost immediately knew after he called it a goal that it really wasnt. He'd have to be retarded not to. I think if you know you made a mistake you should say my bad and correct it. It happens in football all the time, a ref throws a flag then they converse and the main ref says there was no foul on the play.

I agree that instant replay should be added, as long as it doesnt hinder gameplay too much. Think of the NFL for example, how many challenged plays are there...tons. I'm so used to the new system that I would hate to have to see blown calls, especially clutch ones. Games should be decided by the actions of the players, not the bad calls of a ref.

term said...

I actually think Prime's point is right on, making it hard to really implement it in soccer.

It is hard to compare football to soccer due to the number of penalties in a game versus goals in a game. I would say the average soccer game averages somewhere between 2 to 3 goals a game, less in World Cup. Making any confusion over the new technology to be that much more controversial.

I think implementing a goal line technology could bring more problems to the game than there already are. The whole scenario if a goal is called initially, the teams stop playing, and then the goal is reversed would just be a true disaster. I propose solving the problem by just straight suspending refs who make horrendous calls and training officials properly (as seen in this game with a blind linesmen and an inexperienced head ref).

pex said...

If youre implementing goal line technology only and dont include other challenges then it really wouldnt be that big of a burden. Like Prime said it only takes 5 seconds, and like term said there arent many goals scored in soccer. You say that it will cause too much confusion because a goal is called then everyone stops. So? If the goal was legit it would probably be confirmed before the kickoff. If it was not a goal then play was already stopped, instead of kicking it off you do a drop ball, or if it really went out of bounds a goal kick etc.

I get what Prime is saying about a false goal being called then someone scoring after the fact, but since goals being called when they arent really in is already rare, specific scenarios like that are even rarer.

Finally, the thing about comparing football to soccer, obviously you cant make an exact comparison. But youre comparing penalties to goals, doesnt really make sense to me. Its not like every penalty is contested. You can only contest a few times each half, and most of the time I see it like once or twice a game. I dont think it would really stop the flow of the game to give each side a couple challenges in soccer. Really theres only a few things that you could challenge, goals that were scored by an offside player, fouls in the penalty area come to mind. Things like normal fouls wouldnt be contestable, just like in football. Post was longer than planned.

term said...

I scored tonight in indoor and it was no where near over the goal line. It was lolable since this post just went up I thought.

pex said...

sounds like a typical scott "goal"