A Paul Trevillion referee illustration
Ask the Ref: Soccer & Goal Line Technology
Keith Hacket on GOAL LINE TECHNOLOGY
Some six years ago at the Summer Conference of the Premier League with Owners and Chief Executives of clubs in attendance I was asked the question what would I introduce to the game that would assist and improve the decision making of Referees....
They had already supported the introduction of the Communication Kits allowing officials the opportunity to talk to each other.
My immediate response was to say clearly that Goal Line Technology was a must knowing that I was supported by the Professional Referees and Assistant Referees
Within a few days of that meeting I was talking to Dr Paul Hawkins who was the Managing Director of Hawkeye who was already providing their system for Tennis and Cricket.
A few weeks later I went to Motspur Park the home of Fulham Football Club to see the first steps of the development of the product for football.
Later with scaffolding poles erected to form a tower I watched with amazement at Readings Training ground the quick response of a signal to inform the referee that the ball had crossed the goal line.
Months later we were at one end of the Reading Stadium along with members of the International Football Association Board allowing them to test the product.
Parallel to this process, a system was under development in Germany operating with a chip in the ball and a magnetic field.
This week after several rejections the IFAB finally decided to ratify that the system can be used.
The Premier League have been terrific in supporting the introduction of Goal Line Technology but one man really has worked extremely hard to get the message across former Director of Arsenal Football Club David Dein.
So how does the HAWKEYE SYSTEM operate?
Positioned around each goal are six high speed SONY cameras linked directly to a bank of computers.
The cameras capture a section of the ball and the software system computes providing in less than one second when the ball has crossed the line directly to the referee.
No third part involved, no stoppage to look at a screen, no involvement of the fourth official
A DIRECT SIGNAL IN LESS THAN ONE SECOND TO THE REFEREE.
Background to Hawkeye
- Initially developed 1999 – 2001 by Roke Manor Research
- First used in cricket in 2001
- Extended to tennis and football in 2002
- Became only system accredited by the ITF in 2005
- US Open 2006 was first Grand Slam to use Hawk-Eye officially for the umpire
- All major tennis events have since followed suit
- 2 BAFTAS, 3 Royal Television awards, 1 Emmy, 1 Logie and the coveted “Best Technology” award by the BCS
- 35 full time staff, based in Winchester with a new development centre in India
- Use to be owned by Getty
- Now owned by Sony
These are some of the incidents in games that highlighted the need for Goal Line Technology
Information is passed to the referee by means of the radio communication system. Should this system fail then the electronic beep sticks (No flag attached), should be used to attract the referee’s attention.
The AAR will assist the referee to control incidents in and around the penalty area, particularly at free kicks and corner kicks. Prior to the match the referee and the AAR will agree their specific areas of responsibility
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Keith Hackett is a world class ref and the author of You Are the Ref, the Ultimate Illustrated Guide to the Laws of Football and the new book, You Are the Umpire. The books are available on Amazon.com. The amazing illustrations are by Paul Trevillion.
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Any opinions expressed in this column shall not be construed as advice on Laws of the Game, and may not represent the official position of US Soccer, the United States Soccer Federation (USSF), CalSouth, the Presidio League, or any affiliates thereof unless specified with appropriate attribution.