Monday, February 22, 2016

Goal Line Technology in the World Cup

This article focused on FIFA’s ambitions for the 2014 World Cup. For the most recent World Cup in Rio de Janeiro, FIFA made major updates in goal line technology and aimed to advance football significantly in terms of precision and fairness. The update in goal line means that officials will now be able to accurately and infallibly determine if the ball was officially in the goal and if it should be officially counted.

This update to FIFA is revolutionary to the football community and its worldwide following. FIFA claims that this new goal line technology, named “GoalControl,” ensures accuracy with, “14 high-speed cameras located around the pitch, with seven cameras focusing on each goalmouth” (FIFA). This allows for the ball to be continuously captured in 3D and therefore be accurately tracked. The technology allows for a 360 degree view of the ball and the goal post by placing camera in front of and behind the home and away teams goal posts. In order to confirm the accuracy of GoalControl, numerous tests were conducted. These tests were so thorough that they were even able to measure to the exact millimeter of the ball and to the exact moment that the ball crosses the goal line. When there is a goal scored, the referees with get immediate results to a personal watch that alerts them of GoalControl's report.

In a similar article referring to the anticipated outcomes of this technology, FIFA upholds the success and accuracy of GoalControl. According to FIFA, GoalControl technology was used in every single match throughout the World Cup. FIFA stated, “Besides being decisive in the awarding of a goal during the match between France and Honduras, it assisted the match officials in making close calls on several further occasions” (FIFA). This technology ensured accuracy within every game in the World Cup and pursued impartiality within the game of football. This article stated that this technology was crucial in many hotly contested games throughout the World Cup, specifically in the match of Costa Rica versus Italy.

Not only did this help the referee officials determine the accuracy, but also allowed viewers watching at home to see the technology in action. Due to GoalControl, audiences were able to see the goals more precisely. GoalControl technology undoubtedly helps to prevent foul play and unfair practices during football matches.

I believe that this article lacked information on this technology’s progress since the World Cup. I would have liked to see not only how the technology has improved the game of football but how the game continues to evolve in terms of new technology.


  1. Goal Line technology was a long time coming in soccer. One of the main reasons it was implemented at the 2014 World Cup other than the obvious benefits mentioned in the blog post, was terrible refereeing errors made at the previous world cup. In the knockout stages of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, England’s Frank Lampard had a deserved goal taken away from him in a heartbreak manner. With England trailing 2-1 in the 51st minute Lampard’s shot hit the crossbar and bounced straight down at least a yard deep across the goal line before bouncing out and being cleared by Germany. This goal would have tied the game, which England then went on to lose. Goal line technology in this circumstance would have been extremely useful in getting the right call.
    I would really like to see this technology be expanded further than just goal vs no goal decisions. The MLB, NBA, and NFL now all use replay in varying amounts and if cameras can determine how fast the ball is going and track other useful details, why should there be blown calls regarding offside, handballs and more? They could also track player movements to make more accurate calls. The Lampard incident wasn’t the only missed call at the 2010 world cup. USA’s Maurice EDU had a game winner taken away vs Slovenia for an inexplicable foul, Argentina’s Carlos Tevez scored a goal from miles offside to take the lead over Mexico, Brazil’s Luis Fabiano committed a handball before scoring vs Ivory Coast and eventual champions Spain were lucky when Paraguay striker Valdez’s goal was called offside even though replays show he clearly was not.
    Everyone benefits from increasingly accurate calls. The only downsides to increased use of this technology is higher cost, less confident referees, and time spent reviewing plays. If FIFA is able to improve on this technology to make accurate calls, not just goal vs no-goal, in real time mistakes like those at the 2010 world cup could be completely eliminated.


  2. The concept of GoalControl can be described as an electronic referee around the goal mouth in the game of soccer. As stated in the article, and reiterated in the blog post, GoalControl records the game play from various different angles to give referees a 360 degree view of the play, allowing them to make the right call of whether the ball should be counted as a goal or not.
    The most interesting point to this information technology, I believe, is its ability to eliminate human error. Although the sports world has been officiated by human judgement throughout history, technology, and the feedback that the technology gives us, has made sports more impartial than ever before. Some may feel that human error is a part of the sports world, giving it an unpredictable future, but teams could be drastically affected in the biggest games of their lives leaving difficult calls in the hands of humans.
    GoalControl is a great advancement in information technology, but there are a few things about it that are still up for discussion. First off, is GoalControl the beginning of applied IT to the beautiful game of soccer? There are many sudden and difficult calls that referees have to make, referring to the offside rule, out of bounds discrepancies, etc. that could be automatically correctly made in game play. I feel that IT will gradually increase its involvement in sporting events mainly because the world has access to most of it already. Secondly, with the addition of IT, does this help increase the popularity and market for sports organizations, or will it turn business away because of the elimination of the historic human error? Overall, the article and blog were very resourceful.

  3. After reading about the new information technology, GoalControl, that FIFA included in the 2014 World Cup, I think that all sports games will eventually follow in FIFAs footsteps. I think that GoalControl is more efficient and accurate compared to a referees call on whether a shot was a goal or not. In the short video clip it stated how there are a total of fourteen cameras, seven focusing on each goal, that are able to move at 360 degree angles (Front and behind). Another aspect it mentioned that I thought was very intriguing was how fast the system was able to process the accuracy of a goal. It stated that a referee would be notified in a total of a mere one second what the final outcome of a goal was. Overall I think that GoalControl will be an appealing technological advance for major sports games and leagues.
    However, after looking more into this concept I was not completely convinced that all of the flaws and issues were worked out. A concern I had was referring to if the technology and cameras would be bothersome or distracting to the players who are trying to focus on the game. This could be a huge issue for GoalControl because the second a coach is notified one of his athletes is distracted by this technology, GoalControl would not be used or would immediately be taken back to the drawing board to fix these issues. This led to a question I had if GoalControl were to be successful, would it eventually expand and innovate any time soon? For example, I was wondering if GoalControl would eventually not only focus on merely goals, but all the calls that a referee usually makes throughout a game. Will there eventually be no need for a human referee on the field? One last question I had for the future of GoalControl was if they were thinking about expanding their technology to other sports stadiums, like say the superbowl? At the superbowl the GoalControl technology could be used for ruling if a touchdown was actually a touchdown instead of checking the accuracy of a goal at the World Cup. All and all I think that GoalControl is an intriguing concept and will hopefully expand to other stadiums and sporting events.


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