The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


July 6, 2012

Tech update: Soccer fans rejoice! How the recently approved goal-line technology works

FIFA, soccer’s governing body announced this week that it will introduce goal-line technology at the Club World Cup in Japan in December and plans to use it at the 2013 Confederations Cup and in the 2014 World Cup.

While some purists might be upset, fans of teams victimized by questionable calls will certainly be pleased to here referees are going to get a little help.

FIFA will use Hawk-Eye and GoalRef systems in Japan, according to an Associated Press report.

The Hawk-Eye name might not be well known, but the technology has been around since 1999 and has been used during tennis coverage for a decade. It made its Grand Slam television debut at the Australian Open in 2003 and came under the spotlight during Jennifer Capriati’s comeback win over Serena Williams at the 2004 U.S. Open.

The tennis setup uses 10 high-speed cameras situated around the main tennis arenas to capture the ball mid-flight. Replays from so many angles allow officials to make close calls that would be indiscernible by the human eye.

The cameras take 2D and 3D images of the ball and use them to produce a single trajectory. The trajectory is then used to create a bounce mark that determines whether the ball was in or out.

The tennis system allows players three incorrect challenges per set plus an additional one in the event of a tie. On their website, Hawkeye claims that in any given week of tennis up to 200 calls per court may be challenged. On average calls are overturned 30% of the time.

“The system is able to display the outcome of any given bounce within 5 seconds of the ball landing, with the result displayed to the players, umpire, fans and via television simultaneously,” according to Hawk-Eye, a British company.

On their YouTube page, FIFA says the soccer setup will include seven to eight high-speed cameras.

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