Thursday, May 31, 2012

Goal-line Technology for soccer

Here's a reason to root for a high-scoring England-Belgium friendly this weekend: With Goal-Line Tech, Soccer Tries Kicking Its Addiction to Human Error, since if the game should end 0-0, it's not clear what we will learn about the Hawk-Eye system.

The camera system developed by the British firm Hawk-Eye Innovations could revolutionize soccer by tracking and triangulating the ball’s position, leaving no doubt when it has crossed the goal line. Although the tech will be deployed before a crowd of 90,000 at Wembley Stadium, game officials won’t use it to settle disputes. The data will be examined only by scientists during the final test before soccer’s governing body decides on July 5 whether to adopt goal-line technology.

Of the two competing systems, one uses cameras and image processing, while the other uses electromagnetism:

The two companies declined to discuss their technology in detail pending the IFAB’s decision. But Hawk-Eye, a system used widely in tennis and cricket, places 14 cameras around the pitch to triangulate the ball’s location. When the entire ball crosses the plane of the goal, a radio signal confirming the goal is sent to the ref’s watch. The downside is at least 25 percent of the ball must be visible so the cameras can make the ruling. GoalRef, a joint German-Danish project, uses a microchip in the ball and a magnetic field around the goals. Once the entire ball has crossed the line, the change in the magnetic field signals a goal.

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