IoT scores big question mark as World Cup Soccer enthusiasts argue the point of VAR

7 Aug

If you were following the 2018 Soccer World Cup, you would in all likelihood have noticed that sometimes, referees can miss injustices on the field. And while techies all over the world are saying that technology can be used to reduce these oversights, other sports enthusiasts claim that bringing technology into it will destroy the ‘beautiful game’s’ charm.

Charm or no charm, isn’t it better to know that each and every mishap will be correctly judged instead of trusting the potential bias and eye-turning of referees? Fouls, disallowed goals and more… technology can take the guesswork out of the process!

Some might say that we just need better officiators in the sporting industry, but isn’t that deterring development of an industry. Technology can bring about real change in all industries and we shouldn’t stop it, should we?

Divided Opinion

A large number of sports enthusiasts were encouraged to learn that the Russia 2018 Soccer World Cup had decided to implement tech advancements to bring about real change in the game.

While soccer fans and techies argue, it cannot be overlooked that VAR (Virtual Assistant Ref) which has been used alongside official referees has made a real difference to the game. That said, VAR cannot do it all but it has gone a long way towards helping refs make those difficult decisions (and helping the crowds to understand and accept them too). VAR has helped with decisions regarding penalties, mistaken identity, goals and even red cards.

In terms of football history, it seems the sport is embracing technology and if it is better understood by the population of sport enthusiasts, it more likely to be embraced by them too!

How does VAR Work?

Virtual Assistant Ref technology can make recommendations to the ref about incidents that it picks up on. Alternatively, the ref can ask the system for help on clarification of incidents that he notices. VAR will analyse video footage of the occurrence and then provide recommended advice. The ref can blindly trust the system or he can view the footage himself before deciding whether to accept or reject the VAR recommendation.

The IoT and How it May Affect the Future of Football

Considering the effect VAR has had on the World Cup makes one realise just how the IoT can be used in the sporting arena in general. While we are currently focused on soccer, there are clearly other ways in which the IoT could be used to assist refs and umpires. Here are just a few considerations:

  • Ball sensors could be used to determine when a ball is out of the field or crossed a goal line and the referee can be notified.
  • Sensors in players boots could gather data that determines if off-sides incidents are legitimate or not.
  • Similar boot sensors can be used to determine whether foot movements and positions constitute a foul or not.

We still do not fully understand the true impact of IoT in the sporting arena, and many of us are divided over the implementation of VAR. Until of course your team is denied a goal or point because of an incident. Imagine if that incident could be clarified in the favour of your team…if only there was technology for that. Oh wait, there is! VAR and the IoT!

Comments are closed.