Football, or Soccer depending on where you’re from, is the biggest sport in the world with over 1 billion people regularly tuning in to watch the world cup finals. The world cup and various other tournaments such as the Champions League have started turning to technology to make sure that the outcome is in accordance with the rules.
Even though video assist has been utilized by other sports for a long time it’s taken quite some time for football to catch up. The governing body, FIFA, was for a long time opposed to the idea of adding video assistance for their referees.
But with newer cameras and more angles, mistakes by the referee became more apparent and soon the need for some assistance became inevitable. The VAR system (Video Assisted Referee) was introduced during 2018 and has been met with both praise and criticism. This can then in turn be used to make sure that goals that are allowed have been made in accordance with the rules of the game and can be used as a tool for the referee to make sure that everything is correct. This has also lessened the feeling of unjustness for teams and fans alike. There is nothing worse than your champions league predictions not coming true due to a missed offside by a linesman.
Before there was VAR, there was Goal Line Technology. As the name suggests, was this a form of assist for the referee where they could be informed of whether or not a ball had passed the goal line or not? This system is extremely rudimentary but works extremely well. Sensors in the ball and cameras in the crossbar and in other strategic places can let the referee know if a ball has crossed a goal line or not. If the ball passes the goal line the referee is then alerted through a message on his watch.
How VAR works
During a game where VAR is being used there is a number of referees manning the VAR-room. Here they can see specific situations in slow motion and from all cameras active at the match. If they believe a situation might have been judged incorrectly they can then call attention to the head referee. The referee can then go to a screen by the side of the pitch where they can be shown the situation and then make a decision after conferring with his or her colleagues.