Common Criteria by olaszmelo
E-sports are on the rise, but the impact of digital technology is also being felt in the traditional sporting arena. Hot on the English Premier League’s adoption of goal-line technology to establish whether or not all of the ball has crossed all of the line in those instances where the award of a goal is in doubt, the Italian top division has announced that it is to follow suit.
There has been a long-standing objection to the introduction of optical technologies by traditionalists in both the UK and Italy who have insisted that the matter of human error is an integral part of the game. More practical objections on the basis of cost have also been aired.
However, as in England, the demands of television and club managers – neither of which are ever content with officials’ mistakes – combined with the overflowing riches of the top clubs have seen those objections overcome. From the start of next season the Italian Serie A will adopt the same Hawk-Eye technology as was introduced in the English Premier League at the start of the 2014/2015 campaign.
Recent seasons in Italy have seen a number of controversies erupt as to whether the ball has – or has not – crossed the goal line in matches. AC Milan have twice been at the centre of such rows, on one occasion in 2012 with serious implications: an incorrectly disallowed goal was adjudged to have cost them a victory. The resulting points ‘loss’ inevitably impacted their final tally for the season.
With so much money at stake in terms of direct winnings, and indirectly from the revenues that derive from Champions’ League qualification, it was entirely logical that the means to eliminate human error from the equation should be adopted. Likewise, the considerable interest in Serie A betting put a high premium on teams competing for major honours being able to have complete faith in the accuracy of referees’ decisions.
Common Criteria by MULADAR NEWS
Hawk-Eye represents a network of high-speed video cameras to track and triangulate a ball’s position to within a 3.6mm margin of error. Because the system is able to accurately identify the ball’s position in relation to the goal-line, Hawk-Eye can tell when it has actually crossed the line. When it does so, an automated alarm alerts the match officials via a radio transmission to the referee’s watch.
Hawkeye has already been widely used in tennis and cricket, and therefore represents a well tried and tested solution to one of football’s perennial bugbears. AC Milan’s recent sense of grievance and the 1966 World Cup final are by no means the only instances where a dubious decision has had far reaching consequences.
It is unlikely that the technology will be extended to less wealthy leagues, but the news that Germany’s Bundesliga is also to adopt the technology shows that it is more than just a short-term experiment for the bigger clubs.
The next step, now that the principle of human error has been punctured, will be the development of a software package capable of determining the equally vexed question of precisely when a player steps offside. Given the universal confusion on that point, that could take some time to deliver. Needless to say, it is an issue that does not arise in E-sports.