EPL agrees to use semi-automated offside technology… Here’s what to know

 EPL agrees to use semi-automated offside technology… Here’s what to know

The Premier League clubs have made a major move to implement semi-automated offside technology (SAOT) for the 2024–25 season.

By making this modification, offside decisions should be made more accurately and efficiently, giving players, officials, and spectators a more seamless and consistent experience..

The technology will replace the requirement for video assistant referee (VAR) teams to determine a player’s position at the time of a possible offside by using tracking software and camera footage.

This procedure has been demonstrated in trials to shorten VAR decision times by an average of 31 seconds.

The Semi-automated offside technology was employed in Qatar for the 2022 World Cup. It will generate graphics that may be displayed to spectators in stadiums and remove the need for VARs to manually draw lines to camera photos however, in the case that a goal is scored, VARs might still be needed to evaluate offside decisions, depending on how difficult the evaluation is.

Referees can use SAOT as a support tool to help them decide offside more quickly and accurately. This is because, in addition to sophisticated player monitoring algorithms, the system makes use of 12 specialised tracking cameras that are placed beneath the stadium roof.

SAOT collects and analyses up to 29 data points about, including pertinent limbs and extremities to pinpoint a player’s exact location on the pitch . SAOT creates automated offside alarms for video match officials by fusing artificial intelligence with data from tracking balls and limbs. Before being relayed to the on-field referee, these notifications are manually verified.

Thorough testing of the SAOT system has taken place at a number of events, including FIFA competitions like the FIFA Club World Cup 2021TM and the FIFA Arab Cup 2021TM. These tests have shown that the technology can assist match officials in instantly determining if a player is offside.

The introduction of semi-automated offside technology by Premier League clubs is expected to improve the accuracy and efficiency of the officiating process, hence enhancing the game’s fairness and integrity. With SAOT expected to completely change the way offside decisions are made, the 2024–25 season should provide an improved football experience for all parties involved.

In an official release, the league stated: “The technology will ensure an improved in-stadium and broadcast experience for fans by producing high-quality broadcast graphics and enabling quicker and consistent placement of the virtual offside line, based on optical player tracking.”

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