May 21, 2024

The Premier League will introduce AI-based player tracking technology to make offside calls from next season, aiming to decrease the time officials need to reach decisions. England’s top-division clubs announced Thursday they unanimously agreed to adopt semi-automated offside technology, set to be launched during the first half of the season.

“The technology will provide quicker and consistent placement of the virtual offside line, based on optical player tracking,” the league said, “and will produce high-quality broadcast graphics to ensure an enhanced in-stadium and broadcast experience for supporters.”

Semi-automated offside technology was used at a World Cup for the first time in Qatar in 2022. For that tournament, there was a sensor in the ball to track its acceleration, but that won’t be the case in the Premier League, which looks set to be more aligned with the system used by UEFA in the Champions League.

The Premier League will provide more details on the offside technology once contracts are finalized. Extensive testing and analysis have been carried out this season.

Semi-automated offside technology is already utilized in Italy’s Serie A. Multiple cameras will track player movements and record relevant data points on body parts for offside decisions. This data is processed with artificial intelligence to create a 3D offside line, which is then assessed by the VAR officials.

The new system is expected to reduce the time it takes for VAR officials to make decisions manually by an average of around 30 seconds, thereby enhancing confidence in decision-making following some high-profile mistakes. A manual system will be available as a backup in case of failure of the semi-automated technology.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *