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Originally posted July 8 2010 at 21:07 under Football. 0 Comments. Trackbacks Disabled.

Crossing A Line

AS the 2010 World Cup draws to a close, it seems it has come time to talk about technology (or the lack of it) in football once again. Being an England fan, with a goal which never was to our name, you might think I’d be screaming for goal line technology, instant replays, and the referee to be a robot. The fact is, however, that I’m screaming almost the opposite.

When I started writing this post I know that I’d written about this before. Rereading that entry from the (by internet standards) dim and distant past the thing that most struck me was that one could almost skip this entry by rereading that one, for it is remarkable how little my opinion has changed in the intervening five and a half years.

The detection of the ball crossing the line is probably achievable, with a bit of work and trial and error. Anything else (determining offside, if a player has dived) still has problems nobody seems to have faced up to. For a start there have been several incidents in this world cup where the “expert” pundits have poured over several camera angles multiple times and still been unsure, or in disagreement. The beautiful game simply does not lend itself to stop start analysis of every split second decision, every moment. That is partly what makes it beautiful. There is another part though; something which I believe should be the underlying, fundamental guiding principle. It doesn’t matter where the game is played.

In short it boils down to something I expressed in that long ago post, and it has not changed—nor do I believe I can see a way for it to change without creating a huge gap that simply should not be there. If you picked up the same players, and same officials, from Wembley, or St James’s, or anywhere else and dropped them on the pitch in the local park down the road, you should get essentially the same game..

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This Crazy Fool

Dr Ian Scott
Croydon (and Gateshead), United Kingdom
Bullding Services Engineer (EngDesign), PhD in Physics (University of York), football fanatic (Newcastle United), open source enthusiast (mainly Mozilla)

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