Friday, October 15, 2010

True to his word

Back a few months ago, Sepp Blatter and IFAB were in discussions about goal line technology in an effort to assist referees with such incidents. I have to be honest, I did not think the effort would get as far as is currently being reported by several news outlets.

At this stage there is apparently an evaluation that will be launched into the 13 companies vying for an opportunity to be the official company to provide goal line technology for FIFA.

This is assuming that it gets that far ...

One aspect that needs consideration is that effect on the referees who have to use the technology. When I was on the way up we would be asked to evaluate new technologies from time to time such as various time keeping devices, uniforms, and communication devices such as the famous "beeper flags."

Interesting too as I saw this from not only the inside out as a referee with US Soccer, but also the outside in as my role as engineer with a company named Trakus, where we worked with the NHL refereeing ranks to test the feasibility of real time tracking of professional hockey games. Of particular concern to the engineering involved was to assure the technology was unobtrusive to the referee doing their job, and seamless in appearance.

I hope these 13 companies recognize this, and give the referees the voice to work with the engineers to better the product to make it both effective and invisible to those viewing. In my estimation, this will be the only way for such technology to succeed in FIFA's eyes.

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