Friday, November 30, 2012

Hawkins tries (and fails) to hock the Hawkeye

As most of you know, I am not a particular fan of goal line technology, so from the jump I have a bias.

I was painfully reminded of FIFA's impending implementation of goal line technology in "FIFA tests balls that 'know' when they're in goal", courtesy of 9 News. A link to the associated video can be found here which shows a brief interview with Thomas Pellkofer speaking about "GoalRef". Interesting technology with some interesting challenges in implementation (speaking as one familiar with the art and science).

In the article Pellkofer gives an articulate and balanced quote detailing GoalRef:

"The referee will get a signal when the goal has been clearly achieved. I'm convinced this technology will help the game to become a fair game, on one hand," Thomas Pellkofer, GoalRed operational manager, said. "On the other hand, I see that technology like other technologies in cars for example, these days, you have the brake controls, which will become the usual thing for the future."

I don't agree, but an articulate message. Think about red and yellow cards and their introduction in the 1970 World Cup from Sir Ken Aston. I do not know, but have to believe that such a change was likely not welcome either and may have even been seen as "an intrusion on the referee's authority."

Now lets shift to Paul Hawkins of the Hawkeye system, and his quote:

"You need to put the destiny of the match in the hands of the players. Officials are not there to be at the center stage there," Hawkins said. 

It was likely at this point Hawkins heard what an ass he was being and finished up with this:

"They're there to actually - you know a great official doesn't get noticed and this is simply technology to help them do their job."

Nice save Pauly, but not quite. Your distaste for referees was on full display.

Somehow making the argument this technology is needed is farsical. Why stop with goal line? Why not all decisions made by the referee? As I have opined before, what about penalty/no penalty? Almost like a goal, right? Caution v. Send off, sure that too! 

Where all this ends with a whimper is when the technology fails, as it always does. (Take a look back at "After the batteries die") I would not be so employable as an engineer if this stuff worked all the time. All it's going to take is one decision.

If FIFA still supports the technology after it is tried, and fails, it has fully tipped its hand in wanting to neuter the role of the referee in The Game as we know it. It's my opinion they have nibbled around the edges of that with some of the changes made to The Game, and restrictions and expectations on their referees, but this to me would be a very clear sign.

A little conspiracy theory-ish. Yeah maybe ... I may have turned a bend on this one. But like anything else, if you over regulate it, you make it so that no one will want to participate. Especially the artists on both sides of the whistle that just want to play.

No comments:

Post a Comment