Friday, February 22, 2013

Interesting GLT Video

So again I was pursuing the internet superhighway, and still upset about FIFA's decision to use GLT, I happen to come across this video from FIFA TV. Sorry, FIFA does not allow embedding.

A few things struck me as I took in this promotional video.

First was the fact that it takes six days(!) and as many people to deploy the Hawkeye solution. That is crazy! I know the system will likely not be moved that often if used in fixed stadia for long periods of time, but holy smokes. 

GoalRef was a bit less complicated in the number of people it takes to set up, but, it looks far more fragile. I mean, a special goal, and PCB's lining the frame. I have lived this one personally with my time at Trakus, where PCB's were put in a incredibly harsh sporting environment (NHL), and things failed. Trust me folks, it's going to break at the worst time. 

In the infamous words of Scotty "The more they overthink the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the drain."

Between weather and abuse, I have great concerns that anything other than a nice sunny day will provide the results FIFA is after. 

So what's the backup plan in case of ... lets say fog, in the case of Hawkeye, a camera based system?

The referee.

As I seeded in a previous post too, what about the protocol for the referee in the case of failure? How about if the referee believes the system has failed, yet gives no (technological) indications of such? Open the pod bay doors indeed.

Maybe I am actually starting to see why FIFA is after other tenders. The current systems are both flawed in several ways from a high level.

Another thing that struck me was Cüneyt Çakır's comments regarding GLT. Assuming for just a second that he was not a FIFA shill (did you expect anything negative on a FIFA video?), and acknowledging he is a tremendous referee, I'm not sure his endorsement of understanding "the whole system" works for me to provide confidence as an insurance salesman from Turkey.

My point being, who really, and I mean really, understands this stuff?
I don't think anyone except the manufactures who may do what it takes to sell the system.

Finally, and this is most compelling to me, was Sepp's comments at the end regarding "the need." His argument was that a human eye can't see if the ball crosses the line in some cases. He's absolutely correct in that fact. From here my argument goes in (2) directions.

First, why are we doing something in one particular area that is "in human" to The Game? One of the particular allures for me, and I have to believe for others, is the "traditional" nature of the sport. After all, how much (technologically) has it changed since its creation? Not that much I would opine. So why the heck are we interfering with it now?

Second, how accurate and precise are these systems? There are margins of error in their operation, however small, and just how "over the line" is registered as over the line? An angstrom, millimeter, centimeter? Is it really over the line then?

This now puts The Game on the "technology curve" as good enough is never good enough. When it comes to light how precise these systems are, there will be a call for more precise systems, and so on.

It's not going to stop with GLT. 

Now a counter argument to that can be made that (insert precision) is good enough, and it was better than we had before.

Was it though? Hundreds and hundreds of years of history, and thousands and thousands of goals. We seemed to muddle through. Now in 2012 enter GLT, and you know what, we still won't know to absolute certainty, only to the margin of error.

Dosen't sound like it's worth metaling with the fabric of The Game to me.

So, what's the motivation?

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