IFAB gives goal-line technology the nod, first official run will be at this year's FIFA Club World Cup

For years and years now, football (soccer) fans have been asking themselves when FIFA would finally realize the "beautiful game" needed to start implementing some sort of tech to help referees with decision-making during major tournaments and in every-day matches. Well, that time is now. After a few months of putting the so-called goal-line technology through intensive and rigorous testing, the International Football Association Board (IFAB) has once and for all approved the use of such tech in official footie games. What this means is FIFA will utilize a couple of methods, one dubbed "GoalRef" and the other "Hawk-Eye," to assist refs in any controversial calls that may take place throughout the 90 minutes (or more if there's extra-time) on either goal.

The first of these uses electromagnetic antennas around the goal posts and crossbar to transmit a signal to a referee's watch as soon as the entire ball crosses the line; meanwhile, the latter requires six to eight high-speed cameras -- that shoot at 500 fps -- to grab multiple images of the match ball and quickly process them to identify if it indeed crossed the line completely -- this is also helped by black-colored dots on each goal post which aid the cameras gain a better overall precision. What's best, though, these new systems are set to take their first legitimate runs as soon as the FIFA Club World Cup takes place in December, with the upcoming 2014 World Cup in Brazil also said to have the goal-line technology ready to be used in all of its 64 global glory-seeking matches.

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Hawk-Eye ruled as official provider of goal-line technology

05 July 2012

Basingstoke, July 5th 2012: Hawk-Eye Innovations is pleased to have been selected today by the International Football Association Board to provide goal-line technology to football associations across the world.

Steve Carter, Managing Director of Hawk-Eye Innovations, said: "We are delighted by FIFA's decision to endorse the use of goal-line technology and the subsequent licensing of Hawk-Eye. We are confident, following years of development and testing, that Hawk-Eye can assist decision making for referees in critical goal-line situations which can affect the outcomes of club and international games. Hawk-Eye has many years' experience of successfully deploying its innovative technology for high-profile sports globally and can be trusted to provide a reliable long-term service to the game of football."

FIFA's decision comes after extensive trials over the past year to estimate not only the accuracy and reliability of goal-line technology, but also the implications on stadia infrastructure and the associated costs to different football associations. The Hawk-Eye solution requires absolutely no modification or interference with the equipment on the field of play, including the goal postsand balls, which is crucial to gaining the trust and confidence of both players and officials.Trials by FIFA further demonstrated the high level of accuracy and reliability of the Hawk-Eye system insituations where the ballis obscured to even higher degrees than has occurred in real-life games

The Hawk-Eye system is based on numerous high framerate cameras placed around the stadium focused on each goal mouth, monitoring the ball's trajectory when it is close to the line. The data from the cameras is fed into a central processing unit that analyses the position of the ball relative to that of the goal line. If the system recognises that the ball has crossed the goal line, it relays that information in less than one secondto devices worn by officials on the field of play.Beyond making an instant definitive call, Hawk-Eye can also deliver video replays that prove the validity of the decision made by the system.

David Bush, Marketing Director, Sony Professional Solutions, Sony Europe, added; "Backed by Sony, Hawk-Eye will deliver the best decision-making tools to referees and football associations across the world. Sony has a strong legacy of bringing innovative technologies to the world of sport and in particular football. This agreement reinforces our position as one of the world's leading sports technology providers and underlines our commitment to deliver ever more compelling and enhanced experiences."

World's First Intelligent Soccer Ball Receives FIFA Recognition

Select's iBall to be cornerstone in the integration of goal line technology within FIFA
GLOSTRUP, Denmark, July 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Yesterday, FIFA published a preliminary decision to end the ongoing debate about how referees will one day evaluate whether the ball has crossed the goal line during games. FIFA has approved a system based on the Select iBall, the world's first intelligent soccer ball due to its ability to communicate that it has crossed the goal line. Select's iBall is the ball in the GoalRef system which has been tested by FIFA over the past few months and has now been approved for a final test so that the system can one day be used during professional soccer games.
Peter Knap, CEO of Select, has been developing the extraordinary ball for years so it could live up to a variety of demands. Knap states, "It's challenging work to design an intelligent ball that can withstand Ronaldo's kick and at the same time be able to communicate with a system on the goal line. At Select we have been developing the soccer ball for more than 65 years so we have a solid head start when it comes to ensuring quality in new solutions."
As the company that developed the modern soccer ball, Select has a long heritage in the sport. That heritage is what led the Danish company to create the world's first intelligent soccer ball. The FIFA announcement marks the first time an intelligent ball has received recognition from FIFA.
"With a certain sense of pride, we can now say that Select has been behind the four most important steps in the development of the modern soccer ball. It began with the first laceless leather ball, then the first ball with 32 panels, then the first synthetic leather ball, and now the world's first intelligent ball. At Select we have a deep insight into the very nature of the sport that enables us to create the best professional sporting equipment," says Peter Knap.
While the Danish company Select is the ball manufacturer behind the iBall, the complete GoalRef system has been developed in partnership with the German company Fraunhofer IIS, part of Europe's largest application-oriented research organization, The Fraunhofer Society.
Project leader Ingmar Bretz from Fraunhofer IIS states, "For us to achieve this, having a reliable partner like Select has been essential. Select has years of development experience from the history of GoalRef and their knowhow within ball production has been vital for our success."
The intelligent soccer iBall works through an internal web of copper wire, which uses induction to communicate with a panel of antennas mounted to the goal frame. The very same second the entire ball has passed the goal line, the system sends a signal to the referee's wristwatch, and the referee can instantly call it as a goal.
FIFA's decision is the finest proof yet that the technology behind the iBall can live up to all of the tough demands of modern soccer in terms of precision, speed and quality. With this acknowledgement, Select has achieved another milestone in the development of the soccer ball.