One of the most debatable and controversy-inspiring things in football is the offside rule. It basically means that a player can’t receive the ball if he was beyond the last defender when his teammate passed the ball to him.

Sounds simple enough, but because of the increasingly fast-paced nature of the game it’s getting progressively harder for the referee’s assistant to make an accurate decision. Many would say that it is high time that technology was brought in to help with the process.

While football may be the richest sport in the world by a considerable distance, it is often far behind other competitions in using technology to help with in-game decision-making. While games like cricket, tennis, and rugby all use video referee systems to assist with making the right choice in debatable circumstances, football is slow to introduce new advancements because many believe it will slow the game down and ruin its identity.

At the 2018 World Cup in Russia, a video assistant referee was used to help with some moments of contention, but it did lead to long pauses in play. Football followers were torn over whether it was a good or bad thing, and for the current Premier League season the technology hasn’t been used.

Tracking Technology Football Offside Disputes

Offside” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by westy48

Technology may be minimal in helping referee football matches, but clubs do put new advancements to good use when training between games. One piece of kit that is being used more and more frequently is Prozone tracking technology. By tracking players during training sessions, coaching staff are able to gather an impressive amount of data about positioning, speed, stamina, and other useful information. This has helped teams optimize their strategies and get the best out of their players.

A number of Premier League clubs use tracking software to boost performance. There are also other innovative things, like the DRSKYN technology used by Watford. After earning promotion to the top flight at the end of the 2014-15 season, the Hornets have established themselves as a solid Premier League outfit. In fact, in the football betting, Watford are favored to finish in the top half of the table this term. It’s thanks to the club’s willingness to embrace new technology that they have been able to thrive.

Tracking technology is used in football matches by statisticians to compile detailed information for match reports, but at present it isn’t being put to good use to help with decisions. If developers can prove that the technology can be used and instantly give feedback to referees without slowing the game down, it could be rolled out in the future. With the nature of the game developing and the fact that offside decisions are increasingly hard to call, something needs to be done to avoid angering fans.

Technology has proved to be extremely useful in various aspects of sport, and it has helped to make a lot of things fairer. Football traditionalists think the game is fine how it is, but a lot has changed over the years since the sport was first invented. It’s time for football to move with the times and introduce technology to minimize the risk of injustices.

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