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Big change to the Premier League from 2024/25 with Semi-Automated Offside Technology

A big change has been confirmed to the Premier League from the 2024/25 season with Semi-Automated Offside Technology introduced.

A semi-automated offside system is utilised across European football, but was shunned by the Premier League ahead of the 2023/24 season, leaving many fans baffled as to why they didn’t take it up.

But at a meeting on Thursday (11th April 2024), Premier League clubs unanimously agreed to the introduction of Semi-Automated Offside Technology.

The new system will be used for the first time in the Premier League next season.

STATEMENT:

At a Premier League Shareholders’ meeting today, clubs unanimously agreed to the introduction of Semi-Automated Offside Technology.

The new system will be used for the first time in the Premier League next season, and it is anticipated the technology will be ready to be introduced after one of the autumn international breaks.

The technology will provide quicker and consistent placement of the virtual offside line, based on optical player tracking, and will produce high-quality broadcast graphics to ensure an enhanced in-stadium and broadcast experience for supporters.

@SkyKaveh: “Premier League shareholders’ meeting in London just finished after 1030 start.

“Howard Webb gave a presentation.

“Recommended using semi-automated offside technology from next season. Answered multiple questions from clubs. Vote to adopt it was unanimous.

“Belief it will lead to even more efficient and accurate decision-making process.

“Several companies have pitched to provide the technology.

“It’s already used in the Champions League, World Cups, Euros, Club World Cup.

“System typically requires 12 cameras inside stadium which track the ball and 29 data points on each player.

“Not all systems require a chip in the ball.

“Decisions could be made in seconds.

“In average decisions expected to be made 30 seconds quicker.

“3D automated images will be shown on giant screens.

“Current system will be used as backup when semi automated tech is not working – for instance, when multiple bodies are obscuring the cameras.”

What is it?

Semi-automated offside technology is a support tool for the video match officials and the on-field officials to help them make faster, more reproducible and more accurate offside decisions.

How does it work?

The new technology uses 12 dedicated tracking cameras mounted underneath the roof of the stadium to track the ball and up to 29 data points of each individual player, 50 times per second, calculating their exact position on the pitch. The 29 collected data points include all limbs and extremities that are relevant for making offside calls.

The ball will provide a further vital element for the detection of tight offside incidents as an inertial measurement unit (IMU) sensor will be placed inside the ball. This sensor, positioned in the centre of the ball, sends ball data to the video operation room 500 times per second, allowing a very precise detection of the kick point.

By combining the limb- and ball-tracking data and applying artificial intelligence, the new technology provides an automated offside alert to the video match officials inside the video operation room whenever the ball is received by an attacker who was in an offside position at the moment the ball was played by a team-mate.

Before informing the on-field referee, the video match officials validate the proposed decision by manually checking the automatically selected kick point and the automatically created offside line, which is based on the calculated positions of the players’ limbs.

This process happens within a few seconds and means that offside decisions can be made faster and more accurately.

After the decision has been confirmed by the referee on the pitch, the exact same positional data points that were used to make the decision are then generated into a 3D animation that perfectly details the position of the players’ limbs at the moment the ball was played.

This 3D animation, which will always show the best possible perspectives for an offside situation, will then be shown on the giant screens in the stadium and will also be made available to FIFA’s broadcast partners to inform all spectators in the clearest possible way.

How was it tested?

The semi-automated offside technology set-up and workflow have been successfully trialled at numerous test events and live at FIFA tournaments, including the FIFA Arab Cup 2021™ and the FIFA Club World Cup 2021™.

During these matches, the new technology was able to support the video match officials by helping them to make more accurate and more reproducible offside decisions in a shorter period of time.

Twitter users reacted with the big change announced to the Premier League from the 2024/25 season with Semi-Automated Offside Technology introduced…

@MaximusOwen: A good decision, still not convinced as to why they rejected it at first, seems to be objectively better than the current system in most aspects.

@ohlookitswill_: bro just one more technological change to refereeing, just one more bro I swear please we’re so close to 100% correct decisions just one more will do it

@ADAM7H: Fucking too late could cost us the league title but, 115 charges and nothing happened yet

@DLRbrts: What could possibly go wrong…? 😬

@TogetherBHA: Huge and frankly brilliant news coming out of the PL meeting, something that should make the game better for sure. #BHAFC

@WWFCOHIO: Now don’t fuck it up 🙄

@1SamRafferty: Have it ready for the start of the season or not at all.

@Doc2960: It would be great news if it was in place from the start of the season, but here, better than nothing

@LFC89_AM: Finally, semi-automated offside technology coming to the Premier League! Long overdue, not sure how/why it took so long! This and goal line is the only tools used by officials, bin all other aspects of VAR except for mistaken identity!

@MilliLeaks_: “…after Autumn International break”? Why not just wait until the start of following season to implement, if they can’t get it in before the start of next season? 🙄

@9Matthew7: Should’ve been in this season

@CornishShirt: Thank god. Finally

@Steve_white81: It’s poor bringing it in after a competition has already begun. Some people will benefit in the initial months before it’s versus those when it’s fully implemented

@MaccaLiv19: Our incompetent officials will still find a way to fuck it up

@james_flynn: Clubs voted against the technology coming in this season, so this is very much overdue. The technology clearly works and is much better than manually measuring pixels on a screen.

@Nifemiking: Common sense has prevailed

@DannyRPearson: Problem is you have to trust that the technology actually works properly. Guarantee there’ll be some that say offside but then look very questionable on a replay

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