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Testing goal-line technology

Lead investigator Dr David James

Funded by Labosport

Aim

Football’s governing body, FIFA, finally approved the use of goal-line technology after the 2010 World Cup, after years of debate. At the start of the 2013 season, the English Premier League became the first football league in the world to introduce goal-line technology. We were chosen to test the accuracy of the goal line technology installations at every ground.

Description

Working in partnership with Labosport UK, we put each system through a rigorous protocol of experiments designed to test the technology to its limit. One of the experiments included using high speed video techniques to determine if the ball passed the plane of the goal during an event that neither the human eye, nor broadcast video replay could see. We used a ball launcher to fire balls at high speed towards a specially made rigid wall positioned just inside the goal. We used our high speed cameras to take detailed measurements at 2000 frames per second to determine if we had a goal or not.

After three weeks on the road we successfully tested each system at all 20 Premier League grounds and Wembley, in readiness for the start of the season.

Impact

The first season of use by the English Premier League was widely acknowledged as a success. The technology maintained 100% goal decision accuracy throughout the season and was used to determine numerous marginal events. The system has been well accepted and in 2014, goal line technology was implemented for the FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

Working in partnership with Labosport UK, we were selected to test the systems at all 12 stadiums in Brazil prior to the competition. Our testing schedule involved flying around Brazil on two separate missions. We were able to certify all the stadia and were happy to see the technology being used to make marginal decisions during numerous World Cup matches.

We continue to test new goal line technology installations around the world, and we retest the entire English Premier League each season.

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