Tech junkies and jocks unite in Brazil! FIFA is outfitting the goals in all 12 World Cup venues with super cool sensing technology to ensure every goal will be a GOL!

Front page news:

Soccer, um sorry, football,  mania is sweeping across el mundo! The World Cup tournament kicked off this week in Brazil with the home country playing Croatia in a controversial start – swayed heavily by, no surprise, referee calls.   Even before today, FIFA, soccer’s governing body, realized the need to bring in a high-tech solution to assist in scoring the world’s most popular sport.

In fact, in São Paolo’s Arena Corinthians – and all 12 World Cup soccer arenas – new goals are in place outfitted with Goal-line Technology (GLT) provided by German firm GoalControl.

Reading between the headlines:

While we would expect those wealthy soccer players to feel insane pressure playing at the World Cup, the referees don’t have it much better.  Not only do refs have to watch for even the slightest of violations during play from a considerable distance in a sport that is a non-stop soliloquy of dizzying speed and skill; referees have return to face family, friends and fans without security detail provided by a multi-million Euro contract. OUCH!  Not to mention that the soccer universe is ripe with corruption, make officiating as much a topic of conversation as the players.

But new goal-line technology like the one from German firm, GoalControl, could bring a huge breathe of fresh air and more fairness to the game.

Since 1999, other technologies have been used in FIFA-sponsored regional tournaments. But GoalControl is like the old technology but, I would call it,  Americanized.  Better, of course.  The product operates as series of 14 high-speed cameras, seven focused on each goal mouth, that autonomously track the ball’s position on a continual basis. Similar to ESPN’s AXIS technology, GoalControl can create a 3D picture to determine whether or not the ball crosses the goal-line. What’s even cooler is that the GoalControl system can trigger a notification on a watch worn by the head referee, all within one second of the score. Fans can also watch replays with GoalControl technology too.


What’s next:

The experts (at my local bar) tell me that the real test of GoalControl will be whether or not their sensing technology conforms to what the rulebook on soccer defines as a goal – when the whole of the ball crosses the goal line. Conceivably a 99.99% portion of the ball could cross over the goal-line and still not be considered a goal.

And if GoalControl technology proves effective in this tournament (though not helpful to Croatia thus far), it can open the doors for other sports like tennis, basketball and good old fashion American pigskin to adopt similar sensoring technology to bring more objectivity to the games we love to play and watch.  This type of technology-driven regulation can have a butterfly effect to stamping out bribery, match-fixing and other rather seedy deeds from politicians and mafiosos alike.


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