Goal Line Technology – The Technology

The new ‘Intelligent Football’

This article on Goal Line Technology is part 1 of the series of 4.

Part 2 – Goal Line TechnologyTesting the Technology

Part 3 – Goal Line TechnologyAlternatives

Part 4 – Goal Line TechnologyA Managers Perspective

Ever since the ‘did it, didn’t it cross the line’ debate sparked by Geoff Hurst second ‘goal’ in the 1966 World Cup Final, the arguments for and against the introduction of goal line technology have rarely been out of the headlines.

In recent years, goal line technology would have not allowed the Bobby Zamora ‘goal’ against Blackburn last season which helped move West Ham off the bottom of the Premiership and may have in some small part contributed to them avoiding relegation.

On the other hand, goal line technology would have allowed Spurs Pedro Mendes’ 50 yard lob which calamity Manchester United keeper Roy Carroll clearly juggled a full metre over his own line in the Red Devils 0-0 draw in January 2005.

In an attempt to eliminate the debate surrounding whether the ball crossed the line or not, Adidas has launched the Teamgeist 2, a new intelligent ball, designed to assist the referee’s decision in determining when and if the ball has crossed the goal line. The intelligent ball has been tested at the FIFA Club World Cup in Japan, formerly the FIFA World Club Championships.


“The purpose of the Adidas intelligent ball and Goal Line Technology is to provide greater transparency during a match and to assist the referee in making quick decisions that can impact the outcome and quality of the game” said Hans-Peter Nuernberg, Senior Development Engineer, Adidas Innovation Team. “We expect the system to perform very well during the FIFA Club World Cup in Japan and we will continue to refine the system so that it is 100% accurate.”

The intelligent technology implemented in the Teamgeist II uses a magnetic field to provide real-time feedback to a central computer, which tracks the location of the ball on the field and sends the data directly to the referee. By using a magnetic field and more stabilized and robust components within the ball, the new system is more precise and is not influenced by in-game factors, adverse weather or nearby technical systems.

“With the complexities and precision needed for Goal Line Technology, it is imperative that the system is tested in a variety of competitive in-game situations,” said Christian Holzer, COO of Cairos technologies. “The opportunity to test the new technology during such a competitive tournament will supply us with the valuable feedback needed in order to continue refining the system.”

Since 2003, Adidas and Cairos in cooperation with FIFA, have developed the Goal Line Technology, which was first publicly tested in 2005 during the U-17 FIFA World Cu in Peru. The first system used radio transmissions to correspond with a central computer and a microchip suspended in the ball to determine its location on the field. The new Goal Line Technology and Adidas intelligent ball have been redeveloped since 2005 to address the critical situations in which better accuracy is needed.

Following the testing during the FIFA Club World Cup in Japan, the results will be evaluated and next steps will be determined by Cairos technologies and Adidas as to when the system will be ready to test again publicly. The new system currently meets all International Football Association Board (IFAB) requirements and the ball has been approved by FIFA for competitive international play.

Goto; Part 2 – Goal Line TechnologyTesting the Technology

Goto Part 3 – Goal Line TechnologyAlternatives

Goto Part 4 – Goal Line TechnologyA Managers Perspective

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  1. says: Brian Lunar

    Dear Editor,
    In response to your article, “Goal Line Technology- The Technology” I believe that the proposal for goal line technology is necessary to maintain order of the game. As you mentioned there have been several game deciding calls that were wrong all due the lack of vision by the referees but by providing this technology, games will no longer be wrongly decided. The fact that Adidas is providing a ball that will be able to accurately let the officials know if there is a goal is the best method of knowing because it allows the game to continue, which is a big argument against goal line technology.
    In the past world cup, which is when the topic of using goal line technology started, there were several goals annulled and allowed that should not have been. Noticeable ones include Germany’s goal against a highly favored England that changed the momentum of the game in favor of Germany and ultimately gave them the win. Several camera angles recorded the game and televised it but it was not until after that the game that the goal that changed everything was in fact not a goal. In the article you also mentioned how West Ham avoided relegation after a goal was allowed that did not go in, that is an extreme example of how the lack of accurate calls can change a huge decision. Had West Ham lost the winning team would have been in the Premier League, which in its self provides huge revenue for the team’s club and their city.
    If the goal line technology is incorporated into football, yes, it changes the game from its original state but the game itself is evolving and becoming faster. The Fédération Internationale de Football Association, FIFA, is strongly against changing the game but goal line technology as the editor stated is evolving and players are becoming faster which in turn is making it harder for referees to make accurate calls consistently. Goal line technology would provide an answer to both sides of the argument because while it is altering the game, goal line technology would also provide the answer
    Another alternative you provided was putting cameras in the goal in order to play back the goal and help the referees with the lack of vision they have on the field. In regards to that proposal I don’t think that would be an alternative the public or FIFA would approve mainly because it would mean that the game would have to stop in order to review the goal. I agree with FIFA, football is the only game that you can watch uninterrupted by camera review of a referee and allowing camera review of plays would only make the already ninety minute long game longer. The beauty of football is that the game is not interrupted and that is what technology threatens to ruin, hence why so many football fanatics are against the introduction of technology to the game. Personally as a soccer player I would hate for referees to stop the game to review calls, even if it meant were to benefit me. As mentioned before its part of the beauty of the game, anyone can win at any moment and technology would only take away from that aspect of the game.
    The actually technology that would be included during games entails a new ball the ”Teamgeist 2” by Adidas that has a microchip on the inside that triggers when it crosses the goal line. That in theory sounds like a good proposal because it would eliminate the stopping of the game but when it was tested the feedback from the players was that the new ball has a different trajectory than traditional soccer balls which hindered their playing abilities during the game. From a players perspective I do believe that using a new ball does change the game for example in the last world cup the new Adidas ball was used and all teams had complaints that “it was like playing soccer with a balloon” and they did blame the fact that they did not do so well on the ball. I understand the need to accommodate the changes in the game but to a certain extent players and coaches just have to deal with the fact that they are not always going to get the right call.

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