Research engineer Jonathan Dunne has a neat proposal to end disputes over football’s famously contentious offside rule: monitor all movements on the pitch with RFID tags.
According to a report in The Times last week, “tags sewn into players’ kits and inside match balls can pass position data for players and the ball via receivers placed alongside the pitch to a central server, which then determines whether an infringement has taken place and alerts the referee’s assistant.”
The big advantage over video analysis, according to Dunne, is that help can be offered to the on-pitch officials in real time, without interrupting the flow of the game. The system could also, perhaps, aid in deciding whether the ball has crossed the line in a crowded goal-mouth fracas.
Sneak foresees just one problem: to implement the system, some lucky programmer will have to sit down and explain to the central server, in unambiguous lines of code, exactly how the offside rule works. Perhaps there is a flaw in Dunne’s logic after all...
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