SAOT is not slow: How does the World Cup’s AI-assisted offside system work? | World Cup 2022

SAOT is not slow: How does the World Cup's AI-assisted offside system work? | World Cup 2022

What is SAOT?

It may have an acronym that looks like a reality show, but Semi Automated Stealth Technology, or SAOT, is designed to quell drama rather than cause it. An extension of VAR, SAOT, was introduced to help reduce problems with one of the most contentious aspects of VAR: how to determine if a player is offside in building a goal. will be in use world Cup in Qatar.

How it works?

In short: AI processes location data to locate players when they kick the ball. If the AI ​​judges a player to be offside, an alert will be sent to the VAR showing the ‘kick point’ of the ball and the offside line. After manually checking this alert, the VAR official informs the referee and any field decision is adjusted accordingly.

The SAOT decision will be made at the World Cup using data transmitted from a sensor inside the ball, and Adidas trip, transmitting its location 500 times per second, along with 12 tracking cameras around the stadium that track both the ball and 29 different points on the player’s body (the cameras transmit their information 50 times per second). The AI ​​will also create a 3D graphic showing the offside line and the position of the players in relation to it. This graphic will be created after a decision has been made and shown to fans inside the stadium and on television.

Quick guide

Qatar: Beyond Football


This is a World Cup like no other. For the past 12 years, the Guardian has been reporting on the issues surrounding Qatar 2022, from corruption and human rights abuses to the treatment of migrant workers and discriminatory laws. The best of our journalism is collected on our dedication Qatar: Beyond Football Home for those who want to dig deeper into issues off the field.

Guardian reporting goes beyond what happens on the pitch. Support our investigative journalism today.

Thank you for your feedback.

Why was it introduced?

Law 11 of the Football Rulebook It starts out clearly enough: a player is in offside, you say, if “any part of the head, body, or feet is closer to the opponent’s goal line than the ball and from the second opponent.” But there are qualifications to be applied to that rule. For example: a player can only be offside in the opponent’s half of the field, and cannot be offside if the opponent deliberately touches the ball last. These qualifications are also subject to further revisions. This season, the rule-setting body, Ifab, has been forced to spell out what “deliberate” means, a 400-word explanation.

Given its complexity, it is not surprising that the offside law has presented the greatest challenges to the VAR system. The basic setup has a formal incident assessment remotely by playing back a video. It didn’t take long for these restrictions to show themselves after the introduction of VAR to the Premier League. Video footage often cannot capture the exact moment the ball is kicked, while offside lines are also manually marked. In the case of a high-stakes decision, where the difference between aiming or not being a target is a matter of millimeters, such an approach immediately created the potential for frustration. Perhaps most importantly, these decisions can take several minutes to be made.

SAOT came with the promise that it would be both more accurate and faster, reducing decision-making times from an average of 70 seconds to 25. FIFA’s Chief Referee, Pierluigi Collina, described SAOT as “faster and more accurate” and “offers better communication to fans.” “.

Video of an assistant referee while playing during the World Cup in Russia
Video of an assistant referee while playing during the World Cup in Russia. On a large scale, the VAR worked well during the tournament. Photo: Mladen Antonov/AFP/Getty Images

Where was it tested?

SAOT made its debut at the Arab Cup in Qatar last year. It was also captured by UEFA in the Champions League this season.

Did you pass the test?

While there is little debate about the accuracy of decisions under SAOT, calls that rule a player offside through unseen margins on the field or on a video screen, remain controversial with managers and fans. However, the main problem with SAOT remains the reason it was introduced in the first place: timing.

The Arab Cup ran smoothly, but examples uncovered by ESPN journalist Dale Johnson found delays of over a minute and, in one case, more than two minutes in making calls on goals with potential offside incidents. This pattern has extended to this season’s Champions League. Harry Kane had a file The winning goal is excluded from Sporting Lisbon Due to the interpretation of a sub-clause of the offside law it took four minutes. There was also a long delay in Liverpool v Napoli And the controversy after overturning Patrick Cech with a goal for Bayer Leverkusen against Club Brugge.

In Kane’s example, it is hard not to imagine that the delay was caused not so much by technology as by the subsequent intervention of humans whose job it was to fully enforce the law of infiltration. Human fallibility and/or subjectivity, along with the complexity of human-written rules (handball is not far from offside in this regard), remains the biggest obstacle to VAR working efficiently. However, UEFA notes that offside decisions take an average of 30 seconds to complete in the Champions League compared to this season’s Europa League, where the VAR is still in operation.

In previous FIFA tournaments, namely the 2018 Men’s World Cup and the 2019 Women’s Championship, VAR has managed to avoid taking center stage, perhaps because of the discretion allowed to officials on the pitch – something many fans would like to see more of. continuously. If this is the case again in Qatar, hope may be to the upside of right decisions without the soul-sapping pain of delays.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

OnePlus 11 is rumored to have a ceramic finish and 16GB of RAM
OnePlus 11 is rumored to have a ceramic finish and 16GB of RAM

OnePlus 11 is rumored to have a ceramic finish and 16GB of RAM

The OnePlus 11 It is one of the main smartphones that we expect to launch during

Microsoft Teams puts sign language front and center
Microsoft Teams puts sign language front and center

Microsoft Teams puts sign language front and center

Update coming to Microsoft Teams Looking to help the hearing impaired better

You May Also Like