Bad Calls

With all the bad calls in the World Cup, the head of FIFA has said that the question of "using technology" to assist in officiating will be reopened after being rejected some time ago. Some fancy-pants former player of great stature has, in response, said that "goal-line" technology and video review should not be used, but extra refs would possibly be okay.

Well, of course that's what he's going to say. He can drum up more work for his friends that way!


susan said...

Sounds kinda like the doctors who are in favor of residents working ridiculously long shifts because "that's what I had to suffer with, and so should they." Heaven forfend we reassess and make improvement to the way things are done. Status quo ad infinitum!

Anonymous said...

Fifa has used chip in the ball tech in a previous tourney.

Grandpa ref

Tom said...

I keep trying to make this comment. It keeps getting eaten: they used it for a uIJ tournament, not with the senior sides. All indications were that the system worked brilliantly.

Also Europa league may have done an experiment with additional goal-area officials. I don't know how it went.

MC Squared said...

My feeling is that the bad calls are not new, they have always existed. The advent of the television, high definition, and instant replays has made bad calls seem more egregious and more frequent, but I doubt that they are either.

I think if you change the system, you change the game, and I like the game just fine as it is. Having the single ref on the field puts a little randomness into the game, and maybe some people don't appreciate that, but I do.

I like to know that I can compare a match-up from 10 years ago to a match-up today and know that the same elements of randomness were present at both, that the team from 30 years ago had the same kind of frustrations, and that I don't need an additional asterisk to remind me of one more thing that has changed.

Undeniably, things have changed. Field construction is so much better now that it is rare to see a player drown when it rains. The ball construction has changed (no value statement here). All of this is serving (in theory) to make the game more consistent, more about the sport, and to some degree less representative of the real world battles we all wage where we can't control all the variables.

The ref is one of the last bastions of an era that wasn't so focused on everything being neat and known; an era where people were okay with a little mess. Adding other means of determining calls will serve to make the ref impotent. Eventually people will tire of the ref, and our games will be entirely judged by robots. I wonder how inaccurate the Asimov vision I'm laying out will turn out to be.

When the refs are finally gone, I'd like a small notation in the stats.

*Played and judged by humans for humans