Implementation of Video Replay in Soccer
Video replay in soccer is a reproduction of a short clip showing what happened a few seconds ago during a play, which allows viewers to analyze the game. In soccer, instauration of video replay has also been useful in reproducing play passages that might be remarkable or unclear at first sight. In most instances, the replay takes place in slow motion and from multiple cameras that take up different close-up angles. Some video servers utilize contemporary technology, hence allowing for complex replays, such as frame-by-frame review and freeze frame that records many frames per second. The initial instigation of the instant replay took place in Canada even though it was first applied in the United States. The paper offers a comprehensive analysis on the topic by focusing on the impact of the video replay, its criticism, and the reality on the ground.
The Impact of Instauration of Video Replay on Soccer
Nowadays, technology is an integral aspect of modern sports as it improves the ability of what fans and officials can see in the field. In soccer, such technology incorporates video replay and goal-line technology systems (Carling, Williams, and Reilly 112). The former has made soccer a fair and just game due to its ability to confirm close calls and correct mistakes. In addition, the instauration of video replay ensures that misjudgments or incompetence of the referees do not ruin soccer matches.
The head of the sport’s governing body came up with guidelines on how instant-replay technology may be applicable in soccer matches. Similarly, Sepp Blatter, the FIFA president, made it clear that coaches had a right to challenge or question the referees only if they had video evidence of what had taken place during the match (Nafziger and Ross 118). In particular, such arguable and controversial issues as penalty calls and offside decisions might be up for discussion between the coaches. Thus, the video replay would serve as an assistance in leading officials in the process of formulating eventual decisions. Therefore, the video evidence will not replace the primary role played by the lead match official (Carling, Williams, and Reilly 98).
Most professional sports in the United States have been using high-tech aids and instant replays in ensuring that referees make the right decisions. Unlike other sports such as basketball and hockey, the soccer pitch is huge and it is impossible for the referee and the linesmen to cover everything that takes place. Additionally, tracking every activity and interaction among twenty-two players might be hectic and causes innate difficulties. These challenges raise the need for the instauration of video replay in soccer to act as an assistance aid to the referees. The replay will be useful in reviewing cautionary cards and penalty kicks that happen during the play. Moreover, critics also point out that video replay has been successful in other sports such as cricket, rugby, and American football. Therefore, the instauration of video replay in soccer will also yield positive results of enhancing fairness and accuracy.
Arguments against Instauration of Video Replay in Soccer
In regards to modern technology in the realm of sports, soccer has been lagging behind compared to other sports such as basketball and American football. In fact, FIFA president, Mr. Blatter, was initially against instant video replay in soccer. He argued that the reply would interrupt the continuity and free flow of the game. However, by that time, basketball and American football had already applied the technology. At some degree, Blatter’s argument made sense because soccer is free from commercial breaks or timeouts, unlike other sports. The only break, which is actually a part of the game, is halftime, which is a rest period of about fifteen minutes.
Furthermore, for the viewers, watching the replays is an erroneous activity as they also have to catch up with the on-going live match. Consequently, they lose their concentration and overall viewing experience. There has also been an argument that revolves around soccer being a game of motion and momentum, unlike American football. In this respect, scoring and penalties are uncommon while crosses and free kicks occur within a short time span as players jostle for position (Nafziger, sand Ross 98). Therefore, there is a need to resolve any stoppages that take place due to the interruption of the game caused by instant video replay.
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Similarly, as a result of the instant replay, the referees will find it necessary to add extra time to make up for the time used in showing the review video. Moreover, errors are the part of the game and referees should remain human without having to monitor the game to see whether they are right or wrong. Thus, the instauration of video replay will reduce the impact that the referees have on the game, hence shifting the responsibility on the players. Another perspective to consider is that the video replay is an engineering technology, which is bound to have a certain margin of error. The system might have inherent faults which might undermine its ability to offer 100% accuracy. Even after the instauration of video replays in soccer, there is a need to install cameras in the soccer pitch where the match will take place (Mass, 68).
In addition, the implementation of such technology might not be feasible in low-level soccer competitions. In fact, the video technology will necessitate for big stadium screens and a video referee who will be outside the field. In this respect, it raises the issue of universality because it gets to a point where the technology might not be applicable uniformly. There is no doubt that the implementation of the video replay sounds good in theory. However, it will be the prerogative of the FIFA officials to decide whether the replay can also be applicable in other incidents apart from goal scoring opportunities. The decision is important because an extension of video replay might adversely affect the fluidity of the game. For the video replays to be fully functional in soccer there have to be some adjustments to the rules to remove gray areas and the differences in opinions which are likely to occur. Sepp Blatter makes it clear that soccer can maintain its thrill if the referee (man) and not a machine makes final football decisions (Carling, Williams, and Reilly 122).
The Reality on the Ground
The case of technophobia may result in the disadvantages for athletes and national teams which might lose due to faults they can do nothing about. The time has come where there ought to be mechanisms that determine the accuracy of a game without relying on referee calls which are prone to human errors. For instance, the success and accuracy obtained from goal-line technology gives an impression that soccer technology ensures fairness for all (O’Donoghue 72). Therefore, video replay in soccer should take a similar path as it also embraces contemporary technology. Then again, while using video replays in game changing decisions such as off-sides and red card fouls, there might be advertising opportunities for Major League Soccer (MLS). However, the argument can only be valid from a financial perspective. From this aspect, corporates can look forward to becoming sponsors of running video replays. As a result, there might be an increase in the value of the sponsorship deals, thus bringing more financial resources in MLS (Nafziger and Ross 89). From the perspective of the fans, the instauration of video replay in soccer increases the drama inherent in sports. In particular, fans will find it fascinating to make their judgment as they wait for the referee’s decision, which will increase viewership. From a cost perspective, the costs that MLS incurs in setting up the video replay in the stadiums will be worth the revenue and viewership that will be derived. In addition, video replays will unnecessarily slow down the game. Therefore, before rejecting the implementation of the video replay, Blatter should first consider the repercussions it might bring forth outside the sport.
Even though there might be arguments that do not advocate for the use of video replays, the tool might be helpful when it comes to determining the legality of a game (O’Donoghue 72). Every decision made is crucial because each play in soccer has equal importance and may impact the outcome of the game. Therefore, video replay should also be a necessity, especially for goals. There are matches where goals may not be allowed because of ‘off sides’ that did not actually take place. In this case, only an instant video replay would be useful in clearing the controversy. It is also vital to acknowledge that in such a predicament, the instant replay will embrace goal-line technology in determining whether the goal was valid or not. In big soccer matches, such as the World Cup, there is a high level of talent and a thin line between winning and losing (Wrisberg 110). A fair judge between the referees and the players will be of significant importance in such a case. Furthermore, there ought to be a precautionary step to ensure the completion is fair.
Furthermore, the human eye can only record 16 frames per second, unlike a high-speed camera. It gives an impression that in most instances, the referee will not have the best vantage point of whether a goal took place or not. The system cannot be hacked or manipulated to favor specific parties because it is offline and does not utilize an internet connection (Dubois 87). Moreover, claims that video replays will affect the fluidity of the game should not hold because contemporary technology allows the replay to take place within a short time. There are also instances where every team might be given two or three time-outs per match (O’Donoghue 72). Thus, the replays can take place between those time-outs, which will not have to affect the continuity of the game. However, no stoppages should take place after the utilization of the available time-outs, which necessitates for a limitation of goal-line decisions in the quest of preventing abuse.
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The realm of sport has been dynamic over the years and incorporates various aspects of technology. The instauration of video replay in soccer has been a paramount technology advancement because it ensures fairness and fewer controversies in the soccer match. It is crucial to maintain the purity of a sport by keeping technology out of it. Similarly, it is equally important to embrace technology that enhances fairness and accuracy of the game. However, the perks of enhancing fairness outweigh the purity of a sport. After all, the latter can be enhanced if the sport is fair and accurate. Additionally, even though errors are the part of the game, it should not be an excuse that inhibits the implementation of technology that would correct such errors. Summing everything said and done, due to the fluidity of the game, referees should always count on video replays in resolving major controversies.