Monday, September 04, 2006
The Perth v. Central Coast match was the worst in this regard. At least four Perth attacks were called back for non-existent offsides, and two more were debatable, at best. Flag-happy linesmen rule, OK?
There are two sad things about the trigger-flag phenomenon. The first is that the whole problem could be solved so easily if only access to video technology were allowed; the second is that, in these cases, common sense would suggest that the benefit of the doubt should go to the attacking side.
Offside is a tricky call for the naked eye, without doubt. The difficulty of keeping one’s eye metaphorically in two places at once, while keeping track of three objects in motion, is familiar to anyone who’s had to run the lines.
But one could quite happily allow the linesmen to let play continue in difficult cases, if the referees were subsequently able to consult video evidence in order to decide whether a goal – if one results – should stand or not.
Video technology is a touchy subject at the best of times. There are those who claim the whole shebang is contrary to the spirit of the game, the beginning of a slippery slope, etc. For me, it is rather a tool, to be used sparingly and cautiously at first, but a useful tool nonetheless.
Offside is surely an area where the cameras could be brought into play without causing undue stoppage; indeed, the fact that linesmen would be free to let play continue in borderline cases would surely lessen the amount of “dead time” in the long run.
Video replays? You’re on thin ice there Mikey. The fear will always be that video replays are the start of a slippery slope which ends with an American style game which has a five minute gap for every 10 seconds of action. If used correctly video replays could be a good thing.
They do, to the best of their ability (well, I hope so, anyway), but offside is a bloody hard call. On the few occasions when I've had to call lines, I'm sure I've made a few mistakes on close calls, just because it's hard to follow it all perfectly, even with the help of peripheral vision.
...Give the advantage to the attacking team and maybe it will encourage defenders to actually defend rather then standing still with one hand in the air....
Couldn't agree more.
...Video replays? You’re on thin ice there Mikey. The fear will always be that video replays are the start of a slippery slope which ends with an American style game which has a five minute gap for every 10 seconds of action....
It's an irrational fear, IMO. Look at cricket - fifteen years on (more or less) from the third umpire, and there's been no real move towards bringing in video evidence for LBW.
...If used correctly video replays could be a good thing...
My point exactly.
Just a clarification though. You say Mike that, "common sense would suggest that the benefit of the doubt should go to the attacking side." According to my most impeccable source it's not merely common sense which makes such a suggestion.
"FIFA has instructed game officials that if they have any doubts about a player being offside, not to call it."
My source? I seem to be making a habit of revealing my ignorance about this game I have so rapidly come to love. My source is Football for Dummies p.60. A primary source for this information would be appreciated if anyone has it.