Nav: Home

Slow motion makes football referees more likely to give a red card

June 27, 2017

Video assistant refereeing in football has to be used with caution. Researchers at KU Leuven (University of Leuven), Belgium, have shown that refs are more likely to give red when they see a foul committed in slow motion, even when a yellow card is more justifiable. This is because fouls viewed in slow motion appear to be more serious.

Football referees and the decisions they make are the subject of very heated debates in the canteen, at the kitchen table, and in the TV studio. Football fans keep a vigilant eye on their every move and decision. These high demands have led to professionalization: more and more elite referees are full-time professionals and follow specific training programmes. Another consequence are the experiments with video assistant refereeing, whereby video assistant referees (VARs) support the referees and check the accuracy of decisions by replaying game situations in real time and in slow motion.

Under the supervision of Professor Wim Helsen, sport scientist at KU Leuven and referee training expert, Jochim Spitz wrote a PhD on the impact of slow motion videos on football referees' perception and decision-making process. He found that the effect of slow motion greatly depends on the type of decision that the referee has to make, as well as on the situation.

For technical decisions on whether or not a foul was committed, watching slow motion videos only improved the accuracy in corner kick situations. "Corner kicks always involve many players, so slow motion may help spot the right fouls in the commotion," Spitz explains.

But for disciplinary sanctions on whether or not to give a card - and if so, which one - slow motion had a significant impact on the decision-making process. "We asked 88 European referees to take a disciplinary sanction for 60 game situations - yellow, red, or no card at all. They had to assess half of the situations after watching a video in real time and the other half based on slow motion videos. For each of these situations, a panel of UEFA experts had given us a benchmark decision. We found that referees judge more harshly when they are exposed to fouls in slow motion. In situations for which the benchmark decision was a yellow card, 20% percent of the referees gave red after watching the video in slow motion. In real time this was only 10%."

"The reason is that fouls viewed in slow motion appear to be more serious" Professor Werner Helsen explains. "This has major implications for the adequate use of video technology in football. Based on the results of this study, the International Football Association Board (IFAB) has already issued guidelines for the use of slow motion videos: they can only be used to determine whether a foul was committed inside or outside the penalty area, or to locate the impact of a tackle on the opponent's body."
-end-


KU Leuven

Related Football Articles:

Reasons for football injuries
If professional footballers are out of action due to injuries, this can have serious consequences for the club.
The best players are passionate about football
Sogndal football/soccer teams from Vestland county in Norway have now been studied by specialists.
Study provides the first data on concussion risk in youth football
'These are the first biomechanical data characterizing concussion risk in kids,' said Steve Rowson, an associate professor of biomedical engineering and mechanics and the director of the Virginia Tech Helmet Lab.
Changes in cardiovascular risk factors among college football players
Researchers recruited 126 college football players from two programs in Georgia and South Carolina to examine over three years how cardiovascular risk factors emerged and changed, including weight, blood pressure and heart structure and function.
Over-conditioning kills: Non-traumatic fatalities in football is preventable
Most non-traumatic fatalities among high school and college football athletes do not occur while playing the game of football, but rather during conditioning sessions which are often associated with overexertion or punishment drills required by coaches and team staff, according to research presented today at the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine Annual Meeting.
American football: The first quarter is crucial
Researchers from Dartmouth College, New Hampshire have found evidence that players born in the first quarter of the year are more likely to play in the National Football League.
How do professional football players perform under immense pressure?
Professional football players need to keep a cool head during a match, but some are better at this than others.
New findings on concussion in football's youngest players
New research from Seattle Children's Research Institute and UW Medicine's Sports Health and Safety Institute found concussion rates among football players ages 5-14 were higher than previously reported, with five out of every 100 youth, or 5 percent, sustaining a football-related concussion each season.
Youth football changes nerve fibers in brain
MRI scans show that repetitive blows to the head result in brain changes among youth football players, according to a new study.
Playing youth football could affect brain development
Young football players may experience a disruption in brain development after a single season of the sport, according to a new study.
More Football News and Football Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Warped Reality
False information on the internet makes it harder and harder to know what's true, and the consequences have been devastating. This hour, TED speakers explore ideas around technology and deception. Guests include law professor Danielle Citron, journalist Andrew Marantz, and computer scientist Joy Buolamwini.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#576 Science Communication in Creative Places
When you think of science communication, you might think of TED talks or museum talks or video talks, or... people giving lectures. It's a lot of people talking. But there's more to sci comm than that. This week host Bethany Brookshire talks to three people who have looked at science communication in places you might not expect it. We'll speak with Mauna Dasari, a graduate student at Notre Dame, about making mammals into a March Madness match. We'll talk with Sarah Garner, director of the Pathologists Assistant Program at Tulane University School of Medicine, who takes pathology instruction out of...
Now Playing: Radiolab

What If?
There's plenty of speculation about what Donald Trump might do in the wake of the election. Would he dispute the results if he loses? Would he simply refuse to leave office, or even try to use the military to maintain control? Last summer, Rosa Brooks got together a team of experts and political operatives from both sides of the aisle to ask a slightly different question. Rather than arguing about whether he'd do those things, they dug into what exactly would happen if he did. Part war game part choose your own adventure, Rosa's Transition Integrity Project doesn't give us any predictions, and it isn't a referendum on Trump. Instead, it's a deeply illuminating stress test on our laws, our institutions, and on the commitment to democracy written into the constitution. This episode was reported by Bethel Habte, with help from Tracie Hunte, and produced by Bethel Habte. Jeremy Bloom provided original music. Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at Radiolab.org/donate.     You can read The Transition Integrity Project's report here.