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August 2012: Gooooal or No Goal? GoalRef Changes the Game

Monday, August 27, 2012

August 2012: Gooooal or No Goal? GoalRef Changes the Game

Goal or no goal? GoalRef, the goal-line technology provided by Fraunhofer IIS, will soon answer this question. On July 5, 2012, FIFA, the international football association, has approved the use of GoalRef. This goal-line technology will be implemented for the first time at the FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2012 in December. For the first time in the history of professional soccer, sensors will tell referees whether the ball has passed the crucial white line or not.

Fraunhofer's GoalRef system uses antennas to create low-frequency magnetic fields in and around the goal. Wires inside the goal posts generate the field. "GoalRef is like an invisible 'curtain' which hangs behind the crossbar and the goal line. As soon as the ball fully passes through this 'curtain,' it is recognized as a goal," says Ingmar Bretz, GoalRef's project head. Every time the soccer ball, which is equipped with three embedded flexible copper coils, approaches the goal line, slight changes in the magnetic field around the goal occur. In less than a second, these changes are then detected, processed, and sent directly to the referee's wristwatch via encoded radio signals.

Compact and easy to install, GoalRef consists of three key components: intelligent goal posts, balls, and referee watches. Its researchers say that it provides accurate information regardless of what is happening on the pitch, even if the ball has been obscured by a player. For more information, click here.