The changes we need?

Hello, good afternoon sports fans, I hope you’re well, looking after yourselves and are in good health. Sports fans, we need to talk about an issue that’s important in the world of sports and that is officiating.

Sports such as cricket and rugby have for as long as I can remember have seamlessly had video referee assistance. In the case of both of those sports, the ebb and flow of the game has managed to work around the technology.

One sport that has been left behind arguably is football. For all the millions, whether that be from TV deals or player transfers or wages, the technology side of the game, many would argue was outdated.

There was no goal-line technology, that changed after England were robbed of a goal against Germany in the 2010 World Cup.

Arguably it was the powers that be in English football, that prompted the powers that be in the global game to add goal-line technology.
This was done by soft wear detecting when the full ball had fully crossed the line and sending the notification to the referee’s watch.

If the ball had fully crossed the line, a vibration would be felt by the ref on his wrist and a goal would be awarded, if no vibration was felt no goal could be given.

That’s fair enough right? With the relative success of this technology, the football world looked to eradicate other mistakes that were happening on the football field by the officials.

Goals weren’t being awarded or ruled out correctly, football had solved this issue. But now, football was working on something bigger, VAR or Video Assistant Referee.

Football adopted a model, that was not quite like their cricket or rugby counterparts, but video technology was used to help eradicate off-sides, penalties and other fouls anywhere on the pitch.

The beautiful game has been saved! I can hear some of you say to yourself, but sadly since VAR, football fans, players, managers and pundits alike have been infuriated by it.

VAR, or the people who are on the panel are making choices and decisions, which has been leaving many from the football world flabbergasted. So, when the Premier League announced in yesterday’s game that Liverpool, the football world held its breath that VAR audio will be released for the normal football fan to hear.

This won’t be live audio during the game but can be listened to after the game. How this works, it appears to be seen. At least football is trying to improve itself.

Another sport that’s revamped elements of officiating is cricket. Cricket has for a lot longer integrated technology into their game, but it was announced umpires will scrap the soft signal they used to give up on judging if a ball has carried to a fielder for a catch.

The umpires will now just consult with the TV umpire before any decision is made. Cricket fans will be happy with that as this law was never really liked.

The changes will come in time for England’s one-off Test against Ireland on 1 June.

It will also continue for the World Test Championship final between India and Australia a week later and the men’s and women’s Ashes series which follow.

In another ICC change, any runs scored off a free hit when the ball hits the stumps will now be given as runs, rather than byes. Football a sport which is new to technology, can take a little solace that more established technology users for their sport, cricket feels the need to revamp rules.

In a world that’s ever-changing, it’s only natural that sports do too.

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