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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 34226

Mechanics 5/19/2021

Steve Hawkins of Altadena, California USA asks...

This question is a follow up to question 34224

Clarification on #34224. The VAR is not looking for when the ball leaves the foot. A law change driven by VAR specifies in Law 11 that "The first point of contact of the 'play' or 'touch' should be used." As I understand it, this Law change was driven by the VAR experimentation and the fact the ball could/would be on the foot for more than one frame. The change essentially clarifies that the VAR is to look at the first of the frames showing contact, not the last.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Steve
Thanks for the contribution
Hawk-Eye in the English Premier League uses any broadcast camera to identify the point of contact with the ball by the attacker, and synchronises all cameras for this purpose. The broadcast cameras operate with 50 frames per second, so the point of contact with the ball is one of those frames inside the 50 per second.
The reason for the law update in 2018, according to IFAB, was that slow motion shows a detectable difference between the first and last contact with the ball so a definition of the precise moment that the ball is ‘played’ was needed when judging offside position.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Thanks, Steve for the heads-up ,
but at 50 frames per second, the fact they sync all the factors to whatever frame is first used chances are the margins are too tight for the human eye unless we are lobbing a softly inflated minimum pressured ball. Some irony that last touched is now the first touch of the last touch lol THe fact is for the rest of the soccer world who can make such a judgment?

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Steve,

That's correct - it is supposed to be the first frame.

However, we are still faced with the same concern over whether the correct frame has been chosen, especially given that a lot of movement can occur between frames - and with the relatively low resolution used in some leagues, it can be difficult (if not impossible) to tell if the ball is on the foot, or just very slightly off.

Frame fans since Hawkeye came into effect.

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