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AFL weighs up FIFA goal technology

Goal umpire Michael Palm watches the ball carefully as North Melbourne's Leigh Adams gets his foot to it.

Goal umpire Michael Palm watches the ball carefully as North Melbourne's Leigh Adams gets his foot to it. Photo: Sebastian Costanzo

The AFL will contact a German company in its quest to eradicate contentious goal-line decisions, but an Australian counterpart says any such move would be too expensive.

Germany's GoalControl, with its camera-based, ball-tracking system, has been chosen by soccer's world body FIFA as the official goal-line technology provider for this year's Confederations Cup. If the trial is a success, it will be rolled out at the 2014 World Cup.

GoalControl edged British-based company Hawk-Eye for the contract. The English Premier League will use goal-line technology for the first time next season, using Hawk-Eye equipment.

However, Paul Dear, the business development manager for Melbourne-based Catapult, says to eradicate all the potential issues involved in AFL scoring would be too expensive.

''The cost to implement all the technology that can determine all the variables of whether it's a goal or not would run into several million dollars, which would be better spent on other aspects of the game,'' said Dear, Hawthorn's 1991 Norm Smith medallist.

The debate over goal-line technology in the AFL resurfaced in wake of Matt White's ''non-goal'' in Friday night's Fremantle-Richmond game and a set shot by Hawthorn's Jarryd Roughead on Sunday that television replays indicated had hit the post.

AFL operations manager Mark Evans said it was important to keep the scoring controversy in context, amid claims by the likes of North Melbourne president James Brayshaw that an error could cost a team a premiership.

''You need to keep in context only 1 per cent of scores are actually reviewed, half of those are queries about whether they have hit the post, about another quarter as to whether a ball has crossed the line, the rest are whether it's been touched either off the boot, in flight or on the line itself - not a perfect system,'' Evans said.

Through the opening five rounds, only two scores have been changed after a video review.

As he begins a round of club visits, Evans said the league would look at all options.

''There is a new system about to come into place for soccer, GoalControl, and they are talking about a fit-out of $250,000 a stadium, plus another $2000 to $4000 fee per match,'' he said.

''The question for us is, 'Does it actually suit our purposes or not?'

''We will talk to those people and see whether they can even come out and run a trial for us.''

GoalControl uses 14 high-speed cameras - seven trained on each goalmouth - and passed FIFA-approved tests in February. A signal is quickly transmitted to the referee's watch if a goal should be awarded.

But Catapult said the ''variables related to goal-decision technology in the AFL are very different to that used in FIFA matches''.

Collingwood president Eddie McGuire has called for a tender process with overseas companies to help solve the problem as part of an overall review into umpiring.

McGuire maintains cameras worth $200 apiece could be fitted into the goalposts to help solve the problem.

5 comments so far

  • In the Richmond-Freo game, why ahs no-one suggested the mistake was made by the player kicking the ball who missed the middle of the goals?

    We are already seeing umpires too timid to back their own judgement. Soon it will be like cricket where every LBW appeal gets referred to video judges. This is footy - not playstation!

    Commenter
    jaro
    Location
    sydney
    Date and time
    April 30, 2013, 10:33AM
    • How many video reviews were called for last year? How many of those resulted in the original decision being overturned? If the number of overturned decisions is small, then why not ditch the system altogether? The disruption to the game just isn't worth the drama. Go back to the AFL Laws of the Game where the goal umpire has the final say. It is ridiculous that the central umpire can question the goal umpire's rulings - that just means that they do not trust the goal umpires. Who would want to be a goal umpire when your decision is not trusted by your peers?

      Our goal umpires get it right a heck of a lot more often than the central umpires do. Scrap the video review (at least until the AFL is willing to spend their own money to get it right - near enough is worse than no review) and put some faith in the people who are employed to do that damn job!

      Commenter
      arb
      Date and time
      April 30, 2013, 10:43AM
      • The technology should stay the same but referrals should only happen when there is an obvious error. As the technology is currently unable to detect close decisions don't even bother referring, but go with umpires call.

        Commenter
        Craig
        Location
        Melbourne
        Date and time
        April 30, 2013, 12:45PM
        • I reckon you remove the hitting the post rule. If it hits the goal post and goes through, it's a goal (or a point depending on the side of the post). If it hits the goal post and comes back into play, it's play on. Similarly for the point posts... That would remove the biggest issue and make for some good fun seeing the players scramble when the ball comes back into play!

          Commenter
          Michael
          Location
          Melbourne
          Date and time
          April 30, 2013, 1:48PM
          • Why not change the rules? If it is touched or not, off the boot make it a goal. Hits the post but goes tjrough - goal. Bounces back in - play on.

            Commenter
            DeepThirdMan
            Date and time
            April 30, 2013, 4:41PM

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