Most Impactful Technologies in Football


Mar 17, 2022

New advancements in technology are achieved each day and its use is applied in various sports, including football. Still, some types of technology are not available to all football leagues and continental cups. We have evidence that new technology has proven multiple times that it is extremely helpful in assisting officials in making the right call. 

From sewed balls, over lighted up stadiums, and the use of an online casino as a betting medium, all the way to VAR and EPTS systems, technology in football has always been very important. These technologies introduce innovation and ideas to the game and make things way more interesting to players and us who like to enjoy watching. 

Smart Ball System

The creators of SBS are Adidas and Cairos Technologies. This promising prospect was a ball embedded with a sensor that used a network of receivers to track the ball’s position at all times. In addition, this technology allows match officials to know exactly the moment when the ball crosses the goal or out of bounds line. The information is shown on the watch referees wear. 

American, MLS, and European Leagues use smart ball systems almost in every single game. Additionally, we see an increase in the use of this technology among African leagues too nowadays. Nike Strike, Uniforia, Telstar, and Brazuca are all balls that are equipped with this technology. 

Goal-Line Technology

Referees have a very important job considering they need to figure out whether it is a near-miss or a goal. Goal Line technology was first introduced in 2014 at the World Cup held in Brazil. It consists of a number of cameras (in this case 14) capturing more than 500 frames per second and then sending that information to the processing system. 

The system monitors the 3D coordinates of the ball constantly and it sends a signal to the referee’s watch once the entire ball crosses the goal line. Today, this technology is used in almost all major football competitions all around the world. 

Goal Ref System

Originally developed by Fraunhofer IIS, Goal Ref is another detection system that’s widely used in football matches today. It uses low-frequency magnetic fields, and the whole system is radio-based. Additionally, it helps determine whether the ball has passed the goal line, just like the two previous ones. 

The system has two magnetic fields, one is created around the ball using an electric circuit in the ball, and the other one is in the goal area itself and uses coils. Once the information is processed, it is sent as a message to the referee’s smartwatch in a form of a vibrating alert. 

Hawk-Eye System

Originally developed in 2001 by Hawk-Eye Innovations, this system has been showing a lot of success for the past 20 years. In addition to football, this system is also used in cricket and tennis to make calls. Still, the football version is probably one of the most well-performing and had to go through extensive trials and tests before it was allowed for use in-game. 

It uses three cameras that take 600 frames per second of the goal line. The system is able to provide a definitive decision whether the ball has crossed the line fully, and then give a notification to the central referee about it. Considering referees in Premier League wear headsets, this signal is delivered to them via audible beep through them, making it very convenient for everyone. 

Video Assistant Referee

This technology was used in 2018’s World Cup in Russia. The system does a really good job in assisting the officials to make decisions regarding goals, outs, and even fouls. The main idea is to allow officials to catch errors that were impossible to see before its implementation. Still, this technology requires a completely centralized video operations room where the VAR team can do their job. 

The group is made of four replay operators, three assistants, and one video assistant referee. They have access to 33 cameras set up on the field that cover every angle possible. Additionally, there are two special offside cameras and two cameras pointed at the refs just to make sure that their decision is public.