FIFA Quality Programme for Virtual Offside Lines

Virtual Offside Lines (VOL) have been used for several years to graphically analyse a (potential) situation of offside in the game of football.

Not least with Video Assistant Refereeing having been introduced into the Laws of the Game in 2018, has there been a quest to determine the accuracy in order to make confident decisions off the back of these lines. Research carried out by FIFA between 2016 and 2019 has shown that the most frequent sources of error for such virtual lines are the topography of the field (particularly the field camber), camera angle distortion, player occlusion and the issue of tracking individual body parts. This leads to no two broadcast images ever representing the same scenario and therefore introduces unknown and unsystematic error to the visualization of the line. In order to counteract these major influencing factors, this test protocol was developed to ensure any system that obtains certification can cope with the above-mentioned challenges. The assessment of Virtual Offside Line systems to be used for VAR, shall be assessed with two distinct test blocks aiming at determining the accuracy and the repeatability of each provider.

Any provider seeking to test and certify their Virtual Offside Line Technologies to the requirements of the FIFA Quality Programme needs to follow the certain guidelines that outlines the process to obtain certification for a system that generates Virtual Offside Lines.