An offside position in football cannot be detected in zero milliseconds

Abstract

Errors when judging an offside position in football are very frequent. In the last years, several scientific papers have tried to explain the causes for human errors. When a referee or an assistant referee misjudges an offside position, it is thought to be caused by a human error. A human error means to carry out incorrectly an action we are physiologically qualified for. The hypothesis to be studied in this paper is if when judging an offside position it is possible to attribute errors to humans or to the fact that human physiology and the technical media are not capable of detecting an offside position. The offside rule has to be applied in real time, in zero milliseconds, in the precise moment when the ball is being passed, never 1 millisecond or even 1 millionth of a second later. This paper shows that the human being and the technological media are both physically and technically incapable of detecting an offside position in real time, in zero milliseconds. The results of this study show that when the ball is passed, the human eye and brain and the technological media need some time to locate the at least four players who intervene in an offside position. When those players are located, time has passed and they are never in the original position, when the ball was passed. Football players are trained for speed and acceleration to change their geographical position in the field when the ball is passed. Therefore, we cannot refer to a human error when an offside position is misjudged. The human being and the technological media will never be capable of detecting an offside position in real time, in zero milliseconds. The key of the offside position is a physical problem: time. The IFAB must abolish the offside rule.

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Correspondence to Francisco Belda Maruenda.

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Belda Maruenda, F. An offside position in football cannot be detected in zero milliseconds. Nat Prec (2009). https://doi.org/10.1038/npre.2009.3835.1

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Keywords

  • Medical research neuroscience Biophysics Applied physics football soccer offside rule

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