The development of semi-automated offside technology (SAOT) marks the next step in the evolution of football technology, as FIFA strives to harness technology to its full potential. Following the successful implementation of VAR Technology at the FIFA World Cup Russia 2018™, the launch of semi-automated offside technology offers match-officials an additional support tool to make faster and more accurate decisions.
Integrating skeletal tracking data, ball tracking data, Offside Technology and an automatic alert system to indicate offside situations instantly, SAOT systems operate at a high level of complexity. The testing criteria to certify SAOT systems under the FIFA Quality Programme has been developed after an extensive research and testing phase, ensuring the validation of each of the individual components:
Offside Technology: accuracy of automatically generated virtual offside lines (VOL)
Ball tracking system: accuracy of live ball tracking data and identification of the moment the ball is kicked
Skeletal tracking system: accuracy of live tracking data based on the identification of skeletal points of players
Alert system: validation of the automatic alert system indicating offside incidents
The performance of each of these component must be assessed at the official test events of the FIFA Quality Programme for VOL technology and for electronic performance and tracking systems (EPTS). These test events are organised on an annual basis.
To receive approval for the use in the game, a final assessment test must be carried out by each provider in an offline trial. This test is to be facilitated by a competition organiser and led by FIFA.
For more information about each of the SAOT testing components, please see:
How will SAOT fit into the existing FIFA Quality Programme structure?
SAOT will be embedded into the existing FIFA Quality Programme for Offside Technology and form the FIFA Quality Pro standard – the highest achievable certification mark for technology providers. To better reflect the growing range of technical solutions. As skeletal tracking differs from standard offside line placement techniques, the ‘FIFA Quality Programme for Virtual Offside Lines’ will be renamed beginning of 2023 as the ‘FIFA Quality Programme for Offside Technology’ to and will encompass all forms of offside detection technology.
The relevant test manuals are applicable to understand the implementation of each of the SAOT testing components.
Offside Technology Test Manual (formerly Virtual Offside Line Test Manual)
Skeletal Tracking Test Manual
EPTS Test Manual (section on Ball Tracking)
Full details on the licensing procedure will be released in Q1 2023. Providers interested in the certification of their SAOT systems should get in touch with the FIFA Quality Programme (email@example.com) to apply for certification.
Testing criteria for semi-automated offside technology systems
The development of semi-automated offside technology (SAOT) marks the next step in the evolution of football technology, as FIFA strives to harness technology to its full potential.
How to Become a Offside Technology Licensee
The FIFA Quality Programme for Offside Technology has been developed with the aim of testing whether a technology is capable of depicting such a virtual line in a number of challenging test scenarios, proving that the provider can overcome....
VOL Testing Process
The assessment of virtual offside line systems, to be used in conjunction with VARs, shall be conducted at two separate stadiums and a system has to pass the test at both venues in order to achieve certification.
Offside Technology Testing 2020
For the recently launched FIFA Quality Programme for Offside Technology, FIFA is inviting all interested providers to participate in the next testing and certification event in late 2020.
FIFA Quality Programme for Offside Technology
Offside Technology has been used for several years to graphically analyse potential offside situations in football.