Goooooooaaaaaaaaal! Or maybe not?

August 13, 2014 10:45 AM by Julia Rupprecht; Video in German language.

Goal or no goal? This question can be rather inconsequential, or it can mean everything: championship, trophy, honor and a well-deserved reward for working hard and giving your all, such as during this year's DFB Cup (German Bundesliga tournament) final in which Borussia Dortmund was wrongly denied a goal. For FC Bayern, the result was a victory and the opportunity to hoist the coveted DFB Cup. For the club from Dortmund, a bitter pill to swallow considering it was one of those who spoke loudly in favor of goal line technology when it was voted on by the members of the league. At least for now, the Bundesliga will not deploy the technology, which can precisely determine if the ball has fully crossed the line. This is in contrast to this year's World Cup in Brazil where the technology was deployed for the first time in a major soccer tournament. By the way, the watches worn by the referees in Brazil, plus the associated transmitter modules, were developed here at Fraunhofer IIS. The watches showed the men in black: goal or no goal!

Goal or no goal? Our GoalRef goal line technology knows all, sees all and transmits the information immediately to the referee's wristwatch. What makes our technology unique and differentiates it from camera-based solutions is that it functions in any kind of weather, even if bad conditions temporarily restrict visibility on the field. Moreover, GoalRef can reliably register goals even when the ball is completely obscured, such as if the goalkeeper is lying on it or if pandemonium breaks out in front of the goal. An added bonus is the ease of installation. The only thing a club needs is a ball, two goals installed with our technology and our referee's watch that receives the signals. There should also be a power source in the vicinity of the field. That's all it takes.

That begs the question, how does GoalRef function exactly? GoalRef relies on magnetic fields. One of them is in the goalmouth and the other is created in and around the ball as soon it finds itself in the vicinity of the goal. Two receive antennas are inconspicuously installed in the goal frame and an analysis module is placed behind the goal. As soon as the ball is within the goal's magnetic field, coils inside the ball create their own field by means of magnetic induction. By tracking changes in the magnetic field, we can then precisely determine the location of the ball - particularly if it has fully crossed the goal line. Not to worry, the tiny coils have no impact on the physical characteristics of the ball. That's something we verified through extensive testing with professional soccer players.

Want to know more? Then we encourage you to take a look at our video clips, images and animations. Our GoalRef experts are also available and willing to help you.

More about the GoalRef technology

GoalRef technical description