Thursday, June 8, 2006

Hey FIFA, it's binary

I love the World Cup, and will be seriously sleep deprived the entire month of the tournament. I like Portugal as the surprise team for this year. I did use some logic in making this decision: recent U-20 and Olympic performances, great draw, and pretty much a full strength and injury free team. Unfortunately, the Inkling prediction market doesn‘t quite see it the same way. I‘m not really expecting them to win it all, but I do expect them to win their group and advance far enough to earn me some Inkles.

Back to technology and FIFA. I saw this press release today, FIFA plan pc-solution to own goal dilemma in regard to whether a goal was scored by the attacking team or accidentally redirected into the goal by a defender. Here‘s the plan:

BERLIN (Reuters) - FIFA will be using computer technology to clarify whether a goal is an own goal or not for the first time when the World Cup starts on Friday.

Holger Osieck, the head of FIFA‘s technical study group, told reporters on Thursday that for the first time all 13 members would see detailed technical images of any dubious goals downloaded to their laptops.

A verdict from the group would then be made as soon as possible.

So how large is the problem requiring this technological solution? I was shocked to learn that there had been a whopping 24 own goals out of the 644 goals scored in the finals since 1930. Oh my! Thank goodness technology can be used to help sort this out. And I was foolish enough to think it came down to whether the ball crossed the goal-line.

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