In a press release today, the RFL have confirmed that a system involving a
complex web of low-power lasers, mini-cameras, particle sprays and magnetic
ball-stitching, currently in the latter stages of testing and controlled by a
small but powerful central processor, will track all players across the pitch
matrix throughout the game and automatically detect whenever a player or players
has crossed a line, been offside, made a forward pass or knocked-on.|
Online adjudication (OLA) has, after two years in its development at the
Cambridge laboratories of OLA-Profil Electronics, now been tested on a real
rugby pitch and has so far performed with 99.8% accuracy, spotting dead-balls,
player’s feet over the lines, distinguishing between players and even, with
devastating accuracy, detecting offside movement from the defensive line before
the play the ball.
OLA-Profil are very upbeat about their brainchild and claim that their system is
ultra-reliable and infinitely adaptable and will be swiftly taken up by Rugby
Union, Association Football and many other sports.
“This is only the beginning” claimed Mike Flecks, Head of OLA-Profil’s Technical
Leadership team, “Rugby League grasped this concept with great vision and gave
us the go-ahead to have a complete system in place for parallel testing at the
televised Challenge Cup clash at Bradford on Saturday, where the TV audience
will be able to see it in action for themselves”.
Although electronic adjudications in today’s game will play no part in the
referee’s decisions, BBC digital viewers will be able to see OLA judgements
using their red button.
The Bradford – Hull game is on Grandstand at 14:30 on BBC1.