VAR: What is it good for?

ConigliarosPotential

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Absolutely nothing? Or do you think it is a worthwhile endeavor? I think it's time for a reappraisal of VAR, now that we've seen it in a significant sample of matches - I know this is being discussed in other threads, but perhaps it'd be good to focus on it in one place.

Personally, VAR is managing to almost singlehandedly put me off the use of instant replay in sport more generally. I'm fine with it being used for black-and-white judgments: Was the attacking player behind the last defender? Did the ball cross the goalline? (Although actually, the latter is more akin to the use of Hawkeye in tennis than VAR...) But I see few signs that its effectiveness for judgment calls is getting any better, and indeed there are areas in which its use almost certainly makes things worse, such as judging whether a goalkeeper has left the line early in trying to save a penalty when historically that has NEVER been called except in the most egregious of situations (and even then with no consistency at all, but again I digress).

So, does VAR work for you? If it doesn't, do you think it can be salvaged? Or is it time to either a) restrict its use to non-judgment calls, or b) scrap it altogether, before it can inflict its holy horrors upon the English Premiership?
 

prizminferno

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VAR and replay in all sports is bad. It should be used at the very most for hand ball in the box. Offsides missed? Too bad, sneaking an edge is a skill.
 

SoxFanInCali

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I think the use of replay is worthwhile, I think the way it has been implemented n this tournament has been poor. They should be able to check something and radio down without these 5 minute delays.

Keepers coming off the line on penalties is the equivalent of the "in the area" play at second on a double-play. Replay shouldn't be involved, in my opinion. It's not that hard to call the egregious ones (yeah, they missed Scurry in 1999).
 

SoxFanInCali

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VAR and replay in all sports is bad. It should be used at the very most for hand ball in the box. Offsides missed? Too bad, sneaking an edge is a skill.
What if they call offside and the person was actually on? Is that a defensive "skill" or just a coin flip call by the ref?

The nature of the offside rule makes it basically impossible for a human to call accurately. You just can't be running down a line, getting in the perfect view to see if the attacker or defender is closer to goal, and still look back and see the precise moment the ball is passed. It's amazing they get it right as often as they do.
 

Section30

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It is terrible. Football used to be a fast moving and flowing game. Now you can't celebrate a goal as it has to be reviewed. I think at least 3 games in the group stage were decided by plays that VAR review chose to make the call on.

I believe the referee on field has lost the power to control the game and had her judgement called into question. It also seemed to penalize defenders in almost every case.

If I were a coach today I would coach my players to drive the ball at the defenders every time down the field as handball, intentional or not, is being called via VAR.

VAR has diminished my enjoyment of the game.

I would scrap it. Mistakes happen and it's part of the game. If the ref, linesman, and endline officials can't make a call then it what are they there for?
 

SocrManiac

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I’d like to see them find a way of adding eyes on the pitch. To think three humans can manage 9,600 square yards and 22 players is insane. The goal line refs were inconsequential jokes, but there are ways of including additional folks that can make the difference we’re looking for.
 

BCsMightyJoeYoung

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Hate it. I hate replay in all sports - with the exception of a goal line decision. As mentioned it robs the viewer of the immediacy of the event. In other words it’s stripping sport of the fan’s emotional response to what they experience.

[/endoldmanshakinghisfistatthecloud]

Add another referee .. they did this in hockey years ago and it greatly improved coverage. Critics will argue this will diminish the referee’s ability to impose their “style” on the game. I see that as a feature not a bug.
 

67YAZ

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There’s noting charming about blown calls or mistakes by refs. We should be working to call the most accurate and fair game possible. Fair acknowledges that there will also be some element of judgement involved. But we should explore all the avenues that tech opens up to call more accurate games.

The biggest problem is that the ref has to amble over and stare at a screen for however long they need. I’m all for a sky assistant who chirps in the in-field team’s ears to speed the process.

Even further, I’d love to see one of the top leagues engage a leading AI company to develop and pilot real time computerized refereeing to compare with a human team. I imagine that the future probably looks like one or two on field human refs being constantly informed by AI.
 

Stanley Steamer

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This England v Cameroon game is absurd. The players are partly responsible, but VAR continues to cast a long, poor shadow over this WWC. It has to be better than this if it's to be used at all.
 

Jimy Hendrix

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VAR has already been better than this, we've seen it. The real problem seem twofold.

1. Introducing VAR at the biggest stage of the women's game with refs who don't have a lot of prior experience with it.
2. Changing a bunch of the rules a week before the tournament started.
3. Some of the new changes might be specifically weird combined with VAR

Seems like less of a pure VAR problem and more of a FIFA not doing a good job preparing the Women's World Cup again. It just happens that this year it was expressed in unprepared refs using VAR badly rather than in turf fields, like last time.
 

SocrManiac

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The logistics would be difficult as you’d need a hierarchy of some sort. That’s the main thing I’ve read about, but it seems like a solvable problem without involving a team fro MIT.
 

DrewDawg

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The logistics would be difficult as you’d need a hierarchy of some sort. That’s the main thing I’ve read about, but it seems like a solvable problem without involving a team fro MIT.
They've figured that out in the NBA and NHL. But yeah, it really shouldn't be too difficult to figure out.
 

prizminferno

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One ref on one half the field and one on the other is difficult logistics? This even covers when one team has a large run of the play because they swap sides.
 

Titans Bastard

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One ref on one half the field and one on the other is difficult logistics? This even covers when one team has a large run of the play because they swap sides.
What if one ref calls a tighter game with fouls than the other?
 

ConigliarosPotential

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This England v Cameroon game is absurd. The players are partly responsible, but VAR continues to cast a long, poor shadow over this WWC. It has to be better than this if it's to be used at all.
I didn't watch the whole England-Cameroon match, but I was watching at the end of the first half, and what eventually became England's second goal was a textbook case of VAR being used correctly and fairly quickly - the player was incorrectly given offside, but the referees allowed play to continue until the goal had been scored before the flag went up, and there shouldn't have been any doubt that justice was done, because no interpretation on the VAR decision was required. The fact that the Cameroon players then saw a replay on the big screen and went mental because they didn't realize the players who were behind the last defender were nowhere near the ball and nowhere near interfering with play is do their discredit, not VAR's.

(Which isn't to say that I like VAR for judgment calls any more than I did when I started this thread yesterday...)
 

swiftaw

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The main issue I have with VAR is how long it takes. Firstly, I hate the fact that the on-field ref has to go over and watch the video. Secondly, VAR is only supposed to be used to overturn clear and obvious errors, so why does it take 5 minutes of watching super slo-mo video to make a decision. If it takes that long, and can only be determined by one particular camera angle at super slo-mo speed I'd argue that nothing is clear and obvious.

If it were me, I would have a panel of 5 video refs, and for each incident they would get 30 seconds of watching regular speed replays to each make a decision as to whether the on-field ref made the correct call, with a vote of either 4-1 or 5-0 required to overturn the on-field ref, meaning it would only happen if the error was clear and obvious.
 

SoxFanInCali

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The complaints about VAR would be minimized if they actually got the calls correct.

There is no angle, whether live or in super slo-mo, that supports any conclusion that Brazil's keeper had possession of the ball, yet that's what they concluded to take the France goal off the board.
 

SoxFanInCali

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I think VAR is exposing poorly written rules as much as anything.
That, I would agree with. In a lot of cases the rules are written fairly black-or-white, but called in a way to have a certain amount of human-error flexibility in them. When you suddenly start enforcing them precisely by looking at frame-by-frame replays, it really messes up the game.
 

SocrManiac

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Just catching up... There’s a double standard at play here.

On the indirect from the six, the same Cameroon player encroached twice. That’s a yellow card, period. It’s not open to interpretation. Now, “it happens all the time,” but if we’re penalizing goalkeepers for a step, we need to show that card, too.
 

Cellar-Door

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Just catching up... There’s a double standard at play here.

On the indirect from the six, the same Cameroon player encroached twice. That’s a yellow card, period. It’s not open to interpretation. Now, “it happens all the time,” but if we’re penalizing goalkeepers for a step, we need to show that card, too.
I think that was one of the many many cards the ref decided not to give Cameroon. She decided early on that she wasn't giving cards unless there was truly no choice. That match could have easily been 11 v 9, maybe even 11 v 8 by the half.