France and Honduras put the World Cup's new goal technology to the test

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Marco Werman: Soccer history was made this weekend in Brazil. For the first time at a World Cup, goal line technology was used by a referee to validate a questionable goal. It happened during the France - Honduras match. Peter Walton knows a thing or two about making calls under pressure. He's a former referee with the English Premier League, and now works with refs here in the States. And now he's still learning how the stuff works. Peter Walton: What a lot of people didn't realize, me included I might add, was that the goal line technology adjudicates on every time the ball enters the goal, or is on or around the goal line. So in that particular instance, the goal line technology adjudicated firstly on the ball didn't cross the line when it hit the far post, and then almost instantaneously it had a second angle to adjudicate on when the ball rebounded from the goal keeper and into goal and therefore gave the goal, and got the right decision. Werman: And just so our listeners understand what makes a goal, the ball has to completely roll across the inside line of the goal line, right? Walton: That's exactly it. So the ball isn't adjudicated to be a goal until the whole spherical sphere of the ball is over that line. Werman: So how does the technology actually work? It's not using a laser I gather. Walton: No. In fact there are two types on the market. At the moment the English Premier League uses a system call Hawk Eye. Whereas in the World Cup Tournament they use a system called Goal Control which is very similar and manufactured out of Germany. It involves 14 cameras and the goal sensor. And the goal sensor is actually along the goal line itself. And those 14 cameras, would you believe, have the ability to take 500 pictures within a second. That's beyond my comprehension by the way. Werman: So does it take human eyes to then assess all those photographs or does the computer kind of take care of the rest at that point? Walton: It's all done almost in real time. And what happens is; once the computer judges the ball to have crossed the line. It sends 2 signals to the referee. Those signals are picked up on watches that are actually on their wrists and the watch will actually say "goal", but not only that it vibrates. And so the referee will know instantaneously -- within perhaps 1 second or so, whether or not there was a goal scored. And it only vibrates and it only shows "goal" when there's a positive outcome to it. Werman: As a former referee and still involved in referee stuff, what do you think about this technology? Walton: I think it's great. I really do. I think the pressures and the scrutiny that our referees are under means that any advance in technology that will help them get those factual decisions correct and a ball over the line is a fact -- it's either over the line or it's not, then it's a must for me. As long as the decision making doesn't impact on the natural flow of the game so we don't have to stop the game to adjudicate, it's part of that game process. Werman: Did you ever call a goal yourself, Peter, when you refereeing when it wasn't a goal? Walton: How'd I know you were going to ask that question? Werman: Soccer history was made this weekend in Brazil. For the first time at a World Cup, goal line technology was used by a referee to validate a questionable goal. It happened during the France - Honduras match. Peter Walton knows a thing or two about making calls under pressure. He's a former referee with the English Premier League, and now works with refs here in the States. And now he's still learning how the stuff works. Peter Walton: What a lot of people didn't realize, me included I might add, was that the goal line technology adjudicates on every time the ball enters the goal, or is on or around the goal line. So in that particular instance, the goal line technology adjudicated firstly on the ball didn't cross the line when it hit the far post, and then almost instantaneously it had a second angle to adjudicate on when the ball rebounded from the goal keeper and into goal and therefore gave the goal, and got the right decision. Werman: And just so our listeners understand what makes a goal, the ball has to completely roll across the inside line of the goal line, right? Walton: That's exactly it. So the ball isn't adjudicated to be a goal until the whole spherical sphere of the ball is over that line. Werman: So how does the technology actually work? It's not using a laser I gather. Walton: No. In fact there are two types on the market. At the moment the English Premier League uses a system call Hawk Eye. Whereas in the World Cup Tournament they use a system called Goal Control which is very similar and manufactured out of Germany. It involves 14 cameras and the goal sensor. And the goal sensor is actually along the goal line itself. And those 14 cameras, would you believe, have the ability to take 500 pictures within a second. That's beyond my comprehension by the way. Werman: So does it take human eyes to then assess all those photographs or does the computer kind of take care of the rest at that point? Walton: It's all done almost in real time. And what happens is; once the computer judges the ball to have crossed the line. It sends 2 signals to the referee. Those signals are picked up on watches that are actually on their wrists and the watch will actually say "goal", but not only that it vibrates. And so the referee will know instantaneously -- within perhaps 1 second or so, whether or not there was a goal scored. And it only vibrates and it only shows "goal" when there's a positive outcome to it. Werman: As a former referee and still involved in referee stuff, what do you think about this technology? Walton: I think it's great. I really do. I think the pressures and the scrutiny that our referees are under means that any advance in technology that will help them get those factual decisions correct and a ball over the line is a fact -- it's either over the line or it's not, then it's a must for me. As long as the decision making doesn't impact on the natural flow of the game so we don't have to stop the game to adjudicate, it's part of that game process. Werman: Did you ever call a goal, Peter, when you refereeing, when it wasn't a goal? Werman: Soccer history was made this weekend in Brazil. For the first time at a World Cup, goal line technology was used by a referee to validate a questionable goal. It happened during the France - Honduras match. Peter Walton knows a thing or two about making calls under pressure. He's a former referee with the English Premier League, and now works with refs here in the States. And now he's still learning how the stuff works. Peter Walton: What a lot of people didn't realize, me included I might add, was that the goal line technology adjudicates on every time the ball enters the goal, or is on or around the goal line. So in that particular instance, the goal line technology adjudicated firstly on the ball didn't cross the line when it hit the far post, and then almost instantaneously it had a second angle to adjudicate on when the ball rebounded from the goal keeper and into goal and therefore gave the goal, and got the right decision. Werman: And just so our listeners understand what makes a goal, the ball has to completely roll across the inside line of the goal line, right? Walton: That's exactly it. So the ball isn't adjudicated to be a goal until the whole spherical sphere of the ball is over that line. Werman: So how does the technology actually work? It's not using a laser I gather. Walton: No. In fact there are two types on the market. At the moment the English Premier League uses a system call Hawk Eye. Whereas in the World Cup Tournament they use a system called Goal Control which is very similar and manufactured out of Germany. It involves 14 cameras and the goal sensor. And the goal sensor is actually along the goal line itself. And those 14 cameras, would you believe, have the ability to take 500 pictures within a second. That's beyond my comprehension by the way. Werman: So does it take human eyes to then assess all those photographs or does the computer kind of take care of the rest at that point? Walton: It's all done almost in real time. And what happens is; once the computer judges the ball to have crossed the line. It sends 2 signals to the referee. Those signals are picked up on watches that are actually on their wrists and the watch will actually say "goal", but not only that it vibrates. And so the referee will know instantaneously -- within perhaps 1 second or so, whether or not there was a goal scored. And it only vibrates and it only shows "goal" when there's a positive outcome to it. Werman: As a former referee and still involved in referee stuff, what do you think about this technology? Walton: I think it's great. I really do. I think the pressures and the scrutiny that our referees are under means that any advance in technology that will help them get those factual decisions correct and a ball over the line is a fact -- it's either over the line or it's not, then it's a must for me. As long as the decision making doesn't impact on the natural flow of the game so we don't have to stop the game to adjudicate, it's part of that game process. Werman: Did you ever call a goal, Peter, when you refereeing, when it wasn't a goal? Werman: Soccer history was made this weekend in Brazil. For the first time at a World Cup, goal line technology was used by a referee to validate a questionable goal. It happened during the France - Honduras match. Peter Walton knows a thing or two about making calls under pressure. He's a former referee with the English Premier League, and now works with refs here in the States. And now he's still learning how the stuff works. Peter Walton: What a lot of people didn't realize, me included I might add, was that the goal line technology adjudicates on every time the ball enters the goal, or is on or around the goal line. So in that particular instance, the goal line technology adjudicated firstly on the ball didn't cross the line when it hit the far post, and then almost instantaneously it had a second angle to adjudicate on when the ball rebounded from the goal keeper and into goal and therefore gave the goal, and got the right decision. Werman: And just so our listeners understand what makes a goal, the ball has to completely roll across the inside line of the goal line, right? Walton: That's exactly it. So the ball isn't adjudicated to be a goal until the whole spherical sphere of the ball is over that line. Werman: So how does the technology actually work? It's not using a laser I gather. Walton: No. In fact there are two types on the market. At the moment the English Premier League uses a system call Hawk Eye. Whereas in the World Cup Tournament they use a system called Goal Control which is very similar and manufactured out of Germany. It involves 14 cameras and the goal sensor. And the goal sensor is actually along the goal line itself. And those 14 cameras, would you believe, have the ability to take 500 pictures within a second. That's beyond my comprehension by the way. Werman: So does it take human eyes to then assess all those photographs or does the computer kind of take care of the rest at that point? Walton: It's all done almost in real time. And what happens is; once the computer judges the ball to have crossed the line. It sends 2 signals to the referee. Those signals are picked up on watches that are actually on their wrists and the watch will actually say "goal", but not only that it vibrates. And so the referee will know instantaneously -- within perhaps 1 second or so, whether or not there was a goal scored. And it only vibrates and it only shows "goal" when there's a positive outcome to it. Werman: As a former referee and still involved in referee stuff, what do you think about this technology? Walton: I think it's great. I really do. I think the pressures and the scrutiny that our referees are under means that any advance in technology that will help them get those factual decisions correct and a ball over the line is a fact -- it's either over the line or it's not, then it's a must for me. As long as the decision making doesn't impact on the natural flow of the game so we don't have to stop the game to adjudicate, it's part of that game process. Werman: Did you ever call a goal yourslef, Peter, when you refereeing, when it wasn't a goal? Walton: How'd I know you were going to ask that question? Werman: Because you were a referee. Walton: The answer to that is, "Yes I did." And I can remember, it was in English League, when Whole City played Sheflers United and the ball hit the underside of the bar, came down, hit the line, and cleared by a defender. And my assistant referee indicated to me that the ball in fact had crossed the line, so I gave the goal. And between walking back to the center circle to restart the game, the stadium replayed it on the big screen and all 40,000 people inside the stadium saw that it clearly hadn't crossed the line and you could imagine what my game control was like for the rest of the game, unfortunately. Werman: A little shaky I would think. Walton: Yes, yes, I was questioned on one or two decisions thereafter. Werman: Peter, you did a pretty good job predicting that I would ask you about your bad goal call, can you predict my final question? Walton: Who's going to win the World Cup? Werman: There you go. Walton: Well in my local sweepstakes that I had in my diner back in New York, I picked out Croatia. But of course they come off on the first against Brazil. But I'm still aiming for Croatia, only because it would win me a few bucks. But apart from that, let the tournament win, that's the bland answer. Werman: And just for the interest of excitement, what are the odds on Croatia winning the whole thing? Walton: I'll retire if they win. Werman: Peter Walton, former referee with the English Premier League, now heading the organization that oversees the officiating for MLS here in the US. Thank you Peter. Walton: Thank you, cheers.