Can VR Tech improve Decision-Making of Soccer Referees

Published Categorized as Business Stories
Soccer referee-VR tech
Soccer referee-VR tech

The soccer game is one of the sports where technology is being put to use most effectively. With the unexpected rise that VR tech has taken recently, the sports experience is turning more immersive in approximately every potential field. It extends from intense content to training and employing athletes.

Here’s how VR tech is transforming the soccer game regarding referees’ judgment ability.

The use of 360-degree cameras to capture and stream sporting events in virtual reality is a great experience. This is a benefit to all those sports lovers who can’t find the money for the luxury of flying half the world to attend grand sports events.

Among the most popular sports, soccer is on top of the list. In soccer, the role of the referee is very crucial as compared to other sports where they have to make quick decisions more frequently. When the VR technology is in action, referees feel a great experience practically. VR tech will continue to rise the experience of referees. A referee may utilize the VR tech to capture live updates.

FIFA has introduced high values of qualification for a soccer game’s referee. This is because to acquire a high level of professionalism in taking decisions on the field as well as off the field. Quick and appropriate decision-making will reduce the cases of violations committed during a soccer match.

The use of virtual reality in soccer games has raised its popularity because it enhances the efficiency of the referee. Yet, there is still a key challenge facing the referees’ training course because most of the training is conducted theoretically. So, this is the only VR tech that can eliminate these challenges to develop the experience in this profession.

Core Issues

One of the basic issues in referee training courses is the negligence of practicality. Referees get most of their experience from the actual soccer games, indeed. And this is also a fact that there are many wrong decisions a referee might make during a real soccer match. Every once in a while, a referee makes a judgmentally wrong call during a match. This thing implies that a training course of the referees has to face a standard move to offer a full methodology to the training course.

Many referees make a common mistake while awarding extra time in matches. And such mistakes could cause a critical problem, for example, once experienced in 1978. In 1978 during a soccer match referee, Clive Thomas granted a corner to a team in the last seconds of the match. He whistled instantly the corner kick taker hit the football, yet the football was later headed for a goal. However, the goal was not counted because the referee had already blown his whistle. Similar faults are very common in soccer games, but practical training platforms for referees can eliminate such blunders. 

Role of VR Tech in eliminating mistakes

Though referees have assistants and technological devices to judge rightly during soccer matches, the final decision depends upon the capability of the professional referees in interpreting the game’s rule. It is apparent that regardless of the frequent efforts and support provided to referees on the field by FIFA to make the right calls, many examples of wrong calls are still prevailing.

Now, this is the need for referees training courses to develop a better practical session with relevant knowledge. Since a single referee can’t be part of every match to gain practical knowledge, the VR tech can be used to facilitate the training sessions. 

Principally, VR tech causes the advancement of games where the referees are essential to make the right calls in different conditions where players break up the game rules. The VR tech is linked with games that have advanced trouble stages in referee judgments. It suggests that the referees face challenges alike to the actual games regarding decision-making.

Soccer game

Referees get many advantages from VR tech that help them handle challenging situations on the playing field. VR tech not only improves their decision-making but provides relevant knowledge of the soccer game rules, so to avoid wrong calls. This shows that VR tech possesses the potential to reduce the chances of wrong calls in a real-life situation. One more advantage of VR tech is that it could organize specific training goals for the referees.

For example, if referees make the majority of mistakes involving foul-play in the goal box, the VR games may emphasize similar mistakes. This exercise will sharpen the referees in making decisions. VR tech is capable to produce professional referees with a less number of wrong calls in a real match.

VR tech and video replay mode of training

In current training courses, the past matches videos are provided to the referees and let them make the appropriate decisions. Though this method can help referees understand the interpretation of soccer rules, it is not adequate to acquire desired results. Because the same situations rarely retake place on the playing field. On the other hand, using the VR tech, each model is different from others. So, it offers referees similar situations as on the playing field.

Moreover, VR tech is more efficient as compared with the video replay training method due to its first-hand experience for the referees. Because in video replay method referee has plenty of time to review the soccer game rules. Whereas, VR tech challenges a referee to make a quick decision just as he is standing in a real soccer match.

The live mockup improves the mental sharpness of a referee to the desired level in real matches. VR tech especially targets the instincts of referees regarding the game rules and their presentation in various situations. VR tech, additionally, improves the experience of referees in performing their role in soccer games because the virtual setting is very much close to the actual matches. Consequently, the more training sessions, the higher are the competencies and confidence of the referees.

One thing that is better in VR tech headsets than the video replay mode of training is that referees can easily get the VR tech headset for training individually. Whereas, in video replay training mode, the referee depends on the trainer for their assessment and knowledge improvement. So, VR tech provides freedom of time to referee and makes them even more confident to take accurate decisions in real soccer matches.


As with the advancement of technology, FIFA also intends to avail the advantages of new technology in the soccer games. For this purpose, now FIFA is finding out alternative and advanced ways for referees training. For now, VR tech is the best alternative to the video replay mode of training. The video replay mode of training fails to boost the knowledge and skills of referees. On the other hand, the VR tech simulates soccer matches in a way that will definitely show an apparent enhancement in the ability as well as in the skills of referees to apply in the soccer games and will ultimately increase its popularity.


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