Five Eyed Linesman

A study by a “family medicine specialist” in Spain has concluded that the human eye is unable to accurately detect offside during a soccer match because of the eyes physiology and it’s inability to process all the visual information required to properly ejudicate an offside decision, and that this might be the reason that linesmen get things so wrong, so often.

[T]o apply the rule correctly the referee must be able to keep at least five moving objects in his visual field at the same time – two players on the attacking team, the last two players of the defending team and the ball.

He said this was beyond the capacity of the human eye, especially as these five objects could be anywhere in the defenders’ half of the pitch.

What a load of RUBBISH!!!

A linesman, if correctly positioned, will be inline with the second last defending player, and as the goalkeeper is usually the last player, in most cases can be ignored (to an extent), there is just the one defender to keep inline with and to keep an eye on.

Then there’s the player with the ball, and the ball itself. The linesman will watch the play as he keeps inline with the last defender and as the player with the ball is about to play it, an action that the linesman will no doubt be able to read, he, the linesman will focus his sight on the last defender as he listens for the sound of the ball being kicked.

So, we’re no longer looking at the second defender, the player with the ball, or the ball itself. So we’re left with the second last defender and the attacker which is or isn’t offside. Two things, two eyes… not so diffucult to judge afterall… most people will be able to tell whether something is in front or behinh something in such a situation.

Sure, mistakes are still possible, and that’s part of the game, however, I don’t think we need to take the game down the path of the introduction of technology like those used in tennis for making line calls or using televison replays as they use in cricket and gridiron. Yet, it would appear that FIFA are considering such an option…. not for offside at the moment, but rather for determining whether the ball crosses the goal-line.


  1. I agree.
    The linesman doesn’t have to view five objects, only two. This can be complicated during fast breaks or long balls from defence, but listening for the ball being played could get tricky at the Nou Camp, San Siro or Old Trafford on a big night.
    About the replays – ball crossing the line replays: good idea. Offside replays – a chance for the TV networks to introduce ads during a match.

    Never ignore a goalkeeper. Patrick Battiston tried that…

  2. when do we start voting now that we’re done nominating. Will somebnody remind me because the best thing about this vote is that George Bush not likely to win.

  3. Vlado,
    Some teething glitches I see, this was mistakenly archived under Football not Soccer :):):) Good to see you back, wish you and the family a happy new year.


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