Premier League to introduce semi-automated offside technology

  • Premier League clubs have agreed to introduce semi-automated offside technology
  • System will be introduced to the division next season
  • Fans watching at home will get a clearer view of decisions
The Premier League are introducing new technology
The Premier League are introducing new technology / Visionhaus/GettyImages

Premier League clubs have voted to introduce new semi-automated offside technology next season.

The system, which uses artificial intelligence to track offsides, was used at both the World Cup and Women's World Cup, and is also in use in the Champions League.

The Premier League have monitored the efficiency of the system in recent months and are now set to introduce semi-automated offside technology next season.

"At a Premier League Shareholders’ meeting today, clubs unanimously agreed to the introduction of Semi-Automated Offside Technology," a statement read.

"The new system will be used for the first time in the Premier League next season, and it is anticipated the technology will be ready to be introduced after one of the autumn international breaks.

"The technology will provide quicker and consistent placement of the virtual offside line, based on optical player tracking, and will produce high-quality broadcast graphics to ensure an enhanced in-stadium and broadcast experience for supporters."

Sheffield United v Aston Villa - Premier League
The technology should help VAR officials / Catherine Ivill/GettyImages

The technology removes the need for VAR officials to manually draw offside lines, instead generating a virtual line by identifying key skeleton points - head, toes, upper arm and knees - on multiple players at the same time.

Ball-tracking tools also identify the point of contact and then, with all the data available, an automatic decision over an offside is suggested to a VAR official.

Importantly, the decision suggested by the technology is not official and still requires confirmation from a VAR operative, who must confirm the accuracy of the call before informing the on-field referee.

"We expect that semi-automated offside technology can take us a step further," Pierluigi Collina, chairman of FIFA’s referee committee, said back in 2022. "Sometimes, the process to check a possible offside takes too long, especially when the offside incident is very tight. This is where semi-automated offside technology comes in - to offer faster and more accurate decisions."