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DasWolf

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  1. Saying "offside is offside", while true, is like a jobsworth saying "it's the rules" without understanding why the rule is there to begin with. We know offside is black and white as the rule is currently defined, and that VAR is only enforcing the rule. That's not the issue. The issue is why are we enforcing the rule to begin with. What are we trying to prevent? Are there any better ways of achieving the aim of the rule, with less side effects? Offside was never intended for incidents like the other day, so why not ask the question on what we're trying to achieve and if we can do better? There is also the problem which is VAR is not precise enough to differentiate such tiny gaps. As Gray pointed out, you're trying to measure tiny gaps when players can move significantly between frames, when you have to take into account when the ball even starts moving due to compression, and so on. I don't want to see a game where otherwise perfectly good goals are ruled out for a 1mm 'advantage', which is impossible to see in real time, and which would have made no difference either way. If the attacker is something like half a foot ahead, that's probably enough to get a shot away at the top level, and the point where we can say it's "unfair" - that's also the sort of distance which is obvious, so we can make quick decisions as well without needing to see slow motion replays for 2 minutes. Defenders/attackers would still have to anticipate and time well, that doesn't change. The only thing that changes is we stop measuring insignificant microscopic distances which have no impact on the outcome.
  2. Technology is there to enforce the rules. Rules are there to enforce the spirit of the game. The goal of technology isn't to make everything black/white but ultimately to help make the game fair and enjoyable. Rules are the best attempt to keep to the spirit of the game but they can have loopholes, or not be fit for purpose. With certain rules, it is black and white. Goal line tech is excellent because it answers a yes/no question instantly: did the ball cross the line. Was that foul inside the box or outside? Other rules aren't and for good reason. Was that excessive force? Almost impossible to objectively define. Did that defender handball it, or was it ball to hand? We could make defensive handball a black/white thing like attacking handball but that wouldn't make the game better. We'd just end up with attacking teams smashing the ball at defenders' arms. So instead we apply common sense to answer the question on if it was unfair or not. Offside is currently defined as a black and white issue, but the game was different when it was introduced. It was concerned with stopping goal hanging, not determining if certain body parts were fractions of an inch ahead. It was never intended for the use it's now being put to. With the limitations of technology and the speed of the game at the time, the offside rule was a decent enough way of solving the problem of "how do we stop attackers gaining an unfair advantage". When we start looking at fractions of an inch, we're forgetting why we're looking to begin with, and probably need to change the rules to accurately reflect the modern game and the spirit of football. We watch football to be entertained and watch players compete within the spirit of the game. We don't watch it to wait minutes for robots to check for semantics and stupid technicalities, or some stupid FIFA bureaucrat's idea that Sterling's armpit being1mm further ahead is so unfair we need to rule the goal out. With VAR what we want is a system that can tell is quickly if there was there anything obviously wrong with this goal that was missed in real time. If it takes that long it's not obvious, and if it's not obvious we shouldn't care. When it comes to other stuff like a penalty or not, or a red card or not, I'm okay with waiting a minute or so. But not for goals. That's not what we're there for.
  3. But you're so focused on the question of how many cm it is that you're losing track of the entire point of the rule. Offside is there to stop attackers gaining an unfair advantage by goal hanging, and was a rule implemented when the game was completely different. It wouldn't have made any difference if Sterling was an inch or two back. It's irrelevant. West Ham's defence was completely beaten either way. And if it wouldn't make any difference then clearly it's not an unfair advantage. It's not a case of 1mm, 1cm, 5cm, that's the wrong question. The question is, "is this unfair enough to rule the goal out"? That's not a mathematical question that can be answered with a measuring tape, that's a subjective decision. Personally I think that ruling Sterling's goal out was harsh, unfair, and missing the entire point of the rule. As it happens, I think goals like Boly's goal last year vs. City should be against the rules and it's a good change to disallow those goals. It seems unfair and against the spirit of the game. In the same way Boly having the ball headed at him from a foot away, when his arm was in a completely reasonable position seems unfair. A certain goal could have been stopped in the same way and it wouldn't have been handball. No one would have complained if the goal was given. The problem isn't VAR, the problem is VAR being used to enforce inappropriate pedantic rules that miss the point of the game. VAR is there to answer obvious questions, not to spend 90 seconds hunting around with microscopes for reasons to disallow goals.
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