Reports show Italy’s Serie A is ready to introduce semi-automated offside technology to assist VAR. La Gazzetta dello Sport claims that there have been discussions to bring in the technology as early as October.

Serie A would be the first domestic league to use the semi-automated offside technology. However, the UEFA Champions League already uses the programming.

Semi-automated offside uses a sensor inside the ball to match up with cameras in the stadium. The combination takes information at a rate of 500 data points per second. There is a defined moment when the ball is kicked, and that aligns with cameras to distinguish where players are using points on their body.

While this feature is in the early phase of use, there have been a mixture of opinions on the technology.

Semi-automated offside coming to Serie A

VAR decisions using semi-automated offside technology look a lot more appealing to fans, both at home on TV and inside the stadium. Rather than miniscule lines across the pitch, the technology uses a 3D rendering of the offside situation. It is clear and uncomplicated, a trait not shared with the typical colored lines of VAR offside decisions. Plus, a final determination of offside generally takes less time with the new technology.

There have, however, been some complaints of this new system though. Bayer Leverkusen thought they had leveled the scoreline against Club Brugge last Wednesday and grabbed a vital point on the road. Nevertheless, the semi-automated offside technology ruled that striker Patrik Schick was offside when he put the ball into the back of the net.  Replays showed the Czech international was offside by the extreme edge of his boot. Brugge went on the win the match 1-0.

Controversy is the cause of Serie A seeking out the semi-automated offside technology. This past weekend, Arkadiusz Milik thought he scored the winner for Juventus in added time against Salernitana. The referee decided, with help from VAR, that Leonardo Bonucci was offside during the goal. Replays suggest that Salernitana midfielder Antonio Candreva was out near the corner flag and possibly kept the entire Juventus team onside. Yet, in the end, the Italian giants drew the match 2-2.

The semi-automated offside technology would have spotted Candreva and most likely helped make the correct decision.

PHOTO: IMAGO / Independent Photo Agency