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Can a Soccer Ball Tell It Has Crossed the Goal Line?

Soccer ball maker Select says its iBall is going to be the cornerstone in the integration of goal line technology within FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association).

According to the company, FIFA has published a preliminary decision to end the ongoing debate about how referees will one day evaluate whether the ball has crossed the goal line during games. It was announced Friday, July 6.

FIFA, according to Select, has approved a system based on the Select iBall, claimed to be the world’s first intelligent soccer ball due to its ability to communicate that it has crossed the goal line.

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In a related development, using supercomputers and workstations based on present and future Intel processor technology, researchers are simulating collisions to study the impact on the brain.

They will use that information to design new football helmets that reduce the risk of short- and long-term injuries. (Read: Intel Chips in to Make Football Helmets Safer)

Select’s iBall is the ball in the GoalRef system which has been tested by FIFA over the past few months and has now been approved for a final test so that the system can one day be used during professional soccer games, says Select.

Peter Knap, CEO of Select, has been developing the ball for years so it could live up to a variety of demands.  Knap states, “It’s challenging work to design an intelligent ball that can withstand Ronaldo’s kick and at the same time be able to communicate with a system on the goal line. At Select we have been developing the soccer ball for more than 65 years so we have a solid head start when it comes to ensuring quality in new solutions.”

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While the Danish company Select is the ball manufacturer behind the iBall, the complete GoalRef system has been developed in partnership with the German company Fraunhofer IIS, part of Europe’s leading application-oriented research organization, The Fraunhofer Society.

The intelligent soccer iBall works through an internal web of copper wire, which uses induction to communicate with a panel of antennas mounted to the goal frame.

The very same second the entire ball has passed the goal line, the system sends a signal to the referee’s wristwatch, and the referee can instantly call it as a goal.

Select was founded in 1947 by Eigil Nielsen, star goalkeeper of the Danish national team.

Photo courtesy: Select

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