Use of referee whistle to create match highlights

The use of a referee whistle is an important factor in creating match highlights in the future. Spanish researchers have made an algorithm that generates match highlights. It’s a start. The autoted video selection gets 70 per cent of the important situations and goals. They’re trying to improve the algorithm in the near future.

Fox 40: use of the referee whistleBut how does that work? One elementary filter can be the detection of the referee’s whistle. Here’s some explanation from the researchers.

  • For example in a goal occasion the audio power suddenly increases and in a referee’s whistle instance specific harmonics are spotted at concrete frequency ranges.
  • In many sports, such as soccer, the detection of the referee’s whistle provides highly valuable information to detect events of interest. Therefore, reliable and robust whistle detection is a key objective in the design of methodologies for automatic sport highlighting.
  • Video track gives a helpful context required to discern referee’s whistles among other sounds such as vuvuzelas, horns, supporter’s whistles, etc. Aside from this database a test signal has also been generated. This test signal is made up of a selection of referee’s whistles annotated in the database in conjunction with other especially difficult sounds, usually inducing false positives, which have been encountered in these recordings. The total length of the test signal is around 60 s and contains 10 referee’s whistles

And how can we help the broadcasters and researchers with this whistle? Use the whistles properly.

  1. The whistle needs to be heard by every player
  2. Be decively, but vary length and volume. A long and loud whistle should be used with a serious offence. For restart of play you can whistle softer and shorter.
  3. Do not use the whistle to stop play for a goal kick, corner kick or throw-in – unless there was doubt about whether the ball was out or not.

These variations will not only help the researchers determine how important the call was. When a whistle is used too frequently unnecessarily or often in a wrong way (loud/soft or long/short) it will have less impact and the use of the referee whistle will lose credibility from the players.

Serbia – Albania match abandoned due to drone

Football match abandoned due to drone.

Football match abandoned due to drone.

Referee Martin Atkinson abandoned the match Serbia – Albania due to a drone that flew over the pitch with an Albanian flag. That caused a massive brawl on the pitch after which Martin Atkinson ended the game.

A reporter from The Guardian described the situation like this: “In the 40th minute, the English referee Martin Atkinson halted play – for a second time – after flares had been thrown from the crowd in the direction of Albanian players. At the same time, a drone –seemingly remote-controlled – was seen hovering above the pitch, parallel to the top of the stand, before falling towards the pitch 15 yards into the Serbian half. The ‘Greater Albania’ insignia referred to the notion of an extended area in which all ethnic Albanians reside – one that would include Kosovo.”

And this is what happened after the drone has landed. Total chaos and fans on the pitch. Luckily nobody who attacked the referee. Martin Atkinson walked safely in the the tunnel to the dressing rooms in video below at 2m45sec.

Match abandoned due to drone

Serbian player Ivanovic said after the match: “We wanted to continue the match, but Albanian players said they were not psychologically ready.”

What would you do when a whole teams says they are not psychologically ready to play? That could also be after one of their teammates broke a leg or has gone off with a headache in an ambulance – things more likely to happen at your matches.

Champions League referees get black short back

Champions League referees will with pale grey short.

Champions League referees will with pale grey short.

Champions League referees are no longer allowed to wear the pale grey shorts. Uefa has decided to switch back to the old black trousers. Only on matchday 2 next week there’s an exception. From group match 3 all referees must wear the black short.

The 3rd Team has released a statement from Uefa on their website which confirms this. “In a communiqué issued by UEFA’s Refereeing Department sent to all national associations, the referees were asked to wear the old black trousers and stockings deployed in UEFA Champions League 2013/14 season from now on until the end of this campaign”, is what the website says.

In my opinion it is a good call , because the pale grey shorts were ugly. And I think most of you agree on that. These were your tweets about the grey shorts:

Can you be in offside position from a corner kick?

Can you be in offside position from a corner kick?

This referee tends to give a throw-in, but then takes over his AR’s signal for offside, which is not possible from a corner kick (plus goalk kick or throw-in). Would you go with your AR or overrule him?

A good advice from Marcus Cole

Darren Cann’s World Cup lessons

It’s a special year for Darren Cann. First of all the big news of his long-term partner Howard Webb who announced his retirement this summer. Secondly, Darren Cann officiated his last international tournament during the World Cup in Brazil, because he has reached the age limit of 45. But Cann does not quit himself. On Monday 18th of August he got his first official match of the season with a whole new refereeing team. He is assistant of Michael Oliver and with fellow AR Stuart Burt – also not his usual partner Mike Mullarkey. A whole new experience for Darren Cann.

Now the Norfolk referee is back from the World Cup started the new season, he is also ready for some reflection on his experiences of this year. Here are 3 lessons Darren Cann learned from refereeing the World Cup in Brazil which will make you a better referee too. These lessons are based on an interview with the Norfolk FA, which also gave me permission to use the picture with this article (thanks!).

Darren Cann’s advice for referees

1. Don’t get frustrated

Darren Cann Photo Norfolk FA.“Like any refereeing trio we hoped to be used early in the competition, but it wasn’t to be. Whilst it was a little bit frustrating, we are professional so we trained really hard every day, applying ourselves day in, day out, so that we were ready when needed.”

That could also happen to you. The first appointments of the season are out and your matches seem boring at first glance. You might want matches on a higher level or between two better teams. Don’t get frustrated about it. Your nice appointments will come. Keep training hard, so you are definitely ready once you got that exciting cup tie or top of the league clash.

2. Make unpopular decisions if necessary

Darren Cann talks about the handball Howard Webb has to call against Hulk, a player of the host nation. “Of course, it’s going to be an unpopular decision against the host nation, but a referee’s job is to be fair and impartial at all times and we always are.”

You might go to a match where one of the teams can win the championship, but one of their players denies an obvious goal-scoring opportunity. You should send him off although that might reduce their chances of winning the game. That is the rule and you should apply it. Cann: “It’s important to make the right call and Howard certainly did that using all his skill and experience. It was a really pressurised situation.”

3. Share your experiences

Are you member of a referee organization? Do you go training there? Do it! No matter what level you are, you can always learn from your refereeing colleagues. That helps on the lowest amateur level and even right before the World Cup final. ” As it turned out, by staying until the end of the tournament we were also able to have dinner with the Italian trio after their appointment to the Final just 48 hours before kick-off”, Darren Cann says. “That was a really special and unique moment – the first time ever that a World Cup trio had been present to be able to pass on all of their experiences of what it’s actually like to walk out and officiate The World Cup Final…”

I hope you can use these lessons from Darren Cann in your personal refereeing career. What’s the best lesson you learned so far when talking to your fellow referees?

Read the full interview with Darren Cann.

Howard Webb retires immediately

Howard Webb retires from refereeing and becomes Technical Director at PGMOL. His retirement is announced in a statement on the website of the Premier League.

Howard Web retires.

Howard Webb retires.

“I am very excited to start this new chapter in my career after a wonderfully rewarding 25 years on the pitch,” Webb said. “I have spent over a decade with the best seat in the house for Barclays Premier League matches, been lucky enough to be involved in nine UEFA and FIFA tournaments, and taken charge of the UEFA Champions League and FIFA World Cup finals.

Webb said earlier in an interview with Dutch Referee blog about the role and future of refereeing: “Referees are an important part of the game, but not of course the most important. The players are the stars, and the ones who make the game, but referees play a vital role in protecting the players and protecting the image of the game. We certainly need to encourage the next generation of referees.”