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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.


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