Virtual Reality Technology in Soccer Referee Training

Soccer referees can greatly benefit by training using the latest technology known as Virtual Reality (VR). A referee can use the technology to capture live updates. The computerized gadget is installed with compatible software. By using an Oculus Rift headset, a referee receives video images transmitted by the machine (Zinchenko et al. 129). The images are in three-dimension (3-D). However, various VR manufacturers have developed different types of headsets.

When the technology is in action, referees undergo real experiences similar to how a flight simulator works. The use of VR technology by soccer referees is expected to continue rising. As part of the advantage, this technology is cost effective. In the actual environment, a referee is in a position to perform better after they have gone through the VR technology training. Recent studies on this subject reveal that VR technology is 25% more effective than the ordinary 3-D video training.

Another positive attribute of this technology is the fact that soccer referees can visualize themselves within the perspective of the third person. In other words, the technology turns them into spectators to some degree even when administering a match at the same time (Zinchenko et al. 129). By doing so, they can gauge their performance on the pitch and improve accordingly. The technology also places referees in the position of a coach since both footwork and general body movements can be vividly seen and corrective measures taken.

The technology is rapidly gaining momentum and popularity. In order to carry out effective training in athletics, a number of companies are already using the technology. Some of the companies include Beyond Sports, EON Sports VR and STRIVER Labs. Other independent stakeholders are still expected to find their way into the VR technology market.

If soccer referees can use the VR technology and improve their performance, footballers can also benefit hugely from the same system. For example, a referee can monitor his or her movements as well as footwork and be able to make the right judgment on how to engage players while in the field. Factors such as the appropriate relative distance from the soccer ball, identifying foul plays and general body psychic can be visualized in a 3-D video and corrected whenever there is need.

Poor judgment is a major challenge in soccer matches. It is cumbersome for a referee to obtain adequate and effective practice. However, the VR technology can remarkably offer the much needed solution (Zinchenko et al. 129). For instance, the past soccer matches can be watched by a referee through the headset. Alternatively, it is possible for the referee to obtain additional field experience by simulating the game. Needless to say, this new training approach may lower the rate at which soccer referees offer poor judgment.

VR technology can also be used in soccer referee training to increase the speed of engaging players in the field. A referee can minimize several common errors that are usually encountered when administering a game in the pitch.

Positional tracking is swiftly employed by the VR technology. Hence, a soccer referee does not merely explore a virtual surrounding by pivoting his or her head. A referee can equally move along with the gadget just as it happens in an actual environment. Therefore, VR technology in soccer referee training is a powerful tool that can improve both performance.

In spite of the immense benefit of VR technology in soccer referee training, employing the platform in a real world can be risky since when a soccer referee is busy exploring a virtual surrounding, it is possible to bump into a wall and sustain physical injuries.

Works Cited

Zinchenko, Yuri, Galina Menshikova, Aleksander Chernorizov, and Aleksander, Voyskunskiy. “Technologies of Virtual Reality in Psychology of Sports of Great Advance: Theory, Practice and Perspectives.” Psychology in Russia: State of Art 4 (2011): 129. Print.


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