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In Russia, the first world championship with video evidence soon begins. Researchers show that this is a problem: slow motions change the perception of the referee.

Cognitive research: When refs see slow motion, they often show red

In Russia, the first world championship with video evidence soon begins. Researchers show that this is a problem: slow motions change the perception of the referee.

Cognitive research: When refs see slow motion, they often show red

On a list of abgedroschensten phrases of football commentators one should not miss: "We have slow motion here, this luxury referee does not." Although y are rarely heard since introduction of video. But now it turns out that, at least when it comes to punishing a foul game, it could have always been wrong. Perhaps slow motion is not a "luxury", but it comes into play in a whole different way than long thought.

At football World Cup in Russia, video evidence will be used for first time in such a tournament. The video referees should be able to intervene in four game situations: at a goal, in an offside situation, when referee accidentally punishes wrong player. and a red card. Between se situations, however, re is a difference. Wher ball has crossed goal line or striker at moment of pass is offside, are objective decisions: answer is yes or no. The red card is different. In many cases whip out impartial you due to a foul game.

Review video referee such situations again in slow motion, you have to evaluate two things subjectively. First, was it a foul? Second, did it happen on purpose? In this context, slow motion seems to lead referee to judge more rigorously, as scientists in journal Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications (Spitz et al., 2018) write.

88 referee, 60 game scenes – a unique experiment

For this purpose, Jochim Spitz and his colleagues from Belgian University of Leuven 88 have subjected European top arbitrators to a unique experiment. They showed impartial 60 game scenes in which one player fouled anor. One half of refs got scenes shown in real time, or in slow motion. Then you should decide: Would you keep game running, decide on foul, or even whip out yellow or red? Previously, reference values had to be set for each situation. For this purpose, two experienced ex-referees judged game situations according to FIFA rules. They were allowed to look at actions several times and also knew decisions that impartial had made in reality.

The referee who took part in trial was different: y were only allowed to see scenes once and n had to decide within ten seconds. Those who looked at situations in real time and slow-motion group par, as far as decision foul/no foul was concerned. In about 60 percent of cases, y agreed with reference.

Slow motion changes perception

However, re were differences in type of punishment. Thus, referees who had seen fouls in slow motion assessed situations far more severely than participants from real-time group. The slow-motion peepers rarely gave yellow or no cards, instead y often attacked red.

The researchers explain findings by fact that perception of time changes with slow motion. If referees see a scene slower, y subconsciously write to fouling player to have had more time for his decision to straddle. This will lead impartial to provide players with intent – with consequence of a harsher punishment.

The phenomenon is already known from anor context. In courtrooms, too, time is constantly being used, such as footage of surveillance cameras. Scientists have been able to show that people have often misused perpetrators if y saw scenes in slow motion and not in real time. Juries, which were played only in slow motion, imposed in experiment four times as often verdict of murder as those that had seen both versions.

Spitz's study is only second work that examines influence of slow motion on decision on fouls. A year ago, Spitz and his colleagues tested influence of slow motion technology at corners. Due to bustle in area of Referees, it is often difficult to keep track of who jostles and pushes first. By slow motion, you were able to decide more frequently wher a foul existed or not and from whom it went out.

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