Refs see red when they watch slow-motion replays.
Refs see red when they watch slow-motion replays.
Stock image.

One player kicks another in the gut. Another elbows an opposing team member’s face. And a third makes a blatant attempt to trip another player.  

    To fans, soccer looks rough in real time. But in slow motion, it is brutal. And a recent study shows referees penalize players more severely when watching a slow motion playback than when seeing the game in real time.
    In soccer, a referee displays a yellow card when a player commits a foul. When a player gets two yellow cards, he is sent off -- taken out of the game.  A red card is more severe. It means the player is sent off and no substitute can be put in his place.
    When studying the game, professors at University of Leuven, Belgium, focused on the responses of 88 elite football referees from five European countries. They used 60 video clips involving fouls from soccer matches, according to Biomed Central. They discovered no significant difference in the accuracy of a referee's decision about whether a foul had occurred. But referees were tougher when they saw slow motion playbacks.
    “In case of high-impact tackle incidents, there is a clear impact of slow motion, altering the judgment of the referees towards more severe disciplinary sanctions for the offending players,” the study concluded.
    But using video to figure out what happened is one thing, and judging human behavior is another.
     “Based on our results we conclude that slow motion has an impact and can make the difference between perceiving an action as careless (no card), reckless (yellow card), or with excessive force (red card),” the authors concluded. “Caution is warranted before adopting video technology, and clear guidelines should be defined.”
      The study, "The impact of video speed on the decision-making process of sports officials," by Jochim Spitz et al., was published in the open access journal, Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications.   

UNMANNED SOLO FLIGHT: A remotely piloted aircraft on Tuesday flew its first mission without a safety aircraft following, according to NASA.
      The flight moves the U.S. another step closer to normalizing remotely piloted aircraft in airspace used by both commercial and private pilots, according to NASA.
      The aircraft, known as the Ikhana, is based at the agency’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, California. While it can fly alone, it is equipped with “detect and avoid technologies,” the space agency explains. The word, Ikhana, is Native American Choctaw and means intelligent, conscious or aware.


      Sports: A history rich in scandal

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