VAR


Technology intertwining with sports is a growing trend as new systems and programs become more involved in every aspect of contemporary life. The Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system is one such example. The use of this technology in the Premier League is to make sure referees do not miss calls or make mistakes. While this on the surface may seem to be beneficial to the game, not all fans are convinced it is worth the trade-off in terms of the fan experience. This system has inadvertently yet inherently slowed the game down. Fans are forced to reserve emotion pending video review in as to avoid prematurely celebrating, dampening excitement in the game’s biggest moments. The slightest or most borderline offside call may change a game after what could be described as too much scrutiny in the review process.

The system may be justifiable, conceding some aspects of the fan experience to eliminate mistakes and grey areas in officiating. However, it has become more apparent that the VAR falls short of these aspirations. There is still some way to go to perfect officiating in the sport, whether it is adapting the rules, changing the dependency field referees have on the system, or using some other method. Preserving competitive integrity is without a doubt important, but so is the fan experience. Maintaining the natural flow of a game and carefully reviewing calls is a balance that must be carefully considered going forward. Fans everywhere deserve thought and innovation into this issue, making the sport the best it can be.


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