Premier League make important change to VAR for next season to end ‘armpit’ offsides
The Premier League is set to use thicker lines while ruling close VAR offside calls next season.
Top-flight chiefs have made the change after a campaign littered with marginal decisions which was intensely unpopular with fans.
The use of thicker lines by the video assistant referee will give attackers a bigger margin for the mistake, putting an end to so-called armpit offsides.
Premier League clubs and referees expect the change to have a radical impact on matches after many this season were warped by attackers being ruled offside due to their heels, toes, or armpits.
Under new rules, those body parts being narrowly beyond the defender are no longer likely to result in penalization.
As reported by The Times , the system using thicker lines is already in use in other UEFA competitions and the Dutch Eredivisie.
Its introduction in the Premier League suggests television viewers and broadcasters will no longer see the process of the offside lines being drawn, just the final result.
The 20 top-flight clubs granted to the VAR setting during their annual general meeting near Harrogate on Thursday.
Referee chiefs were included in the process, while they are also examining ways of raising the threshold for what warrants a penalty.
The report adds they will draw up rules in a bid to present clarity on what is deemed a foul in the box.
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Meanwhile, Premier League clubs have acknowledged a survey in which they were prompted to give their views on VAR and raise the changes they would like to see made.
In the midweek AGM, the 20 teams were informed of plans to include automated offside technology, although this is gathered to be at least two years away from being ready for use. As such, clubs decided to use thicker lines in the meantime.
Managers, captains and sporting directors were included in the survey process, while fans’ views on VAR will also play a part in future developments.
A Premier League exhibition to clubs in March said:
“The purpose is to identify improvements to the VAR system and form a common understanding of where a VAR interpretation is expected and how changes can be made to increase consistency in interpretation and decision-making.
“The results will inform the coaching and training of match officials during the close season and changes will take effect in season 2021-2022.”
VAR has been in force in the Premier League for two seasons and has suffered continued criticism despite a change made last August allowing referees to confer pitchside monitors for subjective judgments.
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Premier League make important change to VAR for next season to end ‘armpit’ offsides.