23 March 2021

How can online training improve on-field offside decision making performance?

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In a world where almost everything is being done online, we can’t always see the advantages of online versus offline.
Automatically one would think that training to be a professional football official would exist almost completely out of on-field practice and gathering match experience.
However research shows that online training can also be very effective in enhancing decision-making accuracy.

In a study performed by Put K., Wagemans J., Jaspers A. and Helsen W, the effect of web-based training on on-field offside decision-making performance was researched.

In the experiment eighteen Belgian assistant referees were included.
Ten assistant referees (training group) were exposed to a pre-and post-test while completing four off-field offside training sessions via Perception4Perfection in between those tests.
The remaining eight assistant referees participated in the control group and only completed the pre- and post-test without online training.
During both test sessions, which were conducted separately for each group, both an on–and off-field offside decision-making test was completed.


First, an increase in response accuracy and a decrease in flag errors were observed for the training group from pre- to posttest in both the on- and off-field offside test.

In the graph below, there is a clear difference between the training group and the control group. We can clearly see that the flag errors of the training group decreased significantly in the post-test, going from 4,6 to 1,4 errors out of 10 situations. While in the control group, the flag errors went from 4,8 to 6,3 out of 10 situations.

Only the training group which conducted the online training tests improved in the recall and recognition accuracy of the position of the receiving attacker at the moment of the pass.

This shows clearly that online perceptual-cognitive skill training results in a positive and direct transfer to on-field offside decisions.

We can see that a small session of only 10-20 minutes watching and practicing 20 clips already gives major improvements for on-field performance.

In this graph, we can see an obvious impact of online training on on-field performance, with on field performance going up from 10,1 to 13,6 out of 15 for the training group. That is an improvement of 23,3%.

Perception4Perfection is a great example of enhancing key aspects of decision-making accuracy with minimum input and maximum output for football officials.

In preparation for every professional football game both in the domestic leagues as well as in the UEFA top competitions; referees, assistant referees as well as video assistant referees are enhancing their decision-making accuracy on a day to day basis by using Perception4Perfection.

Having the possibility to be part of a community that is constantly striving for significant progress within refereeing, is a great honour for everyone who is involved in this beautiful journey we have ahead in creating smarter and faster decision makers.

Interested in more scientific research like this? Click here! 

How can online training improve on-field offside decision making performance?

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