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Glostrup, Denmark — FIFA published a preliminary decision to end the ongoing debate about how referees will one day evaluate whether the ball has crossed the goal line during games. FIFA has approved a system based on the Select iBall, the world’s first intelligent soccer ball due to its ability to communicate that it has crossed the goal line. Select’s iBall is the ball in the GoalRef system which has been tested by FIFA over the past few months and has now been approved for a final test so that the system can one day be used during professional soccer games.
Peter Knap, CEO of Select, has been developing the extraordinary ball for years so it could live up to a variety of demands. Knap states, “It’s challenging work to design an intelligent ball that can withstand Ronaldo’s kick and at the same time be able to communicate with a system on the goal line. At Select we have been developing the soccer ball for more than 65 years so we have a solid head start when it comes to ensuring quality in new solutions.”
As the company that developed the modern soccer ball, Select has a long heritage in the sport. That heritage is what led the Danish company to create the world’s first intelligent soccer ball. The FIFA announcement marks the first time an intelligent ball has received recognition from FIFA.
“With a certain sense of pride, we can now say that Select has been behind the four most important steps in the development of the modern soccer ball. It began with the first laceless leather ball, then the first ball with 32 panels, then the first synthetic leather ball, and now the world’s first intelligent ball. At Select we have a deep insight into the very nature of the sport that enables us to create the best professional sporting equipment,” says Peter Knap.
While the Danish company Select is the ball manufacturer behind the iBall, the complete GoalRef system has been developed in partnership with the German company Fraunhofer IIS, part of Europe’s largest application-oriented research organization, The Fraunhofer Society.
Project leader Ingmar Bretz from Fraunhofer IIS states, “For us to achieve this, having a reliable partner like Select has been essential. Select has years of development experience from the history of GoalRef and their knowhow within ball production has been vital for our success.”
The intelligent soccer iBall works through an internal web of copper wire, which uses induction to communicate with a panel of antennas mounted to the goal frame. The very same second the entire ball has passed the goal line, the system sends a signal to the referee’s wristwatch, and the referee can instantly call it as a goal.
FIFA’s decision is the finest proof yet that the technology behind the iBall can live up to all of the tough demands of modern soccer in terms of precision, speed and quality. With this acknowledgement, Select has achieved another milestone in the development of the soccer ball.