Premier League VAR make new change for offside calls next season

Premier League

The Premier League is set to use thicker lines ahead of next campaign while judging narrow VAR offside calls.

Top-flight chiefs have made the change after a season littered with a number of marginal decisions which proved deeply unpopular with supporters.

The use of thicker lines by the video assistant referee will now hand attackers a bigger margin for error, which will put an end to so-called armpit offsides.

Premier League clubs and referees anticipate the change having a huge impact on matches after many this campaign were marred by attackers being ruled offside due to their heels, toes or even armpits.

Under the new protocols, those body parts being narrowly beyond the defender will no longer likely to result in penalisation.

According to The Times , the system using thicker lines has already begun operation in other UEFA competitions and the Dutch Eredivisie.

Its introduction in the Premier League means television viewers and broadcasters will not be able to see the process of the offside lines being drawn, only the final result.


Referee chiefs were involved in the process, while they are also looking at ways of increasing the threshold for what warrants a penalty in a match. The report adds they will draw up criteria in order to provide clarity on what is deemed a foul in the box.

Meanwhile, Premier League teams have answered a survey in which they were prompted to give opinions on VAR and raise the changes they would like to see in the league.

The 20 teams were informed of plans to introduce automated offside technology, although this is said to be at least two years away from being available for use. So, clubs decided to use thicker lines for now.

Managers, captains and sporting directors were all involved in the survey process, while fans’ views on VAR will also have an impact in future changes.

A Premier League presentation 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.”


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