Monday, June 14, 2010

world cup thoughts, part 4

One bright spot so far: the refereeing. With the exception of Tim Cahill's ejection from the Germany-Australia match (for a clear yellow card tackle), it has been excellent. Nothing would have made me more annoyed than to see the very best plays of the tournament so far, that is, Germany's delightful through passes against Australia, called back erroneously for offside. These were the type of plays that look offside at first glance because the attacker is sprinting past the last line of defense, but are actually perfectly timed. These calls, are, unfortunately, incredibly difficult to get right (in fact impossible based on the limits of visual attention), and so it's inevitable that there will be errors. The important thing for me is that these errors not be systematically biased toward the defending team, which is too often the case. Only time will tell if this aspect of good fortune holds up.

And of course the one offside call that the commentators were all moaning about, calling back a Mexico goal against South Africa, was actually correct: there need to be two defenders between an attacker and the goal line; one of them is usually the goalkeeper, but in this case, he had stepped out ahead of the attacker.

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