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World Cup Goalline Technology: How Does it Work?

World Cup Goalline Technology: How Does it Work?

Goal-line technology is used to determine whether or not the entire ball has crossed the goal line during soccer games. Most recently, this group of technology was used for the World Cup.

How It Works

There are a few systems that have been approved by Fifa and the International Football Association Board (IFAB) that center around camera-tracking movements or magnetic field sensors. These systems include:

  • GoalControl

GoalControl is a system produced by Germany that uses 14 high-speed cameras mounted around the stadium, with seven pointed at either goal. These cameras track the movement of the ball and determine whether or not it crosses the goal line.

  • Hawk-Eye

Much like GoalControl, Hawk-Eye uses high-speed cameras poised around the mouth of the goal to track whether or not the ball has crossed the line.

  • Cairos GLT System

This system uses a magnetic field to track the ball. A sensor is planted inside the ball, which detects its location in relation to the magnetic field created by the thin wires running underneath the penalty box.

  • Goalminder

Goalminder installs cameras into the goalposts and crossbar to deliver visual evidence to the referee.

  • GoalRef

GoalRef also uses magnetic field technology, but instead of the ball as the sensor, the goal frame detects the passing of the ball.


While the systems that monitor the data are automated, the final decision is made by a human. With humans and AI working together, the fairest scenario is created for each game – including the World Cup.


Only approved systems can be installed – and only by certified installers. Before the game, the system will be verified by a “Final Installation Test,” which accounts for the geographical area in which the game is being played, and takes into account the stadium design, humidity, lighting, and other such variables.

After the system has been verified and passed, it can be registered with Fifa and used by officials.

Before the start of the World Cup, just like before every game, the stadium was tested by an independent testing institute. And before the game starts, the referee checks the system to see if it’s turned and accurately calibrated.

Stadium Technology

At Trax Insights, we value forward-thinking when it comes to technology and its usage in stadiums, which means that the implementation of goal line technology was very exciting for us – and we hope it’s valuable information for you, too.

To learn more about what we do and how we optimize the stadium experience for players, officials, and fans alike, check out our website.