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Video Assistant Referee Everything You need to Know

Video Assistant Referee: Everything You need to Know

The Video Assistant Referee, or VAR, involves incidents reviewed by the VAR team or the main referee.

Even though the concept has been around for a while, many people still aren’t familiar with VAR and what it can do. We’re here to clear up the confusion.

VAR - What Is It?

VAR involves a team of three people who work together to review decisions that the main referee made. This team consists of the main video assistant referee, who is usually a former or current referee, their assistant, and a replay operator. They are located in a video operation room that contains a number of monitors that portray varying camera angles.

There are four types of decisions that VAR can help with. They include:

  1. Goals and violations that precede them
  2. Red cards
  3. Penalties
  4. Mistaken identity when awarding a card

There are some instances in which the decision of a referee can be overturned by VAR, but in order for this to occur, it must be a “clear error.”

The process for decision reviewing can work in two ways. One, the VAR team can recommend a review, or two, the main referee can request a review after they make a decision.

If the VAR team recommends a review, they must notify the main referee if a clear error has been made. After that, the main referee can choose to do one of three things. One, stick with their decision, two, review the incident themselves, or three, overturn their decision based on the advice given by VAR.

How It Works

VAR works in a series of steps. These steps include:

  • The incident occurs and the referee informs the VAR, or the VAR recommends a review
  • The video is studied by the VAR, and they notify the main referee what the footage portrays
  • The decision is made and the referee can choose to go with the VAR’s advice or review the footage themselves

During a review, the VAR team will study the footage and report what they find to the referee via their earpiece. While this is going on, the ref will point to their ear to notify the players or make an official VAR review signal that puts across that same message.

Using Tech to Our Advantage

VAR is an essential aspect of technology in sports, creating a playing field that offers more opportunities for fairness and visibility.

Trax Analytics values what technology has done and is continuing to do for the stadium environment. To learn more about the future of stadium tech, check out our website.