Common terms used to discuss video replay in soccer
Assistant Video Assistant Referee (AVAR)
The Assistant Video Assistant Referee (AVAR) helps the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) during a match. While the VAR is facilitating a check or Video Review, the AVAR is watching live game footage for any ensuing clear and obvious errors or serious missed incidents in four match-changing incidents. The AVAR is responsible for notifying stakeholders that a Video Review is underway and is responsible for communicating the head referee’s decision after a Video Review.
Attacking Phase of Play (APP)
The Attacking Phase of Play (APP) is the phase of play as determined by the head referee when a team starts the attacking move toward the opposition's penalty area leading up to a match-changing incident: a goal, a penalty kick decision or a red card for denial of an obvious goal-scoring opportunity (DOGSO). The attacking phase of play may be reviewed for potential infractions that could negate a match-changing incident in the Video Review protocol.
The attacking phase of play may include the specific moment when the attacking team gains possession, but it never includes the restart or set piece which begins an attack.
A check is the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) action of checking plays for clear and obvious errors or serious missed incidents during a match. VARs check every play relating to the four, reviewable match-changing incidents. If a VAR sees a clear and obvious error or serious missed incident during a check, the VAR will recommend a video review to the on-field referee.
Clear and Obvious Error
A clear and obvious error is a blatant, incorrect officiating decision. During a Video Review, the question asked by referees will be: "Was the referee’s original decision ‘clearly wrong?" as opposed to "Was the decision correct?"
Clearly Wrong Decision
A clearly wrong decision is a clear and obvious error.
A decision is a judgement made by the head referee. A referee’s decision can be the choice to stop the play and make a call or the choice to allow play to continue without making a call. Following a Video Review, the referee will make the final decision.
Denial of an Obvious Goal-Scoring Opportunity (DOGSO)
Denial of an obvious goal-scoring opportunity (DOGSO) occurs when a defending player fouls an attacking player to deny a goal or a clear scoring chance.
The defending player receives a yellow card if he had the possibility of playing the ball, but instead committed a DOGSO foul in his own penalty area. That play results in a penalty kick. Such offenses committed outside the penalty area will result in a red card and sendoff.
A player who denies an obvious goal scoring opportunity by committing any of the following deliberate offenses will be sent off with a red card:
- Holding, pulling or pushing an opponent
- Making a challenge with no attempt or possibility to play the ball
The International Football Association Board (The IFAB) has identified four incidents deemed to significantly influence the outcome of a match: goals, penalty kick decisions, straight red cards, and cases of mistaken identity. Under the IFAB’s protocol for Video Review, these four situations are the only events in which a Video Assistant Referee (VAR) can recommend a Video Review to the referee.
Live, In-Game Testing (see also: Online Testing)
Live, in-game testing has a direct impact on the match. During live, in-game tests, a communications system allows the VAR to advise the head referee of checks, and allows the VAR to recommend Video Reviews based on clear and obvious errors or serious missed incidents in one of the four, reviewable match-changing incidents. The head referee can stop play in a neutral zone to initiate a Video Review before making the final decision and allowing play to resume.
When the wrong player is shown a yellow card or red card in cases where a teammate should have received the sanction, the VAR can intervene to ensure that the correct player receives the appropriate discipline.
A neutral zone is a place on the field where neither team has an attacking advantage.
During offline testing for Video Assistant Referees (VARs), match officials have no contact with VARs and have no access to Video Review technology. Offline testing has no impact on the match or decisions made by the referee.
During the Video Review process, an on-field review occurs when the Referee watches match footage on a field-side monitor in the Referee Review Area (RRA).
Online Testing (see also: Live, In-Game Testing)
Online testing for Video Assistant Referees (VARs) has a direct impact on the match. During online tests, a communications system allows the VAR to advise the head referee of checks, and allows the VAR to recommend Video Reviews based on clear and obvious errors or serious missed incidents in one of the four, reviewable match-changing incidents. The head referee can stop play in a neutral zone to initiate a Video Review before making the final decision and allowing play to resume.
Professional Referee Organization (PRO)
The Professional Referee Organization is an independent organization responsible for administering professional referee programs in North America. PRO is dedicated to the identification, training, assessment, assignment, and employment of male and female professional soccer officials to serve North American professional soccer leagues, CONCACAF and FIFA competitions.
Referee Review Area (RRA)
The Referee Review Area is a visible location outside the field of play where the referee can view replay footage on a field-side monitor. Players and coaches are prohibited from entering this area.
Replay Operator (RO)
The Replay Operator assists the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) in the Video Operations Room (VOR). The RO must be neutral with respect to the competing clubs.
A Video Review occurs if the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) identifies a clear and obvious error or serious missed incident in one of the four, reviewable match-changing incidents. The referee draws the outline of a TV (the Video Review signal) to initiate the Video Review process as the VAR provides a verbal description of the incident. The referee can make a decision based on new information from the VAR, and the referee can opt to watch the replay footage field-side in the Referee Review Area (RRA). Following a Video Review, the Referee makes the final decision.
* To indicate that a Video Review is underway, fans in stadiums will see “Video Review” on the videoboard, and fans watching the match broadcast will see a “Video Review” graphic in the scorebug or lower-third graphics.
Serious Missed Incident
A serious missed incident is an event of a serious nature that the referee is unable to see and therefore is unable to render a decision on the incident.
The International Football Association Board (The IFAB)
The IFAB is an independent organization comprising the football associations of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales as well as FIFA. The IFAB is the only body authorized to decide and approve changes to the Laws of the Game in consultation with the football community. By 2018 or 2019 at the latest, the IFAB hopes to make a decision on whether VAR will be incorporated into the Laws of the Game. Further information on The IFAB is available at theifab.com.
Video Assistant Referee (VAR)
In MLS, a Video Assistant Referee is a current or former Professional Referee Organization (PRO) official, appointed to communicate with the head referee on clear and obvious errors or serious missed incidents. As the fifth member of a match's officiating crew, the VAR has access to all available broadcast feeds and Video Review technology. The VAR performs checks on all plays, and can recommend a Video Review of the four match-changing incidents.
Video Operations Room (VOR)
The Video Operations Room is the location in or near a stadium where the Video Assistant Referee (VAR), the Assistant Video Assistant Referee (AVAR), and the Replay Operator (RO) view the match and have access to, and control of, the broadcaster’s video replay footage.