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Bundesliga working to improve on VAR

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The Video Assistant Referee has been a successful addition to the Bundesliga, but they’re working hard to improve things.

Videoassistcenter for the Bundesliga Photo by Oliver Berg/picture alliance via Getty Images

The Bundesliga can lay claim to having successfully introduced Video Assistant Referee (VAR) to the league over the last two seasons. While admittedly not perfect, when you see the Bundesliga’s implementation of VAR versus what other leagues and tournaments have done to this point, it’s abundantly clear that they’ve got things on the right track in Germany.

So, what do you do when your system is working fine but has room for improvement? You figure out improvements.

The DFB and DFL invited representatives from the media and all Bundesliga clubs to the redesigned Video Assistant Center (VAC) in Cologne to go through the new changes for the upcoming season.

FBL-GERMANY-BUNDESLIGA-VAR Photo credit should read INA FASSBENDER/AFP/Getty Images

Dr. Jochen Drees, a former Bundesliga referee and the Project Leader of VAR acknowledged that things weren’t perfect last season, and the goal is the change that. “The decision-making process and the technical consequences in terms of the rules were not correct. VAR is sometimes still uncharted territory for the referees, too.”

The goal is more transparency and speed.

Getting information from the VAC to the people in the stadium and the the viewers at home at a faster speed is a key goal. That includes text explanations on screens in the stadium and for broadcasters that tell exactly what is being reviewed by VAR. Letting fans know what is actually being reviewed will help remove some of the confusion with the current system.

Another new feature is a new camera in the VAC that can monitor the screen that the video assistant is looking at and the assistant’s face. Then, if the referee on the field goes to the sideline to review a play, fans will be able to view exactly the image that that referee is viewing in real time.

This is the first season that VAR is being introduced in the 2.Bundesliga. Before the season, all the changes for the upcoming season were explained to the clubs. With the addition of 2.Bundesliga, four extra VAR stations were added to the VAC in Cologne.