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Students onto a winning football score

Media Release
10 July 2006


Students onto a winning football score

A pocket referee designed by two Computer Software Engineering students at The University of Auckland will take the pain out of analysing soccer matches.

Ninos Yacoub and Aiman Alsari from the Faculty of Engineering have designed a Pocket Referee’s Assistant capable of recording goals, yellow and red cards, cautions and substitutions on a pocket PC through voice commands.

This information can be sent to a desktop PC, for automatic collation and production of a match report.

The Pocket Referee’s Assistant is tailor-made software for use on a hand-held PC device, allowing referees to record statistics during a match. It is a world first, eliminating the need to manually record soccer statistics. It is aimed at both amateur and professional level.

“We’re really excited to be working on a project that encompasses our two major passions, soccer and technology,” says Ninos.

“Most referees are obliged to generate reports after each match,” says Aiman. “This device will save valuable match time and make analysing game events and statistics much easier.”

Prior to a match, the referee loads game details onto the hand-held device. Player names, numbers and positions are then immediately available during the game at the touch of a button.

Ninos and Aiman’s project is a complex programming exercise, requiring the creation of software for both Pocket PCs and desktop PCs.

The pair’s initial research showed nothing like the Pocket PC Referee is currently being used on the soccer field. Other versions were for use on much larger devices, were not as efficient or had fewer functions.

Both students are passionate about the sport and Ninos manages the Manurewa Soccer Club’s Assyrian team.

“We were both probably attracted to the project because we could envisage how the pocket ref’s assistant could really help any referee in any match,” Ninos says.

A prototype of the programme is almost complete and will be trialled at Manurewa Soccer Club later this year.

ENDS

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