Goal Detection

One of the biggest problems in some professional sports is whether or not a goal actually counted. In sports like hockey or soccer, a goal is made when the ball (or puck) crosses the line of the goal posts. Now, where the does the difficulty lie with this? Well, the ball must only cross the line of the goal, it does not need to hit the net, and if the goalie in trying to save the ball manages to knock the ball away from the goal, it can at times be difficult to tell if the ball actually crossed the line before the goalie knocked it away.

Now, sports leagues, such as the NHL have been trying to find ways around this, such as putting slow motion cameras inside of the goal, in order to see if the ball or puck actually crossed the line, but at times, this can be difficult to see if the goalie accidentally blocks the camera. But, what if there was another way of detecting if the ball of puck crossed the line? What if there was a computer system that aimed to detect when the ball crossed the line, rather than relying on cameras and a referees ability to see the ball in replays of the goal?

That is what I aim to do with this project. My first idea was to have a series of IR emitters and detectors running all over the goal, creating a plane, that once crossed, would alert the computer that something was wrong. The issue with this however, was that if the goalie, or anything else that wasn’t the ball crossed this plane, the computer would still go off. My next idea was to have a series of IR detectors going all around the goal, and then having the ball or puck emitting IR light, so when the ball passed through the plane of the goal, it would set off the sensor.

The idea that I am going to be working with moving forward is using a system much like and RFID or the invisible fence to detect whether or not the ball or puck crosses the plane of the goal.


  • Minimum – Set up an RFID like system that detects when a tagged item crosses through a plane.
  • Target – Have this set up for at least one sport on a full scale and be able to use the system to play the game.
  • Stretch – Have a cleaned up and “fancy” looking set of goals and ball/puck which could be put on the market (though I don’t really plan on doing that).
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