Sign up
Title:
METHOD OF APPLYING RFID IN BALL GAME FIELD/COURT TO ASSIST REFEREE IN MAKING A DECISION AND SYSTEM THEREFOR
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A system for applying RFID in ball game field to assist in making a decision in ball game includes a RFID tagging element embedded in a ball used in the game; a plurality of RFID reading devices spaced along borderlines of the ball game field for reading the RFID tagging element in the ball; and a control center connected to the RFID reading devices. When the ball with embedded RFID tagging element touches any of the borderlines, at least one of the RFID reading devices reads the RFID tagging element and sends a signal to the control center for determining whether the ball is out of bound or not. When the RFID reading devices are arranged at goal areas, the system may be used to determine the scoring. A decision signal is sent from the control center to a referee for use as a reference in making a decision.


Inventors:
Hsu, Ching Piao (Taipei County, TW)
Application Number:
11/829690
Publication Date:
01/29/2009
Filing Date:
07/27/2007
Assignee:
Long Way Enterprise Co., Ltd. (Sindian City, TW)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
340/568.6, 340/323R
International Classes:
A63C19/00; A63B71/06
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
RABIN & Berdo, PC (1101 14TH STREET, NW, SUITE 500, WASHINGTON, DC, 20005, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A system for applying RFID in a ball game field/court to assist a referee in making a decision in a ball game, comprising: at least one RFID tagging element embedded in a ball; at least one RFID reading device arranged in decisive areas on the ball game field/court; the RFID reading device being adapted to sense and read the RFID tagging element; a control center connected to the at least one RFID reading device for receiving, computing, and processing a sensing signal transmitted from the at least one RFID reading device, so as to generate a decision signal; and a receiving device for receiving the decision signal generated by and transmitted from the control center.

2. The system as claimed in claim 1, wherein the receiving device includes a signal receiving receiver for receiving the decision signal transmitted from the control center, a power unit, a microprocessing unit for processing the decision signal received by the signal receiver, and at least one signal display unit, on which data obtained from the decision signal processed by the microprocessing unit is shown.

3. A method of applying RFID in a ball game field/court to assist a referee in making a decision in a ball game, comprising the steps of: (a) arranging a plurality of RFID reading devices in all decisive areas in the ball game field/court to define at the decisive areas a sensing district each; (b) one or more of the RFID reading devices transmitting a sensing signal to a control center when a ball with an imbedded RFID tagging element passes one of the sensing districts within a sensing range of that RFID reading devices; and the control center processing the sensing signal received from the RFID reading devices to determine whether the ball has entered the sensing district or not; and (c) the control center converting data obtained from the processed sensing signal into a decision signal, and sending the decision signal to at least one receiving device for showing the decision signal thereon, so that the referee may use the decision signal as a reference in making a decision in the ball game.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a method and system of applying Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) system in a ball game field/court to assist a referee in making a decision in a ball game, and more particularly to a method and system that applies RFID to assist in correct determination of an out-of-bounds ball and scoring to avoid an incorrect decision made by a referee.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Generally, in a ball game, any foul, out-of-bound ball, and scoring are visually decided by a referee. Therefore, incorrect decisions are frequently made due to visual errors to result in unfairness in the ball game.

Similarly, in various kinds of ball games, the decision of an out-of-bound ball and of scoring is very possibly wrong because the referee fails to clearly see the ball from every different viewing angle or is blocked in vision by players in the game. An incorrect decision would inevitably result in unfairness in the game and protesting by ball teams and supporters thereof. In some cases, the incorrect decision would even result infighting among audiences.

In the past, tape recording apparatus would usually be provided in the site of ball game to record the whole process of the game. The recorded images are rarely used by a referee as a basis in making any decision in the game, unless in a condition in which a decision is difficult to make. However, in most cases, the referee's visual decision is still the final decision even if the visual decision might be incorrect to result in unfairness in the game.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A primary object of the present invention is to provide a method of applying RFID in ball game field/court to assist a referee in making a decision, in which a plurality of RFID reading devices are arranged in a ball game field/court, so that whether a ball is an out-of-bound ball or whether a score should be counted can be correctly decided with the help of an RFID system.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a system of applying RFID in ball game field/court to assist a referee in making a decision, so that whether a ball is an out-of-bound ball or whether a score should be counted can be correctly decided with the help of an RFID system.

To achieve the above and other objects, the system for applying RFID in ball game field/court to assist a referee in making a decision according to the present invention includes at least one RFID tagging element embedded in a ball; at least one RFID reading device arranged in a decisive area on the ball game field/court for sensing and reading the RFID tagging element; a control center connected to the at least one RFID reading device for receiving, computing, and processing a sensing signal transmitted from the RFID reading device to generate a decision signal; and a receiving device for receiving and displaying the decision signal transmitted thereto by the control center.

Wherein, the decisive area on the ball game field/court may be a borderline of the ball game field/court or a borderline of a goal area in the ball game field/court.

In an operable embodiment of the present invention, the receiving device includes a signal receiver, a power unit, a microprocessing unit, and at least one signal display unit. The signal transmitted from the control center is received by the signal receiver and processed by the microprocessing unit, and then shown on the signal display unit.

To achieve the above and other objects, the method of applying RFID in ball game field/court to assist a referee in making a decision according to the present invention includes the steps of:

    • (a) arranging a plurality of RFID reading devices in all decisive areas in a ball game field/court to define at the decisive areas a sensing district each;
    • (b) one or more of the RFID reading devices transmitting a sensing signal to a control center when a ball with an imbedded RFID tagging element passes one of the sensing districts within a sensing range of that RFID reading devices; and the control center processing the sensing signal received from the RFID reading devices to determine whether the ball has entered the sensing district or not; and
    • (c) the control center converting data obtained from the processed sensing signal into a decision signal, and sending the decision signal to a receiving device for showing the decision signal, so that the referee may use the decision signal as a reference in making a decision in a ball game.

In an operable embodiment of the present invention, the decisive areas on the ball game field/court may be borderlines of the ball game field/court or borderlines of goal areas in the ball game field/court.

With the above arrangements, one or more of the RFID reading devices would transmit a sensing signal to the control center when a ball with an imbedded RFID tagging element passes one of the sensing districts within a sensing range of that RFID reading devices, so that the control center could determine from the received sensing signal whether the ball is an out-of-bound ball or whether a score should be counted; and the control center could send a decision signal to at least one receiving device for use by the referee as a reference in making a decision in the ball game.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The structure and the technical means adopted by the present invention to achieve the above and other objects can be best understood by referring to the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments and the accompanying drawings, wherein

FIG. 1 is a schematic view showing the application of RFID in a soccer field to assist a referee in making a decision according to the method of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a conceptual view showing the configuration of a system for applying RFID in a soccer field to assist a referee in making a decision according to the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a flowchart showing the steps included in the method of the present invention;

FIG. 4 shows the decision of a ball touching a borderline in a soccer game using the method and system of the present invention;

FIG. 5 shows the decision of scoring in a soccer game using the method and system of the present invention; and

FIG. 6 shows the decision of a drop goal in a rugby game using the method and system of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Please refer to FIGS. 1 to 3. The present invention relates to a method and system of applying RFID in ball game field/court to assist in making decision.

The system according to the present invention includes at least one RFID tagging element 10 embedded in a ball 20; at least one RFID reading device 11 arranged at a decisive area in a ball game field/court for sensing and reading the RFID tagging element; and a control center 12 connected to the at least one RFID reading device 11 for receiving a sensing signal transmitted from the RFID reading device 11. At the control center 12, the received sensing signal is processed and computed using a built-in program, so that a decision signal is transmitted to at least one receiving device 13. The receiving device 13 has a signal display unit, at where the above-mentioned decision signal is shown.

The above-mentioned decisive area may be a borderline 21 of the ball game field/court, or a borderline of a goal area 22. A plurality of RFID reading devices 11 may be arranged along all borderlines 21 of the ball game field/court, and the borderlines of all goal areas 22 at intervals determined according to a maximum sensing range of the RFID reading devices 11.

In an operable embodiment, the receiving device 13 includes a signal receiver, a power unit, a microprocessing unit, and at least one signal display unit. The receiving device 13 receives the decision signal transmitted from the control center 12, and the microprocessing unit processes the received decision signal. And, data obtained from the processed decision signal is shown on the signal display unit.

The at least one RFID tagging element 10, the at least one RFID reading device 11, the control center 12, and the at least one receiving device 13 are arranged on a ball game field/court to constitute an auxiliary ball game judgment system. In a method of using the above-structured auxiliary ball game judgment system to assist a referee in making a decision in a ball game, the following steps are included:

Arranging a plurality of RFID reading devices 11 in the decisive areas of the ball game field/course to define at the decisive areas a sensing district each; one or more of the RFID reading devices 11 transmitting a sensing signal to the control center 12 when a ball 20 with the imbedded RFID tagging element 10 passes one of the sensing districts within a sensing range of that RFID reading devices 11; the control center 12 computing the sensing signal received from the RFID reading devices 11 to output a decision signal, and sending the decision signal to the at least one receiving device 13; and the receiving device 13 showing the decision signal received from the control center 12 on the signal display unit, so that a referee may use the decision signal as a reference in making a decision in the ball game.

According to an operable embodiment of the present invention, when the auxiliary ball game judgment system is enabled, the RFID reading devices 11 continuously send out signals. When the ball 20 passes through any one of the decisive areas in the ball game field/court, the RFID tagging element 10 in the ball 20 receives the signal continuously sent out by one adjacent RFID reading device 11 to generate electric power and send back a signal to that RFID reading device 11. The RFID reading device 11 identifies the signal sent by the RFID tagging element 10 and generates a sensing signal. The sensing signal is transmitted by the RFID reading device 11 to the control center 12, at where the sensing signal is processed using a built-in program to decide an exact condition of the ball 20 at that decisive area. A signal indicating the decision is then transmitted from the control center 12 to the receiving device 13 for display. A referee may use the decision signal displayed on the receiving device 13 as a reference in making a decision to ensure the fairness in the ball game.

The above-mentioned decisive areas in the ball game field/court may include borderlines 21 of the ball game field/court and/or borderlines of goal areas 22. The RFID reading devices 11 are arranged at the borderlines 21 and the borderlines of the goal areas 22 at intervals determined according to a maximum sensing range of the RFID reading devices 11.

In a soccer game, for example, it is usually difficult to determine whether a ball 20 is in contact with a borderline 21, and in such a case, a wrong decision is frequently made in determining whether the ball 20 is a line-out or not, particularly when there are a lot of factors that would interfere a referee with a correct decision to cause unfairness in the ball game.

Please refer to FIGS. 2 and 4 at the same time. In a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the auxiliary ball game judgment system may be applied in soccer, football, basketball, and many other ball games.

In a method of using the above-structured auxiliary ball game judgment system to decide a line-out in a soccer game, for example, the following steps are included:

Arranging a plurality of RFID reading devices 11 along the borderlines 21, wherein each of the RFID reading devices 11 has a signal transmitting range substantially equal to a width of the borderlines 21; one of the RFID reading devices 11 closest to a ball 20 touching one of the borderlines 21 being induced by the RFID tagging element 10 embedded in the ball 20 to transmit a sensing signal to the control center 12; the control center 12 computing the received sensing signal and sending a decision signal to the receiving device 13 at the referee when the control center 12 determines according to the rules of soccer game that the ball 20 is not a line-out; and the referee making a decision with the assistance of the decision signal shown on the signal display unit of the receiving device.

The decision signal is either a signal A indicating that a ball is not a line-out, or a signal B indicating that the ball is a line-out. And, the signal display unit of the receiving device 13 includes two indicating lamps, such as, for example, a green and a red indicating lamp, corresponding to the signal A and B, respectively.

When the ball game starts, the green lamp of the signal display unit on the receiving device 13 is on, indicating the ball 20 is within the borderlines of the game field (decision signal A). When the ball 20 is kicked to one of the borderlines 21, since the ball 20 touches the borderline is not considered as a line-out according to the rules of soccer game, the receiving device 13 would receive a decision signal A transmitted by the control center 12, and the green lamp of the signal display unit on the receiving device 13 is still on to indicate that the ball 20 is still within the borderlines 21. When the ball 20 is dribbled to leave the borderline 21 and locate outside the ball field, the control center 12 would determine the ball 20 is a line-out and send a decision signal B to the receiving device 13 at the referee. At this point, the red lamp of the signal display unit is on, and the referee may take the decision signal B as a reference to make a proper decision according to actual condition.

In a preferred embodiment, the receiving device 13 is provided with a reset button. The referee may timely reset the receiving device 13 depending on an existing condition during the game. When the ball 20 touches the borderline 21 and finally rolls out of the game field, the red indicating lamp is on. However, when the ball 20 is placed in the field to resume the game, the referee may reset the data of the receiving device 13, so that the green indicating lamp is on to indicate that the ball 20 used in the game is not a line-out. Of course, the data of the receiving device 13 may also be reset under control of the control center 12.

In a soccer game, the ball 20 touching the borderline 21 is not considered as line-out. However, in a basketball game, the ball 20 touching any of the end lines and sidelines is considered as being out of bound. In the system of the present invention, the settings for the control center 12 may be changed according to the rules of a ball game, in which the system is applied to assist in making a decision. In other words, when the system of the present invention is applied in a basketball game, a ball touching the end line or sideline would cause the control center to send a decision signal that turns on the red lamp on the receiving device 13 to indicate the ball is out of bound.

It is very possible that the referee is blocked by ball players and does not find the ball touches a borderline, so that the game continues. In this case, dispute would rise between the two teams playing the game. However, it is impossible in the conventional way to check a video tape of the game now and then to determine whether any of the decisions made by the referee should be corrected. Therefore, an unfair game might occur. This would be very important particularly in a decisive game. Such unfair game may be avoided by applying the method and system of the present invention in the ball game field/court to assist a referee in making a decision.

When the system of the present invention is applied in a baseball game, a ball touching a foul line is considered as a fair ball according to the rules of basketball game. The baseball field is quite large in size and it would be difficult to determine whether a ball is fair or foul when the ball falls near a foul line at a point very far away from an umpire closest to the ball. With the system of the present invention provided in a baseball field, such disputing ball can be clearly decided and a decision signal A or B may be sent to the receiving device 13 at the umpire to assist the umpire in making a correct decision.

As having been emphasized in the above, the system of the present invention could be applied to various kinds of ball games, including football, rugby football, volleyball, baseball, basketball, etc., to provide the referee, umpire, or judge with an auxiliary decision as a reference to hopefully avoid inaccurate judgment in the game.

Please refer to FIGS. 2, 5, and 6. The system of the present invention may also be arranged at goal areas 22 in a soccer field, for example, so as to assist in determining whether a score should be counted and send the score to an electronic scoreboard in real time. In an ideal embodiment of the system of the present invention applied in soccer and football games, four RFID reading devices 11 are arranged in each goal area 22 separately at two joints of a crossbar and two goal posts, and each lower end of the two goal posts. When the ball 20 enters one goal area 22 and at least three of the four RFID reading devices 11 sense the ball 20, it is determined a score should be counted, and a scoring signal is sent to the referee and the control center 12. The scoring signal may also be transmitted via the control center 12 to a network system or other systems to report the scores of the game in a real time.

Further, signal suppressors (not shown) may be provided near each of the above RFID reading devices 11, so that the signal sent out by the RFID reading devices 11 has a suppressed sensing range substantially equal to a width of the borderlines. That is, the RFID reading devices 11 are directional sensing devices to enable more stable and correct sensing.

The method and system of the present invention are mainly used to clearly determine whether a ball near a vague zone, such as a borderline, is out of bound or not, so as to assist an umpire or referee in making a correct decision about the actual condition of the ball; or to directly determine a score should be counted and send the score to the control center 12, so that the score could be shown on an electronic scoreboard and/or transmitted to other network systems to report the game in real time.

The present invention has been described with some preferred embodiments thereof and it is understood that many changes and modifications in the described embodiments can be carried out without departing from the scope and the spirit of the invention that is intended to be limited only by the appended claims.