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Body Cams for Refs

New trial to start in grass roots football. 

The trial will take place across four adult grassroots leagues after recent reports that referees were experiencing verbal and physical abuse from spectators, players, coaches or managers.  The Football Association pilot is the first of its kind anywhere in the world, and comes after permission was granted by the game’s lawmaking body, the International Football Association Board.


  • I think it's a good idea.

    Also, the Premier League should pay for/sponsor refs at grassroots level (currently grassroots clubs have to pay themselves or get a parent/coach to volunteer): this would raise the profile of the job and help create and train a bigger pool of candidates for the professional game.
  • It's not unusual for refs to fall over in a match. Hitting the ground body cam (or foam spray can) first is going to hurt.

    Donkey's years ago my Dad was a ref, he always used to visit both dressing rooms before a game (this was something that wasn't permitted by the FA at the time - refs were supposed to remain aloof). He warned players and officials he'd send them off if they abused him. Simples - job done - no technology required.
  • I wanted refs to wear microphones for ages, but the reason they can’t do it is because the players want to be paid for the image right to use their voices.  

    Personally I would pay to see and hear in more detail 
  • Hopefully this helps improve Referees - Majority of qualified referees surely have to be a special kind of person, a bit of a dick themselves, if you can get through the cauldron of starting out in the profession.

    Hence when they get up to our level, its only the hardest bastards that have "survived", hence why we have to deal with so many egos from those in charge on a weekly basis - Mr John "I'm too good for League One" Smith being an example of that... Sadly he doesnt appear to be a rarity either.
  • Very good idea. The verbal abuse grass root referees experience is terrible. If the punishments for proven (video evidence) culprits is strong enough then it might reduce the loutish behaviour and reputation football has as opposed to Rugby, who have never tolerated it.
  • Mixed views on this. I think it's down to education, education and education.
  • Mixed views on this. I think it's down to education, education and education.
    And where you play, Location, Location, Location!!
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  • There was some discussion on the radio this morning re this initiative.  I felt sorry for one young woman who gave up refereeing due to the regular abuse she'd received.  At the age of 14 a man came onto the pitch during a game and screamed abuse into her face.  Not the norm perhaps, but one is too many imo.  If the camera helps to protect refs from this then all the better.

    (It's the first 20 minutes btw and then at 1:05 where Daniel Meeson (FA head of technical and development) explains more. 

    Shocked that the cameras have to be activated by the ref in moments of drama - although they do somehow record the 30 seconds before activation. 
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