Worcester league to feature new ‘ref bodycams’ grassroots trials - The Worcester Observer

Worcester league to feature new ‘ref bodycams’ grassroots trials

Worcester Editorial 24th Feb, 2023   0

A LEAGUE in Worcester will be among just four grassroots trials of a new bodycam scheme for referees in England.

Approximately 100 grassroots referees will wear the equipment whilst officiating adult grassroots football matches.

The Football Association will trial the use of referee bodycams across four selected adult grassroots football leagues in England, starting this weekend in Middlesbrough and then progressing to three other leagues – including the Worcester and District Football League – before the end of the 2022-23 season.

The new bodycam trial, which is the first of its kind in the world, will take place in England following permission that was granted by the International Football Association Board [IFAB], who oversee the laws of the game.

The aim of the trial is to explore whether the use of bodycams improves participant behaviour and respect towards referees in the grassroots game.

All referees taking part will receive the support, education and training required to use the bodycams effectively in approved fixtures.

The footage can also be accepted as evidence in a disciplinary hearing if required.

As part of the trial, the FA will be tracking and evaluating the impact of the bodycams on behaviour across the participating leagues and, if it’s successful, may look to roll it out across additional adult grassroots football leagues in England during the 2023-24 season.

In a statement the Worcestershire FA said it was pleased to be part of the trial in conjunction with the Worcester and District Football League and would continue to support all participants to enjoy the game in a safe and positive environment.

Daniel Meeson, FA Head of Refereeing – Technical and Development, said: “We care passionately about the welfare and support for our referees in England, and our national game simply could not operate without them.

“Across all levels of our game, we have some of the best referees in the world – many of whom have dedicated their lives to the refereeing – and they deserve our utmost respect and thanks.

“So we are excited to explore how bodycams can be used in grassroots refereeing so that we can better understand how they could help affect the behaviour of players and coaches towards them.”

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