Next season, a minor soccer association in the Eastern Townships, the Association du Soccer Mineur de Windsor, will arm referees with body cameras to dissuade abusive language and actions by some parents and coaches.
PHOTO: Facebook, Association du Soccer Mineur de Windsor
The association's referees range between 14 to 16 year-olds, and had experienced an increase in hostile language and comments from parents. Seeing as a soccer field is too large to record everything with stationary cameras, body cameras, which can also capture scenes of injuries, will be used instead.
In August, an Ontario Soccer pilot experiment saw certain referees equipped with these cameras. A specific instance of abuse from last year involved an adult player who chased the referee with a machete after receiving a red card.
An example of a chest-mounted harness with a body camera.
Internationally, the English Football Association is doing a similar study, and a related project is in the works for Football Australia, who reached out to Ontario Soccer.
Aside from capturing instances of harassment, the visible use of body cameras will hopefully discourage inappropriate and abusive behavior on field grounds.
SOURCE: The Canadian Press