FA extends referee bodycam trial into Corinthian League

FA extends referee bodycam trial into Corinthian League

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As reported widely over the past year, the Football Association began trials for the use of referee bodycams across four adult grassroots football leagues in England, working in partnership with Reveal Media. We are pleased to confirm following discussion with the FA and Essex County FA, this trial will extend to further leagues, including the Essex Sunday Corinthian Football League.

The continued aim of the trial is to explore whether the use of bodycams particularly improves participant behaviour and respect towards referees in the grassroots game, with around twenty-five of our specially trained referees equipped and approved to use the camera, providing evidence for disciplinary hearings, where required. The cameras will not be used at this stage for “normal” on-field discipline matters, just those considered of a serious nature, though that may extend further in the future  

All footage recorded is encrypted on the device itself and can only be accessed and used by The FA for the purposes of dealing with disciplinary cases, being processed and stored in line with The FA's privacy policy which you can access here.

Daniel Meeson, FA Head of Refereeing - Technical & 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."

Essex County FA Chief Executive, Brendan Walshe, spoke positively about the trial upon its launch last year. "Referees are an integral part of grassroots football and we are delighted to be one of the County FA's who are partaking in this trial. We are welcoming of this campaign and are looking forward to supporting The FA and the chosen referees during this trial. We are hoping to be a part of something that has a positive effect on the behaviour to referees and allows them to continue enjoying the game."

League chairman, Barry Fitzgerald, welcomed the league's selection for the pilot. "We thank the FA and Essex County FA for considering the Corinthian League for this key trial, extending the usage in Essex alongside the Essex Alliance League, providing a unique perspective for the FA with many officials overlapping across both competitions."

Anybody with queries or questions relating to this trial are directed to speak with the Referee Department at Essex County FA who will be happy to advise.

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