Manjaros Langbaurgh League, First to start new FA Trial
Fri 17th Feb 2023 @ 12:51:43 (1,139 Views)

Posted By : Jonathan McNaughton

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The Manjaros Langbaurgh League in Middlesbrough will become the first grassroots league in England to trial a new referee bodycam initiative this weekend, following approval by the International Football Association Board [IFAB]. In the first trial of its kind in world football, The Football Association [FA] has selected four adult grassroots football leagues across the country to facilitate the trial, with the Manjaros Langbaurgh League leading the way before other leagues in Liverpool, Worcester and Essex follow before the end of the 2022/23 season. The FA has partnered with Reveal Media, who produce the bodycams, to help introduce the technology to explore whether the use of bodycams improves participant behaviour and respect towards referees in the grassroots game. Within the first three months of the trial, approximately 100 grassroots referees will wear the equipment whilst officiating adult grassroots football matches. 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. Jonathan McNaughton, League Secretary, said: "We are really pleased to be part of this trial and I believe this is a great opportunity for both the league and the local referees involved in the trial." Steven Wade, North Riding FA CEO, said: "I’m really excited to see the launch of The FA bodycam pilot this weekend here in North Riding with the Manjaros Langbaurgh League. As a County FA, we invest significantly in Referee Development as we really value the fantastic work that our refereeing workforce carry out each week to serve the grassroots game. “The role of a grassroots referee can be challenging at times; however, we have some fantastic initiatives already in place to support our referees, with the introduction of bodycams a further welcome addition. I look forward to seeing the developments of the trial and I would like to thank both the Manjaros Langbaurgh League and our referees for their support.” Ross Joyce, North Riding FA Referee Development Manager, said: “I’m absolutely delighted that as a County FA our referees will be the first in the world to trial bodycams and support The FA with this really exciting project. Here at North Riding FA, we are really proud of our affiliated referees and the positive impact they play each week in supporting the grassroots game. This trial is really crucial to see if the use of bodycams can offer referees additional protection and also help the improve the environment in which they officiate. “We have worked really hard behind the scenes to prepare our referees for the launch this coming weekend and I would like to thank both The FA and Reveal Media for their excellent support and leadership in further protecting referees within the grassroots game.” Mark Bullingham, FA Chief Executive, said: "Referees are the lifeblood of our game and we thank the IFAB for their support in allowing us to undertake this new grassroots bodycam trial, the first of its nature globally. We have listened to feedback from the referee community, and we hope this trial will have a positive impact on the behaviour towards them – so that ultimately they can enjoy officiating in a safe and inclusive environment." 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."

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