Groundbreaking technology could be introduced for referee abuse – should Super League adopt it?

Referee abuse is something that is becoming more of a danger and more widespread.

From the grassroots level to Super League, officiating is one of the most difficult roles in rugby league – no one is happy.

But, when referees genuinely fear for their safety, you know that something needs to be done – and quickly.

Well, the St Helens and Huddersfield Refereeing Societies have undertaken a survey of referees and whether or not they would support the use of body cameras in a bid to reduce abuse.

The research, according to the State of Mind survey said: “An overwhelming majority of respondents supported (91%) the use of body cameras deterring abuse. All respondents felt using a body camera would make it easier to provide proof of the types of abusive behaviour referees receive and could be used to help train and develop referees.”

The State of Mind Charity, of course, was set up to help all those involved with rugby league with their mental health.

That charity’s website revealed that: “The role (of a referee) requires great concentration, composure and physical fitness, as professional match officials will cover over eight kilometres in a game of rugby league. This includes sprints, with heart rates reaching up to 150 beats per minute (Emmonds et al., 2019) whilst remaining composed, in control and mentally resilient.”

Should body cameras be adopted in Super League? Would this ensure less abuse at the highest level?

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