Hey Ref, You've Got Three Eyes
Byline: By Alan Hedley
Video analyst Malcolm Rodger has pioneered a camera for referees to wear during matches. Malcolm, who is doing a Sports Science degree at Northumbria University and also working for Falcons, is carrying out research into the psychological aspects of officiating.
The wireless camera is mounted on the front of a regular scrum cap and plays a key part in Malcolm's research project looking into the reasons why, psychologically, referees might be affected during the game in terms of their decision making.
"Mal-Cam" as it has become known at Kingston Park, went on trial recently as Malcolm refereed a match between Percy Park and Morpeth and will get its second outing when Northern come up against Morpeth.
"I originally got the idea watching Formula 1 on TV, and the guys were doing a test lap with a camera on the driver's helmet," said Malcolm. "I then turned the TV over and there was a rugby game on, so the idea was planted from there really.
"It's to help my own research and I'll also be keeping in touch with the Northumberland Referees Society.
"The whole point is to find out the reasons why a referee's decision-making might be affected.
"That could include verbal chat from the players, things in peripheral vision or something from the crowd and because the camera has audio as well, it picks these things up.
"When referees like myself are being coached in order to improve performance, I can use this footage as another tool for coaching. …