The English Premier League (EPL) has introduced drones as part of its referee training regimen for the current season. Referees and assistant referees are utilizing video footage from DJI Mavic 3 Enterprise and DJI Matrice 30 drones during practice matches. The intention is to review and improve their in-game movements via aerial perspectives.
The organization overseeing the management and professional development of referees in English football, the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL), has collaborated with drone technology expert Coptrz for nearly a year. The goal has been to gain overhead viewpoints which static cameras couldn't provide.
Adam Carter, PGMOL's head of performance analysis, emphasized the significance of integrating modern technology into sports. He mentioned that drones offer a unique and advantageous perspective, aiding officials in preparation for matches both domestically and internationally.
George Burne, the business development director at Coptrz, highlighted the transformation drones have brought to the EPL in assessing the positioning of officials. The technology provides:
- Real-time, clear footage that enhances officials' comprehension of game situations
- Instant feedback regarding official placements, ensuring they don’t obstruct game plays
- Precise evaluation of offside rulings
Carter noted that the recent investments in PGMOL's coaching infrastructure, including the adoption of drone technology, aim to equip officials with top-tier tools for match days.