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Body Camera Pilot Project

As described in Ontario Soccer’s multi-year program surrounding Match Official Bullying and Harassment titled No Ref, No Game - the body camera pilot involves the use of cameras mounted on Match Officials’ chest to act as a visual deterrent and data gathering mechanism for disciplinary and research purposes.

Ontario Soccer launched the program in response to the growing issue of Match Official abuse in soccer, which spiked following the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Pilot Project is being implemented at small-sided gamest to start, with plans to expand in the future. Small-sided games refer to those being played at the U8-U11 age groups, in 5v5 and 7v7 environments.

Ontario Soccer has partnered with Reveal Media and Brock University in order to bring Match Official Body Cameras to Ontario and analyze their effectiveness in stemming the abuse being directed at Ontario Soccer Match Officials. The data sourced from the program will also inform future decisions to enhance Match Officials' development, and improve recruitment & retention efforts, thanks to Brock University's leadership in the research space.

Reveal Media is a global leader in body-worn camera technology, who supply and support cameras and software to clients in 40+ countries in industries where the technology is of the upmost importance, such as law enforcement, government, healthcare, transportation, security and more.

Moreover, Reveal Media is the one organization who is currently producing body worn cameras for soccer Match Officials on the planet, following a recent pilot they are also running with the English Football Association.

Learn how to get involved below

About the Body Cameras

Reveal Media's sport-focused body camera (also known as RefCam), features some of the brands most advanced capabilities, designed to suit game-play scenarios with simple record activation and secure mounting, while supporting remote field conditions for grassroots sport officials.

The device itself is not much bigger than a deck of cards, and is portable, lightweight and fits under a referee's shirt with a magnetic harness, so it’s very discrete.

The device is also very easy to operate. Once powered on, a Match Official simply needs to slide a switch on the side of the unit to start/stop recording both audio and video. When a Match Official slides the switch, the camera has already recorded the 30 seconds preceding and that footage is automatically uploaded to a secure network.

The cameras are built very practically in this sense as the ability to start/stop recordings prevents the unnecessary use of data, by not storing up unnecessary footage throughout the course of the game, yet prevents a situation of missing an incident given the 30 second automatic pre-record.

The devices are completely encrypted. Even if the device was stolen, the footage can't be accessed.


Johnny Misley, CEO of Ontario Soccer

Participating Districts

There are currently 13 Districts participating in the Body Camera Pilot Project across Ontario!


Check out our District map to find out where the cameras are located.


Ontario Soccer is continuing to explore launching cameras in the remaining Districts.

Pilot Launch

Pictured left to right: Emelia Schaafsma (DRSA), Angelina Baldino (Hamilton), Lara Yassine (PHSA)

Ontario Soccer’s Match Official Body Camera Pilot Project launched near the tail end of the 2023 Outdoor Season.

The launch was highlighted with a media event hosted at the Ontario Soccer Centre in late September, which saw an all-female match officiating team wear the cameras during the Ontario Player Development League’s (OPDL) sixth Central Venue Weekend of the year. Check out some of the media coverage in the listings below!

Special thanks to Angelina, Emelia and Lara for making the media event a success and for being the first full crew to wear the cameras in North America!

Why Participate?

Participating means you will be:

  • Part of the culture change we are bringing to soccer and the world of sports.
  • A key piece of our #NoRefNoGame initiative that brings awareness to referee abuse.
  • Contributing to the retention of Match Officials across Ontario.


How to get Involved

Are you a small-sided Match Official interested in being part of the Pilot Project?

Click the link below to get started!

Program Inquiries

Sinéad Kappel

Coordinator, Match Officials Development

media inquiries

Ben Lungo

Manager, Digital Strategy and Communications

Ontario Soccer Body Cameras in the News

As part of the awareness building component of the #NoRefNoGame campaign, Ontario Soccer has worked with various news stations to produce media stories, raising awareness of the growing issue of Match Official abuse, led by the Body Camera Pilot Project.

The campaign has successfully put the issue in the mainstream media spotlight, thanks to coverage at the local, provincial, national and even international levels with print, radio and television segments.

Thank you to all the reporters, producers, editors and news outlets who have covered the story and helped bring the issue to the forefront of mass audiences. We would also like to thank all those who provided feedback through the many media interviews and online discussions on social media and elsewhere. Guests - including Match Officials in various sports, Ontario Soccer Districts and Ontario Soccer Clubs - often shared traumatic personal stories, that helped drive discussions and provide tangible examples on the subject.

Toronto Star (Kerry Gillespie)

Ontario Soccer body cam pilot project aims to reduce abuse, maltreatment of referees

CTV Montreal (Stephane Giroux)

Montreal soccer coach altercation sparks debate about equipping referees with body cameras

Global News (Marshall Healey)

Growing abuse leaves local sports struggling to retain officials in Ontario

CP24 (Stacey Munro)

Ontario Soccer Officials to Wear Body Cams

580 CFRA (Bill Carroll)

The Morning Rush with Bill Carroll for Tuesday May 30th, 2023

CBC Toronto (Lane Harrison)

Ontario soccer refs start wearing body cams to deter parental abuse

CTV Toronto (Allison Hurst)

Ontario soccer referees to wear body cameras to combat increase in abuse

Brock News (Colleen Patterson)

Brock partners with Ontario Soccer to raise awareness of referee maltreatment

CBC The Current (Matt Galloway)

Referees adopt body cameras to confront abuse

CBC Ontario Today (Amanda Pfeffer)

How bad is referee abuse in youth sport?

Hamilton Spectator (Scott Radley)

Body cams on youth soccer refs?

WHTM abc27 (Seth Kaplan)

Police-style body cams for referees? Not in Pennsylvania yet, but here’s what they might get

CBC Ottawa Morning (Hallie Cotnam)

Can body cameras deter referee abuse at youth soccer games?

Toronto Life (Alex Cyr)

“I was physically assaulted during a game”: This Toronto soccer referee says abuse from parents is at an all-time high

Radio-Canada (Mathieu Nadon)

Le Telejournal [clip at 21:15]

TSN 1050 (James Tatti)

Yes Guy – June 10th - Episode 128 [clip at 28:00]