12:36 pm
21 Apr 2024

PSA Trial Tri-Ref System At Canary Wharf Classic

12 Mar 2008

The Professional Squash Association is trialling a new three-referee system at this week's ISS Canary Wharf Classic 5-star event in London.

TRI-REF is a wireless electronic three-man refereeing system which has been developed by Michael Castleton, of Security Foiling Ltd, in conjunction with the PSA over the past eight months, in a bid to solve the problem of player-referee confrontation and inconsistency.

"The prototype model will allow three referees to make a decision independently and without the knowledge of their fellow arbiters," explained PSA board director Tony Hands. "When the three decisions have been entered into the keypads, the head referee will see the resulting decision on his keypad and will announce it to the players and audience.

"If the testing proves to be successful, then the stage two of development will be to expand the software to integrate the tri ref with laptops, scoreboards and live streaming. It could open up the possibility of being able to add sound and graphics to a pending decision," added Hands.

"The PSA are very driven to attaining Olympic status for our sport and it was noted that one view of the Olympic committee was that Squash is a sport with too much vocal confrontation between referees and players. This new Tri Ref system potentially could remove this view, as the players do not have a direct source on which to focus their disagreement."

Hands also stated that PSA World Tour players will benefit in that it should improve the decision process and will remove any possible influence amongst the three referees as they will make their own decision independently and privately without prior knowledge as to the thoughts of the others.

"We hope that this will reduce the level of inconsistency.

"It will also allow the WSF refereeing panel to be able to assess their referees from outside the court and could save cost and expense on international assessments. This may enable the potential growth in numbers of higher level qualified referees," added Hands.

"We are grateful to Graham Waters, head of the WSF refereeing panel, and Canary Wharf Classic tournament referee Linda Davie, both of whom have been very helpful in their support for this new system - knowing that it could potentially throw up unforeseen problems. But they acknowledge that the system needs to be tested by qualified referees in competition to be able to properly monitor its affects on the game.

"Furthermore, event promoters Eventis have been very accommodating in allowing us to test the tri ref prototype at the Canary Wharf event from the first round onwards and we hope that the players and the referees all find this a valuable system in taking the professional game to the next level as a spectator sport."

PSA would like to thank Michael Castleton for his own personal investment, both financially and in the great deal of time spent, in making sure the system reached all the specifications required to operate a fully functional electronic refereeing system.