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Question Number: 31429

League Specific 4/5/2017

RE: comp Under 14

Brendan Coyne of Folsom, Ca United States asks...

What would you guys do if before the game started you noticed that a parent had used some zip ties to affix a 'Go-Pro' camera to the back of the net (or in my case one of the back poles)?
I thought the pole was probably more dangerous than a camera and in my mind the back of the net was out of play anyway, so I let it go. But I wondered what you guys would say.
The more I think about it, the more I thought it should not be allowed unless I approved the camera before hand (not that I am a pro on cameras, but because I could ask to hear if it made any noises (or flashes) that could be distracting to the unsuspecting Keeper).

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Brendan
Two comments here for me.
1. I do not see any safety issue with a camera being attached to the back poles. It happens at the higher levels and it poses no risk to the participants. Also I do not see any technical issues such as flash photography. That can happen anyway from a hand held device
2. I believe the greater concern is parental consent for the taking of pictures and videos. In this part of the world it is now good practise for clubs to ensure they have parental/guardian consent to take pictures / videos. I recently saw a picture in our local press of a school event and many of the heads were blacked out as there was no parental consent from every childs parent to show the image.
It is also considered good practise for parents/spectators taking photographs/recordings to seek permission in advance from the club and to state the purpose of photo / recording. I know of one club that now prevents the use of video of its underage games. It is enforced by the club not the referee.
So I would place the responsibility firmly here with the home club. I would highlight the camera issue and ask the club if the person has *permission* to record and that the club is happy with that
Here is what my association recommends by way of wording for clubs to display should it wish to adopt good practise.

** Amateur photographers/film/video operators wishing to record an event or practice session should seek permission/accreditation with the children’s officer, team manager/coach and/or event organiser of session. This club / organisation will display the following information prior to the start of an event to inform spectators of the policy:

“In line with the recommendation in the ____________ (name of club / association’s) Code of Conduct, the promoters of this event request that any person wishing to engage in any video, zoom or close range photography should register their details with the organisers. Children and young people should only be photographed or filmed with their permission and/or the permission of their parents/guardian”.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Brendan,
an astute observation shows that you are indeed looking the FOP over with a practised eye. Nothing my colleague Ref McHugh has said strikes me as unreasonable. Nor were your concerns unreasonable. Certainly nothing distracting or laser effects could be permitted but I too think the enforcement aspect should not be a referee issue ONLY the safety of whether it poses a problem.

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