Single referee and video review at Canary Wharf
By Alan Thatcher, Squash Mad Editor
The PSA are to trial a return to a single referee system, aided by a video review official, at Canary Wharf next week.
Canary Wharf has a proud tradition of supporting innovation in squash, having been the initial vehicle for the video referee system and, back in 2004, playing point a rally to nine.
The PSA, having undertaken an extensive review programme, have announced that a new one-referee system, which will still incorporate a video referee, will be trialed at the PSA M70 tournament, in place of the three-referee system currently in use.
The current system relies on a central referee working in tandem with two side referees, with decisions on Lets, No Lets and Strokes, being made by all three where the majority decision rules.
Following a detailed feedback process over the course of the past few months which has taken in surveyed responses from both players and promoters, the decision has been made to trial the new system, consisting of one main referee who will be able to ask for support from a video referee if he is unsure of a decision, to assist in eliminating errors at the very top level.
This new approach has been developed with the primary aim of allowing referees to have more dedicated support and control of matches while also providing a cost-effective way for promoters to appoint referees for their tournaments.
Players will retain their ability to review decisions via the video referee but, in a new move, the central referee will also be able to call on the ‘eye-in-the-sky’ if he or she feels unable to accurately make a call during crucial moments of a match.
“We are grateful for the in-depth feedback we have received from players and promoters and look forward to trialling a new one-referee system that looks set to increase the influence and control of the central referee,” said PSA Refereeing Director Lee Drew.
“This trial event will give us the perfect opportunity to witness the impact of the one-ref system at the highest level as we look to improve the decision-making and consistency of refereeing across all PSA World Tour tournaments.
“We are implementing this system with the dual goal of giving players greater protection from the eradication of errors and improving the sport as a spectacle overall.”
Picture by STEVE LINE (www.squashpics.com)