What are those headsets that premiership football referees wear?

From 2006, football fans would have noticed a subtle change to premiership refereeing. At the World Cup and subsequently during all the Premier League matches of the next season, referees could occasionally be seen muttering into little microphones attached from their ears.

It seems that the convenience and innovative capabilities of straightforward, quick and clear communication was not limited to the business world and to mobile phone users, but sports had also embraced the technology. Given the speed at which countless sports are played today, the job of an umpire or referee is undoubtedly hugely tricky and where once referees were really quite alone in the middle of the pitch and had to make quick decisions with minimal correspondence, wireless technology has enabled referees to get a little support.

Headset Technology

One of the major arguments against the introduction of technology from Hawkeye, which is now used at Wimbledon, to inserting chips in footballs to determine whether they have crossed the goal line, which is still yet to be implemented in any major league, is the way in which the flow of the game is slowed. The use of electronic devices, no matter how intelligent and accurate, is often criticised by sports fans, and one of the enormous advantages of wireless communication is the speed of it.

At the touch of a button the referee, standing in the centre of the football or rugby or any other sports field, can create a clear audio line with his assistants. In the Premiership, for example, the referee has an open microphone and, by pressing his push-to-talk button, he can contact his two assistants on the touchlines as well as the fourth official.

Wireless technology is convenient for a vast range of reasons. The comfort and ease of use, given the obvious lack of need for wires, makes them ideal for personal use and business offices, but sports is one of the areas in which the range of wireless technology is exploited. The fact that referees do not require long wires to communicate, makes wireless headsets incredibly practical and ideal for their use on the pitch.

In previous years, certain sporting associations had aimed to introduce a radio communications system but outside interference with the system forced them to scrap their plans. The advanced and still advancing technology that has emerged in recent years, however, allowed those in favour of some technology in sports to re-attempt to bring in improved communications. The basic technology used in these headsets is a two-way radio link-up system and these devices can be found and bought very easily.

Two-way radio wireless headsets are manufactured by a range of electronic corporations such as Motorola and they are in fact used by people interested in a vast range of sports and outdoor activities. The fact that they are not bulky at all, hands-free and comfortable to wear makes them ideal for lots of pursuits. Two-way radio wireless headsets are not just used by referees in fast-paced sports but are used by construction workers, sailors, rock climbers and security guards.