An amateur football referee is calling for grassroots referees to go on strike in protest at the treatment they receive on the pitch. The BBC's Tim Muffett has been to meet Ryan Hampson on the sidelines to hear his story. The Manchester FA, which oversees the league Mr Hampson plays in, has announced it will provide more support to referees, visit them within 24 hours of an incident and report any assaults to police.
After being fed up with waiting for the referee to finish games on other pitches before coming to her children's matches she decided to give it a go herself and has been a Welsh Rugby Union-qualified referee since 2010. "One of my biggest regrets is that the opportunities weren't there for woman and younger girls when I was growing up," she says. Find out how you can get into rugby union with our special guide.
The wheels are in motion for the Premier League to roll out the video assistant referee (VAR) system starting in 2019-2020. Teams have agreed in principle to the plan, and the league will formally request approval from FIFA and the International Football Association Board. Back in April, teams voted against using VAR (which allows referees to consult video playback to review critical moments) in 2018-19, though the Premier League has been holding "non-live" trials. It told the BBC the tests will continue through the rest of this season. After the largely successful use of VAR at this summer's World Cup and the system being employed in some FA Cup and Carabao Cup games, it seems the Premier League's clubs are more willing to employ the technology.
SEE ALSO: Transgender footballer could be the first to play in women's Australian rules league Twitter user Hullablue took his daughter to a semi-professional football game near Leeds, UK on Saturday, and got this snap of the little bean being inspired by an assistant referee. Daughter was delighted to see this assistant referee today "her hair is like mine, can I be a referee? " - pic taken during one of the many injury breaks @TheGarforthTown @WomeninFootball @NCEL . Needless to say, the photo warmed the cockles of many hearts, including the football team the pair had been watching. We will be back next week, if it is not raining.
Artificial intelligence is about to take on one of the most iconic jobs in all of sports: the baseball umpire. This summer, teams in the AAA league – just one level below Major League Baseball itself – will use sophisticated technology to call balls and strikes on batters. Human umpires will still crouch behind the plate, but a voice in their earpieces will tell them to shout out "ball" or "strike" – as determined by a system known as Automated Ball-Strike. ABS will even calculate different-sized strike zones for tall or short players, just as human umpires must do. Human umps will be able to override the ABS if they feel it made a mistake.