One would not necessarily associate NFL referee training with VR. In fact, few people consider these official effectively need training as well. The NFL is raising the bar at every possible moment, though, to say the least. By partnering with STRIVIR a VR company, they will use the immersive technology to train referees This is quite a significant development, to say the least.
NFL Referees Get VR Training to Improve Decision-making
It is good to see institutions such as the NFL pay attention to virtual reality. The technology makes a lot of sense for the institution, after all. Referees are presented with game scenarios through a VR headset from a referee’s perspective. This will give them a viable way of preparing in between seasons. After all, real-world practice is often limited to the preseason, the actual season, and the playoffs. Making wrong decisions during any of these stages would reflect badly on the industry as a whole.
Strivir has been making a lot of progress in the VR department. They worked on an NFL off-season training program after the Super Bowl this last February. Together with the NFL’s Officiating Development Programs, they have come up with a powerful solution that makes sense to all parties involved. Referees get a 360-degree capture of a game scenario which allows them to make the proper calls. It is also a much better solution compared to traditional video footage.
Although VR can’t rival a real-world scenario for NFL referees, it is the next best thing. Exhibition games during the current preseason will certainly help move things along. Then again, the preseason itself is limited in nature, as most teams don’t give it their full effort to avoid injuries. A regular season is often more competitive and challenging for officials to handle. Virtual reality training is a close second compared to an actual season game, that much is evident.
It is another notch in the belt for the NFL as well. The institution has been working on VR off-field training for different teams already. It will help with reaction times and improve both performance and decision-making accordingly. Their focus on sports-related training for both players and officials has not gone by unnoticed either. After all, they recently secured US$5m in Series A funding.
If you liked this article make sure to follow us on twitter @thevrbase and subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date with the latest VR trends and news.