INDIANAPOLIS -- Looking to give viewers something extra during broadcasts, WNBA officials could be wearing cameras as early as this season.
WNBA President Laurel Richie said Friday the cameras will make their debuts as soon as technology details are worked out.
"I was just in a meeting last week looking at the ref cams that we're going to be introducing this year," Richie said. "I think we're going to be the first professional league in the U.S. to actually put a camera on the referee so that we can bring our fans and viewers the ref's view. I like it when the WNBA leads the way."
The use of the referee cams was first disclosed in March when the league announced the extension of its broadcasting deal with ESPN.
The cameras, Richie said, will helps fans watching on TV see what officials see throughout the games. Microphones may also be added to hear interaction between the officials and players and coaches.
Richie was in Indianapolis to take part in the ring ceremony for the defending champion Indiana Fever before their home opener against the Atlanta Dream.
After initially looking to place the small cameras on an official's shirt, Richie said the camera will be placed somewhere on the head. That will enable the camera to move as the official turns his head. The details are still being worked out and tested, but Richie said there are three options being looked at on how to attach the camera: a hat or visor, glasses, or a type of elastic strap.
During a recent meeting where Richie was given details on the referee cams she watched a rugby match where the cameras were used.
"It's just fascinating," she said. "We think we're close to the game with the cameras and all of the high tech, zoom lenses, or whatever they are, but it's a really unique point of view."
Richie went on to say the growth of the league in terms of expansion is a possibility. She said there are individuals and cities interested in hosting a WNBA team, once the league is ready.
"I don't have a date in mind," Richie said. "I just feel like we will at some point in time. I think it's one of those things that you know when it's right, when it's right. I feel closer to that this year than I did last year and not as close as I'll probably feel in two years."