5 Reasons You Need a Referee Management System


By Simon Murphy, RefLIVE Founder & CEO

Why should we use a referee management system instead of online forms or a spreadsheet? This is a common question that arises during discussions with league representatives and officiating managers. It’s a fair question, given that access to spreadsheets and online forms are readily accessible and often free of charge. But does the time taken to implement and maintain this method start to add up at some point during the season?

We’ve compiled some information to outline how our Referee Management System differs from some of the free tools you’ve used or are considering using to help your league or association run smoothly.

1. What gets measured?

At RefLIVE, we’ve worked extensively with leagues all over the world to research and develop metrics for officiating to effectively measure performance, retention and abuse. Every referee and umpire manager understands the challenges required each season to attract, educate and retain officials. Many of the more effective data collection processes leagues implement don’t factor in necessary data inputs to allow an individual official to track their progress while allowing you to benchmark and create reports comparing large groups of officials.

2. Reporting

There is no simplified way to extract elements of assessments to construct reports. Ever wondered which officials posses the best communication skills, or who the most consistent decision makers are? Our online dashboard provide quick and simple metrics and reports showing week to week trends and analysis over longer time periods to help identify talent and improve education.

3. Communication

It’s impossible for leagues to communicate with each official individually to understand their well-being or likelihood of returning the following season. Large numbers of referees make it very difficult for managers to have personal conversations with large groups of officials. With our easy to use app, referees and umpires submit basic criteria every week relating to the performance and overall well-being. As well as using a 1-5 rating system, referees and umpires have the ability to add comments to their well-being rating enabling an effective system to identify those requiring extra assistance. Our methods aim to provide a preventative approach to well-being and retention.

4. Archiving

Can you track key metrics over different seasons with referees? Too much work gets put into documents such as creating assessments, including assigning someone to a match, providing them with a template for assessment, the assessment finalised by the manager, and finally sent to the official. Once an official reads the assessment, that is often the last time is accessed. Not only do we give you the ability to complete your current assessment within our smartphone or tablet app, but all the data is saved to the officials profile, and every element of the assessment is available within our reporting dashboard. This information is retained for each referee or umpire’s, season to season providing an unprecedented ability to track improvements over time.

5. Automation

One of the more genuine concerns when discussing our system with potential users is the time required to learn and implement a new system. However, we have automated many of the required tasks and reminders for forms. We use a combination of automated reporting, email, and text messages to ensure different stakeholders input their required information and reports and insights are sent directly to where they’re needed. We want you to spend less time on needless tasks and more time engaging with your team.

We are proud to offer an innovative solution that provides new insights and resources for officiating departments that are generally under-resourced. If you want to know more about our system, have any feedback or would like to see a demonstration, please get in touch with me directly at simon@reflive.com

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