The Job of Football referees Gets Easier with New App

The Partner Prize was established in 2009 to highlight particularly successful solutions created by Telenor’s partners. The aim of the prize is to encourage the innovation of new solutions and services.

‘Our partners are at the forefront in the development of solutions that provide positive efficiencies and environmental benefits. We are therefore proud to be presenting this year’s prize to Refsports. They have taken a day-to-day challenge and automated it so that everyday life is easier and more enjoyable for a large group of people,’ said Pål Normann Johansen, prize jury foreman and sales director of Partners at Telenor Business.

Easier, faster and more accurate

The coach of today has to complete a referee’s card for each match, using a pen and paper. During the match, the referee has to record match facts in all weathers. The match report is then completed manually and sent by post to the sporting body. Finally, the match report is checked manually by the sporting body. This is cumbersome and the margins of error are high. With Refsports’ data platform and the application RefSoccer, all this work is integrated into one system.

‘Referee cards with information about players, coaches and referees are completed via the website or via an app on your mobile phone. During the match, the referee has a display attached to his wrist, into which he enters goals, yellow and red cards, substitutions, free kicks and other things. This information goes straight to the central system of the appropriate sporting body via the cellular network. In this way, all match administration becomes far easier, faster and more accurate. You will also be able to keep up-to-date with the state of matches in play via the mobile app,’ said Martin Eikeland, founder and manager of Refsports.

‘It was overwhelming to receive this award given that we were in competition with major players such as TV2, NRK and Visma. We are a small team of six people with backgrounds in sporting clubs and organisations, IT and finance as well as the advertising agency Edison Wolfram. The prize will be a great help during further development. We particularly want to thank Innovation Norway and Connect Norway for their valuable support in the initial phase,’ said Eikeland.

Huge market potential

So far, Refsports has developed the product for football, but has plans to build further solutions for handball, ice hockey and volleyball using the same platform. A number of pilot projects have been conducted to test the solution during 2012. Amongst others, the mobile platform was tested during the Norway Cup and the Dana Cup. Telenor sees great potential in the solution.

‘The concept is innovative with a huge market potential, even globally. Within football, there are 27,000 teams just in Norway and there are 250 million players worldwide. We also believe that the solution has great potential for further development in a number of directions, not least in terms of using and integrating social media,’ said Telenor’s Pål Normann Johansen.

‘The solution works on mobile devices and is reliant on decent and robust mobile broadband. This is especially true in the case of fast transfers of pictures and also gradually videos. The solution is therefore well positioned to capitalise on the large investments we’ve made in the expansion of our 4G network, something that was a prerequisite for this year’s Partner Prize,’ said Normann Johansen.

In addition to Pål Normann Johansen, the jury consisted of Giert von der Lippe of Connect Norway, Torgeir Waterhouse of ICT Norway and Telenor Business marketing director Marina Lønning.

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