Good experiences with smartphone app RefereePro

Builders of the RefereePro smartphone app are satisfied with use of it during the first official match. An interview from the Dutch Referee Blog with Jaime Herrera, a former Fifa referee from Mexico who helped developing the digital referee signal system.

Read also the previous blog “Referee 2.0 uses smarphone app for goals and cards” about the referee smartphone app RefereePro on this blog. It includes a video about how it works.

Referee Miguel Pensamiento gives a yellow card with his smartphone.

How did the referee prepare for the match?

Jaime Herrera: “We have been designing and working on the development of Referee Pro since a year ago and I, as a former FIFA referee, know how to use it since I helped to build it and I was supposed to be the referee on that match. Unfortunately, there was a last minute change (a day before the match) and the organasation had to train a referee that didn’t know how to use the app at all. He had a four hours training and we felt he was feeling confident when using the app, so Referee Pro decided to go ahead with him. He was already used to Android smartphones, so the training was quite easy. But in fact, any referee in the world can be trained in a couple of hours, it’s just a matter of getting used to it. It’s user friendly.

What where the experiences with RefereePro during the match?
Jaime Herrera: “One hour before the kick-off we went to the Home and Away locker rooms so the referee could explain the players the whole thing. Players where surprised, actually, but they were committed to help… and they did.”

“I can say that the referee was kind of nervous before the kick-off, but those nerves started to disappear once the match started. In fact, he made just two mistakes (not much considering there were 17 goals, two yellow cards and one red card); first mistake in the first minute of play (when he gave a goal to the wrong player), and the second one when he had to show a red card to a player and he sent the wrong “reason” to the Live TV broadcast).”

Cards and goals were also shown live on the RefereePro twitter account. The tweet below is from the first yellow card in the match.

“The good thing here is that the referee from outside the pitch can always make corrections to the data that the main referee is sending. I´m sure referees will get used to the app and commit no mistakes while capturing data in future games, since the app was made exactly for that purpose. No big incidents though.”

What should be changed in the system? The card can only be seen from one side for instance.
“No major changes have to me made so far, however, it’s true what you say about the limited visibility of the cards. We are working on it so everybody can see it clearly.”

A consumer based version will be released in the coming months for Android and iPhone devices.

You could also follow Jaime Herrera on Twitter via @ArbitroJaimeHG

Referee 2.0 uses smarphone app for goals and cards

Referees can leave their pencil and notebook at home. All they need is a smartphone.

That seems like something for future referees, but according to The Next Web a Mexican referee has officiated a match with Referee Pro, “a smartphone app that will see the first ever football match kick off today with a professional match official using his mobile phone to record events, as well as dishing out yellow and red cards”.


The referee appointed for last Thursday’s match between América and Tecos was Miguel Pensamiento. The use of a the digital notebook in an official match is the ultimate test for producer Siine. They wrote on their website that “this will road-test the new tool in a live environment. Referee decisions will even be directly beamed to a Twitter account, which will allow instant verification of who scored or fouled. Referee Pro has been carefully developed with the aid of top referees in order to comply with official FIFA guidelines and their needs.”

The match ended in 10-7 victory for América, but I couldn’t find the live referee account of that match yet with tweets from the digital referee signal system.

Siine wants to be the new referee feature for professional and amateur users who want to track, share and gather fun stats on their games. A consumer based version will be released in the coming months for Android and iPhone devices.

The decibels of popular referee whistles

What is your favourite referee whistle? How do you pick your whistles? And what makes a whistle good? I like whistles with a sound other referees don’t have.

The Fox 40 Pearl has that in The Netherlands. That reminds of a situation during last season. I officiated with a blue Pearl version of the Fox 40 – matching with my blue referee kit ofcourse. Usually people ask me afterwards something about a situation or just say thanks for refereeing.

But a man stepped forward and began talking about that unique sound of the whistle. Yeah, it was a colleague who was off duty that weekend. I’m wondering if he found one, because (most of) the Dutch sport shops only sell the Fox 40 classic. But it kept me thinking: how do referees pick their whistles? I’d love to know what your favourite one is.

Recently stumbled on this picture below. A loud sound is important for me and Refsworld, an Australian referee shop, did some nice tests with a decibel meter.


Whistle comparison by Refsworld with decibel meter

The loudest referee whistle

  1. Valkeen – 127.6 dB
  2. Flox Blast – 127.3 dB
  3. Acme T2000 – 126.8 dB
  4. Fox Classic – 124.3 dB
  5. Fox Mini – 124.3 dB
  6. Fox Sharx – 123.2 dB
  7. Fox Eclipse – 118.7 dB
  8. Acme 888 – 116.9 dB
  9. Fox 40 Caul – 113.4 dB

Source is Refsworld – check their whistles.

For your information, some facts about decibel levels. A motorcycle is 100 dB, a loud rock concert is 115 dB and pain starts at 125 dB. Decibel meter at whistle test was at 2 meters, so players better not come close to the referees with the loudest whistles.

New referee kits for season 2012/2013: Spain

Football referees on national top level will all appear in their new outfit the next weeks. Brands made all some new referee kits for the 2012/2013 season.

Spanish referees are also wearing Adidas kits, sponsored by Würth. “We are happy with this because the brand is inside the field in every game of the Spanish League no matter what teams are playing”, says a spokesperson from the sponsor. “[Sponsoring referees] is good for a premium brand as we are.”

Jose Antonio Teixeira in the new 2012/2013 referee kit from Adidas.

New referee kits for season 2012/2013: Scotland

Football referees on national top level will all appear in their new outfit the next weeks. Brands made all some new referee kits for the 2012/2013 season.

The Scottish referees will use the Adidas Euro 2012 referee kits, like the German Schiedsrichter. German referees posed with the traditional black kit, but I kind of like the yellow and silver ones from the Scottish FA, sponsored by Specsavers.

Photo with permission of