Helping Young Referees Stay In Our Game

ALL first-year football referees across Victoria will soon have new technology to self-assess their performance, monitor instances of abuse and constantly track their mental and physical wellbeing.

An innovative new partnership between Football Victoria (FV) and Melbourne-based technology business RefLIVE, will see new Victorian referees get access to a smartphone app and connected to a state-wide Referee Management System.

This will allow them to complete a post-match analysis of their match experience, the behaviour of teams they officiated, monitor their overall wellbeing and identify areas of their officiating requiring development.

The app will be rolled out across Victoria in by the end of June, making FV the first football governing body in Australia to have a statewide system supporting the development and wellbeing of first-year referees.

FV Referee Manager Luke Brennan said the FV and RefLIVE partnership aimed to prevent serious incidents, retain referees and enable more consistent officiating across the state. He said it was another proof point of FV’s Respect The Game campaign which urges Victorian clubs to make a highly visible stand against anti-social and abusive behaviour.

“Referee turnover is one of the biggest issues in football and all sports globally and we see turnover rates around 40% for most leagues,” Mr Brennan said.

“It’s a fantastic development as it allows us to have real time data to proactively support first-year referees who are the group most likely to leave refereeing due to a negative experience. They clearly need our support and RefLIVE’s data and analytics will be a huge asset in delivering that support.

“This is a really positive step forward in our aim to retain more referees each year and support the growth of football in Victoria. Our first-year referees will really benefit from the work we have done with RefLIVE over the last 12 months to develop the app”, he said.

RefLIVE CEO Simon Murphy said: “This is an exciting partnership with Football Victoria, to focus on issues specifically related to new referees. We’ve had over 40,000 referees use our software globally and to formally work with our home state is a great opportunity to assist in the development and retention of referees in Melbourne and across Victoria.”