April 12, 2024

RefPal now already in 11 leagues!

We are proud to announce that from season 2024 Iceland’s 𝐁𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐚 𝐝𝐞𝐢𝐥𝐝𝐢𝐧 has become our 10th league to join with 72 referees and observers from the Elite panel. The games of the opening matchday of the season (5.-7.04) were uploaded at the beginning of this week and only in a few days 40+ people have submitted their evaluations.

We also welcome our 11th league at the same time as our longest standing partner Finland has introduced RefPal in their men’s first division 𝐘𝐤𝐤ö𝐧𝐞𝐧. And we know, these will be far from only additions to RefPal in 2024.

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January 10, 2024

Extreme Ownership: Navy Seals & Referees, what do we share?

I recently stumbled upon a leadership book "Extreme Ownership" by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin. Two Navy seals mapping out 12 leadership principles based on their experiences in combat (Battle of Ramadi, Iraq war) and how those can be applied to any business.
8 of those principles resonated with my refereeing experience and while some I have been following, others I can improve in. Here are potential takeaways for any referee.

Principles(I have kept the original number of the principle from the book)

#1 - Extreme Ownership
A leader must own everything in his or her world. Both his mistakes and mistakes of his team are his fault. Every mistake, every failure or shortfall - own it.

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December 22, 2023

Getting your referees learning - examples of Ireland and Finland

"Tell me and I will forget, show me and I may remember; involve me and I will understand."Confucius
There are several aspects to being a great referee, but one of the most important ones is surely the willingness to learn. The habit of constantly seeking improvement. Some have a called it "a passion to improve".
So lets look at two great examples from the RefPal partner countries of how they have done exactly that.
1. How did Ireland get their referees involved and participating in the learning process with astonishing frequency?
2. How Finland got their referees learning more than just analysing their own games and participating in the occasional seminar?
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December 21, 2023

PHP Web Developer - come join RefPal!

As RefPal is growing fast we welcome a PHP Full Stack Developer for back-end services and the interchange of data between the server and the users.

We offer solid salary, the experience of building an international success-story, working remotely or in our Tallinn office.

You´d benefit from analytical & architectural thinking abilities, having a broader vision of creating an interactive global product, design abilities for creating new modules & of course some interest in football :)

Come help make the vision of the biggest interactive global refereeing community into a reality!
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July 26, 2023


In the first article we looked at shots on goal and how to be better prepared for getting those decisions right. Now let’s look at the worst case scenario for referees when it comes to handballs in the penalty area.
When the handball comes in an aerial duel or right after the duel, the accuracy of penalty decision drops to 16,7% which is roughly 1 in 6 penalty incidents that we solve correctly. Reminder though - this percentage takes into account only situations where penalty was given or should be given and not the ones where not giving a penalty is the correct solution.

This is such an astonishing drop from the average accuracy that it requires further analysis. And this is not a statistical fluke either as we have 30 of such situations in our database (from 4 leagues and 7 seasons) with only 5 of them being awarded correctly.
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July 14, 2023

RA Academy 2023 powered by RefPal

RefPal helped power up the 5th edition of the Referee Abroad Academy in San Sebastian, Spain, at the Donosti Cup in July 2023.

9 referees & 3 assistants of an advanced level were selected or sent by UEFA FA-s for a week of referee coaching and training.

The matches were observed by UEFA & FIFA level observers Manuel López Fernández (ESP), Lucilio Baptista (POR), Jan Seidel (GER) & RefPals Sten Klaasen (EST).

As all matches were filmed then the debriefs involved video coaching. Selected incidents reached the RefPal platform for group discussions in our innovative seminar module....
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June 25, 2023

FINDINGS FROM THE HANDBALL STUDY- Part 1: Intro and shots on goal

Data and refereeing have not been used in the same sentence enough and we @RefPal aim to change that. To kick start our pursuit of using data for better decision making, improving referee education and helping refereeing departments to analyze the consistency of their referees we took a look at the most difficult topic in refereeing (based on our data) - handballs in the penalty area.

For that we analyzed 7 seasons and every situation in our database involving handballs in the penalty area. We looked at seasons

  • 2020 - 2022 from Estonia
  • 2021 - 2022 from Finland
  • 2022 from Faroe Islands
  • 2022 from Latvia
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January 17, 2023

Ireland the 7th country to join RefPal

This weekend RefPal was present for the Elite Referee Seminar in Dublin, Ireland to introduce the system for the use in the League of Ireland Premier division from season 2023.

Kristo Tohver had a session with the Irish referees analysing one of the most difficult games from last season Shamrock Rovers vs St. Patrick's Athletic and using that to get the referees ready for a more thorough analysis of their performances this season with the help of RefPal.

We are proud to be a part of a new and exciting vision from the FAI and their referee department lead by Ian Stokes in developing their elite officials through engagement, use of innovative performance development platforms and increased co-operation with other FA's.....
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August 12, 2022

RA Academy 2022 powered by RefPal

RefPal is proud to have been part of the 4th edition of the Referee Abroad Academy in San Sebastian, Spain, at the Donosti Cup in July 2022.

12 selected referees and 7 coaches from around Europe participated in an intense week of referee coaching and training. The matches were observed by high level observers and also filmed. In the mornings the debriefs were followed by video learning of the match incidents in the seminars. The innovative RefPal seminar tool provided active live participation which was followed by discussions lead by the coaching group.....
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May 25, 2022

Is it possible to reach 100% accuracy in refereeing?

Perfect game / season in refereeing is something referees sometimes talk about, but is it actually possible or is it at all sensible to try to measure it? We have built RefPal to measure the accuracy of refereeing decisions throughout a match, a season and even throughout one’s career.

Accuracy in Estonia
So now let’s have a look at the last four seasons (36 rounds & 180 games) of Estonian refereeing to see how we have progressed with our accuracy throughout. Each incident in these three categories is uploaded into RefPal and after the referee team and the community (other TOP league referees + observers) have had their say, the referee committee gives their final verdict at the end of each week.....
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April 30, 2022

RefPal now operating in 5 countries

As we are starting our second year of international sales we are providing video analysis and referee development platform for 5 countries. There are over 600 users, more than 1500 games analyzed, close to 20 000 incidents in our database and almost 100 000 logins during this quarter.

Spring season in Europe brought two additions with Faroe Islands and Latvia teaming up with RefPal to develop their referees. Both leagues use a mixture of Key Incidents and Learning Points analysis, with their referees becoming active participants from day one of the cooperation. We held several start-up seminars for both referees (Faroe Islands spring seminar pictured above) and observers through ZOOM and also translated the system into Russian for the Latvian refereeing community. Now RefPal is available in 4 languages: English, Russian, Arabic and Estonian.....
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April 21, 2021

Finland joins RefPal community

Finnish Football Association becomes the first international partner to join the new referee video development system RefPal created and used in Estonia since 2017. Finnish refereeing comes aboard with both men’s and women’s leagues. Altogether over 150 users starting from Finnish FIFA referees and assistant referees, both male and female top league referees, observers and talent referees from first and second league join the Finnish referee department in analysing, evaluating and discussing both Veikkausliiga and Kansallinen liiga matches and incidents each week...
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April 15, 2021

Growth mindset in refereeing

Why do we need to change our mentality towards making mistakes? Why is the true measure of a referee the way he deals with errors and how can we at RefPal help the refereeing community to change their mindsets?

To start I will take you back to my first ever 8,5 as a referee in UEFA competitions. It happened in a 2012 Europa League qualifier in the Netherlands with a Scottish observer. We managed the game well, got lucky with some decisions, and came away winners. The observer was pleased and during the aftermatch dinner described me as a natural referee with enormous talent. God, it made me proud and my self-confidence skyrocketed. To be fair I got another 8.5 in the spring of 2013, possibly flying on the wave of self-confidence created in Twente. The next one took 5 years and arrived in 2018 - so what happened...
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December 05, 2019

Welcome to RefPal!

Like its name indicates, RefPal is built to be a referee´s friend.

True friends know every small detail about you. They are honest and open with you. True friends will praise you, but also point your mistakes out to you. They help you grow and they grow with you. You think about them daily and want to spend time with them. They can be crazy and fun with you, but when it comes to things you consider important in your life, they are there to help you achieve them.

With no need to overexaggerate, this what RefPal does...
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