So Why Did You Build GOREF, an App for Referees?

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To give you a little backstory, I’ll start with the main reason behind our decision to build the GOREF app. Firstly and most importantly the X100 Sports team, are passionate and fervent fans of the world game and wanted to combine their love of the game with a product for the Apple Watch. The fact that there wasn’t at the time a dedicated referee app for the Apple Watch (a rarity in the app world) gave the team an added incentive to create a world’s first with a product that combined the best of traditional referee digital watches with all the technological innovation of the Apple Watch.

As fans of football we have the utmost respect for referees as true enthusiasts of the game, who give back so much in time and energy to the game we all love. We enjoy officiating at our kid’s games and reliving past glories by having a run out ourselves on a Saturday afternoon. We’re also committed and passionate fans of the beautiful game from grassroots level to supporting our local and national teams. So we understand the need for referees in the cut and thrust of a match to have a watch they can trust that is accurate and easy to use.

As a technology company focused on sports innovations, X100 Sports has devoted considerable time and resources to build something unique that hadn’t been made specifically for referees on the Apple Watch with four timers and the ability to save match data.

During the research and development phase we consulted with referees at all levels of the game to understand what they required from a referee app and how the four timers and the capture of match incidents should perform and be handled on the GOREF system. This invaluable feedback from referees set the foundation for the project requirements and gave us the motivation to build the best referee app we possibly could.

An often overlooked element in our research of current referee products was the design branding and User Interface (UI) which always seemed to be difficult to set up or made the job of refereeing just that little more difficult. We were determined with GOREF to present a modern brand look with a strict attention to the User Interface challenges of working with the Watch. The UI had to be intuitive and easy to use in game situations this was a given.

There were no obvious reference points as there is nothing similar on the market that performs the same functions, enabling the referee to manage the whole game from match set up to exporting the completed match data to their iPhone.

The development process required a creative and agile approach to overcome the limitations and restrictions of the Watch OS (operating software).

The Watch user experience is based around simple touch gestures to start and stop the large timer or a continued touch to see the match menu e.g. goals, cards, subs & to delete match. The Haptics are prominent alerts and alarms that cause the Watch to vibrate during key moments of the game. This feature adds to the user experience and assists the referee in being in total control of the game management and time keeping. GOREF fully enhances the match day experience for referees and allows them to track all match incidents. After the game the match data is at their fingertips ready for them to complete their match reports.

We’re excited to be launching GOREF to the referee community and to all those passionate parents out there reffing their kids games of a weekend come hail or shine. We also want to make this the best experience possible for you and welcome your feedback and suggestions in making GOREF the best referee app for the Apple Watch on the App Store.

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  1. Stephen-Reply
    June 10, 2016 at 3:52 pm

    Will you be developing this app for android? Android has a much larger customer base, which is why I’m wondering…

    • Paul Coleman-Reply
      June 12, 2016 at 11:51 pm

      Hey Stephen

      We will be releasing an Android app in the near future. Please sign up to our newsletter and we’ll keep you posted on when it will be ready.


  2. Jamie Eames-Reply
    June 28, 2016 at 11:03 pm

    This is an excellent app. However can I recommend the following enhancements: repeat substitution, X substitutes from y named, discipline codes for red/yellow cards (possibly the ability to record an audio note at the time for reporting). As far as I can tell there’s no ability to end a game early and have the match record sent back to the phone, this would be important in the rare cases of abandoned matches due to serious injury, major breakdown in discipline or adverse weather ect.
    A brilliant app, just a few suggestions for improvement. I would happily pay for this app, if it did all these things. Thank you for developing this, I was close to learning to develop myself to make one.

    • Paul Coleman-Reply
      June 29, 2016 at 7:48 am

      Thanks for the great feedback James.
      We’ll definitely be making some of those changes to future updates.

      cheers Paul

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