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How KNHB connects over 800 referees, observers, and appointers across the country via a single communication platform

The Royal Dutch Hockey Association (KNHB) is a professional sports association and the official governing body for field and indoor hockey. The organization employs 1100 employees and volunteers. Together, they are committed to offering high-quality hockey in the Netherlands and to supporting 322 clubs with a total membership of approximately 255,000.

The KNHB uses RefAssist's management, planning, and communication platform. Leon Rutten, the competitions and umpiring manager, explains how RefAssist helps the KNHB deal with all their refereeing challenges.

Challenge

Stable software to deal with the entire official management, including assignments and assessments

The KNHB appoints all officials for about 8.000 matches per season. This concerns approximately 500 referees, 200 observers, 100 floor managers, and 30 federation delegates who are assigned to matches. The assignments must be passed on to the relevant official, last-minute changes must be dealt with, and assessment reports must be drawn up and delivered to the appropriate people. It used to be a huge challenge to manage this and above all to communicate well with the stakeholders, who are spread all over the country. 

We were looking for a system to take care of our entire official management, which includes assignments and observers. In our search for appropriate software, we had three very important requirements: the system must be extremely stable, it must automatically generate assignments, and it must be generic.

“With RefAssist, we arranged our official management in one go. All those involved can share all the necessary information with each other in one digital place.”

— Leon Rutten, competitions and umpiring manager of the KNHB

Approach

All officials able to log in to RefAssist and divided into different user groups with different authorizations

The software was customized and linked to the external database of the KNHB. This way, all leagues, matches, and officials are correctly integrated in RefAssist and the used appointment rules are set as parameters. 

An account was created for all users so that everyone could log in to the platform. New officials enter RefAssist via integration with the database. A new account is automatically created, and the correct communication is sent. 

Users are divided into user groups with different permissions, so that each user group can only use functionalities that are relevant to them and carry out actions for which they are authorized.

Solution

Management, planning, and communication in a single place

The commissions involved, subdivided into user groups, use RefAssist as a reporting tool, an appointing tool, and an analysis tool. In one system, we now request availabilities, schedule all officials, communicate the appointments to the officials involved, and complete and communicate assessment reports. We also use RefAssist as a communication platform by sending messages or sharing files and instructions.  

“The biggest added value for me is the clarity of how the program is structured, the stability of the system itself, and the expertise of the people behind it.”

— Leon Rutten, competitions and umpiring manager of the KNHB

Result

Everyone connected, thanks to a team with knowledge of software and referees

With RefAssist, we arranged our official management in one go. All those involved can share the necessary information with each other in one digital place.  

For me, the most significant added value is the clarity of how the program is structured, the stability of the system itself, and the expertise of the people behind it. The software has few bugs and is built logically and generically. The RefAssist team is always ready to provide support. Questions are answered very quickly. All this makes it easy for new users to master the software. 

RefAssist continues to develop, by offering interesting extensions. In addition, when we request custom extensions, they are quickly delivered.

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