What's all this Who's the Ref Stuff? 24 August 2017 at 21:00

Please take the time to read this - it's important that you do this to understand how the Society will operate in the future.

All of you will have received emails from Who's the Ref asking you to confirm appointments or attend Training Meetings. This message is to explain why you are getting these emails and what their purpose is.

What is Who's the Ref?



Who's the Ref (WTR) is a bespoke system developed by an active Norfolk Society Referee. It's principal purposes are:


  • To hold details of Society Members, Clubs and their Referee Contacts and Treasurers.

  • To hold details of the games being played in an area covered by a Referees Society. It is the responsibility of the clubs to input these games to WTR.

  • To allow appointments to be made to these games, informing the Appointed Referee, the Home Club and any Assessors/Coaches etc appointed to assist the Referee.

  • To allow the Referee to confirm/decline the game.

  • To manage Exchange Appointments.

  • To allow Society members to input their Availability.

  • To advise Society Members of Society events, such as Training Evenings or CPD, and allow them to indicate whether they will attend or not.

  • To manage conflicts in the games input by clubs.

  • To manage emails to clubs and Society members.

  • To hold records of Assessments and Red Card reports.

  • To collect member expense claims.



WTR has many other functions, too lengthy to go into here.

Why is NLDRFURS moving over to WTR?



Our existing system has operated well since 2003 and is tailored to our processes such as appointing, invoicing and holding documentation. However, the technology behind the website is aged and support for it hard to find.

In July this year, the RFU agreed a contract with WTR, resulting in WTR becoming free to all Referee Societies in England. This is beneficial to the RFU and the game in England as it will result in a far more accurate and consistent record of match officials and games being played in England.

There are 43 Referee Societies in England, and all except 5 (NLDRFURS is one of the 5) use WTR. It therefore makes sense for NLDRFURS to switch over to WTR, and this has been agreed by the NLDRFURS Committee.

What is the programme for the switchover to WTR?



NLDRFURS will continue to operate using its existing systems during the 2017-18 season. So please continue to put in your availability and expenses via the Google Forms and we will continue to send out PDFs with your appointments.

During the 2017-18 season we will switch over certain things to WTR. For example Training Invitations are now being sent out using WTR, as this allows member to indicate whether they will attend or not.

We have also imported all of our Security Plus Pennant games to WTR and will appoint to these via WTR. However as "Belt & Braces" you will still get them via the normal PDF appointments listing.

The aim is to have everything switched over to WTR by the start of the 2018-19 season.

Do I need to sign up to WTR?



No, you have all been configured as users of WTR, so there is no need to sign up.

However, to use WTR you will need a password. To get this, visit https://www.whostheref.com/db_admin, put your email address in the User Name field, then click on the blue "Forgot or need a password" text.

A blue box will appear, where you again select "Forgot or need a password"..

Finally, select "Rugby"as your sport and click "Proceed"

Remember - if you have a Gmail email address you may be listed with a googlemail address (e.g. fredbloggs@googlemail.com). If the system doesn't recognise you then enter fredbloggs@gmail.com - the two addresses are interchangeable and map to each other.

Is there anything I need to do in WTR?



Please keep your contact details up to date in WTR. This is most important

Input your availability to WTR as well as our Google Forms each month. I realise this is extra work for you, but WTR automatically offers appointments based on your recorded availability and this will assist the Appointments Team.

Read the Help Documentation!

I hope this answers some of the questions you may have about WTR and how it will be rolled out.

If there is anything important that you need to know please get in touch, however if there are too many queries I may take some time to answer!

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