Forward Referee

Video Goal multichannel system for video refereeing and quick replays. Hardware-software system

The Forward Referee system is used for judging sports events. The system is designed to record and quickly review contested events in real time.
The Forward Referee software and hardware complex is installed onto a Windows system.
The system meets the current requirements of the KHL, VHL, and MHL hockey leagues. It is used both in ice hockey and in other sports.

Forward Referee program window – operator interface of the Video Goal system

What is it designed for

The Forward Referee system is designed specifically for video refereeing during sports competitions.

  1. The Forward Referee server records all video channels from the stadium cameras throughout the duration of the game.
  2. The system time is coordinated with the data received from the stadium match controller. The server records the time along with the camera video.
  3. The replay referee’s monitor displays footage from all cameras as well as the time from the stadium match controller. The judge can switch between the live signal and the recorded footage in one click.
  4. Footage from all cameras is synchronized using the recording time (time code). When switching cameras while viewing a specific time stamp, the system displays the same time stamp from all cameras.
  5. When a controversial moment arises, the referee can view the desired moment of the game without stopping the recording: rewind back to any moment – from one second ago to the start of the game; enlarge a fragment of the image; rewind/fast forward frame by frame or in playback mode at the required speed: fast forward, slow motion, real time.
  6. The operator can promptly prepare a video report on controversial moments after the game and save it to a file in the required format: AVI, MPEG2, AVC, MP4, Apple ProRes.
  7. A recording of the game with footage from all cameras will be saved in the archive.
Frame-by-frame replay of a contested event in the Forward Referee system

Make sure to check out our other products:

Forward Goalkeeper for multichannel recording and slow motion replays in live broadcasts of sports competitions and other events;
Forward Sports Titles for graphic design of live broadcasts of sports competitions.

Product modifications

Select the required modification of the Forward Referee system by answering the following questions:

  • amount of input channels: 2–25;
  • signal standard: up to 12G SDI, HDMI, NDI, analog;
  • input resolution: SD, HD, Ultra HD (4K).

All product modifications have one viewing channel by default.

List of all product modifications with prices.

Main features

The Forward Referee system works in real time. It features the following functions:

  • multichannel recording of audio and video data from stadium cameras onto hard disk storage. Up to 25 input channels; analog, NDI, up to 12G SDI, HDMI; SD/HD/Ultra HD (4K). Professional TV quality;
  • prompt marking of contested events;
  • switching between marked events, prompt selection of events;
  • replaying events without pausing the recording;
  • any camera can viewed in fullscreen or several cameras can be viewed at once with a multi camera display;
  • manual rewinding/fast-forwarding of footage with up to 1/50ths of a second accuracy. When using Super Slow Motion cameras – up to 1/100th of a second;
  • display scaling: selecting and “zooming in” on a frame;
  • creating video reports on contested events. Available video formats:  AVI, MPEG2, AVC, MP4, Apple ProRes;
  • overlaying game information over video footage;
  • storing game footage in archive according to KHL standards;
  • the system interface is available in English and Russian.

Forward Referee stadium integration. The following are supported:

  • Super Slow Motion cameras;
  • external consoles of various manufacturers:  JLCooper, DNF ST300, ShuttlePro 2, ShuttleXpress, DPS Velocity Jog-4000/5000, X-Keys, etc.;
  • more than 30 types of mach controllers: NataInfo, Araneus, LEDbow, Swiss-Timing, Nautronic, Stramatel, Palami, Dian, NG-Light, etc.;
  • internet transmission of video from server.

please note:

– software updates come out regularly and are available, free of charge, as long as the product is in use;
– for more information on our tech support policy and tech support in general, click here.

Product set

The Forward Referee system is supplied as an assembled video server. The product includes:

  • a system unit in a professional 4U case with Windows OS installed;
  • a set of SoftLab-NSK input/output boards. The type and number of boards depends on the product modification;
  • a set of cables for connecting video and audio signals;
  • the preinstalled Forward Referee software.

Our clients

As of March 2023, more than 50 sports arenas in Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, the Czech Republic and China use video referee systems based on the Forward Referee from SoftLab-NSK.
One of the most recent examples of the successful implementation of the Forward Referee system is the Platinum Arena stadium in Krasnoyarsk. This project was implemented for the 2021/2022 hockey season by our partners – the TeleVideoData company. The system includes 15 cameras that capture footage at 100 frames per second. The signals from the cameras are processed by a Forward Referee 16-channel 12G SDI server (watch the video).

In the summer of 2021, we received a letter of gratitude from the KHL, in which the Chief Arbiter / Vice President of the KHL A.V. Anisimov noted the significance of SoftLab-NSK products in sports and noted that “the “Forward Referee complex for the multichannel recording of goals and contested events” has been working very successfully at the KHL Championship games and is one of the best in our country ”.


To purchase a product, please contact the Sales department of SoftLab-NSK or our official dealers. Our experts will help you select the required product modification and offer options for upgrading an existing product.