The Pokémon battle referees officiate the battles taking place in the Pokémon League. The make the deciding call when declaring that a Pokémon is fainted and therefore eliminating it from the battle. They can also disqualify a Pokémon or even a Trainer if they are breaking the rules. The judges determined that Ash forfeited the match by not showing up in time for his Indigo League match but Ritchie got the referee to delay for 10 minutes, long enough for Ash to show up.
In the Indigo League the referees had blue shirts on while for the final of the Orange League they had Orange shirts on.