Referee Procedures (U10 to U14)
This page provides a summary of procedures and check-list items to help you go through the season. As always send your comments and questions to your RRA (Regional Ref Admin). For U7/U8 games see the U7-U8 Referee procedures.
How referees are scheduled
All games U10 and above are assigned to referees through WebYouthSoccer (except U10 ARs). Once your account has been enabled by your RRA you should see a Referee menu on the left-hand side.
The first thing to do before the season starts, and regularly thereafter, is to update your Referee Preference page in order to tell the scheduler which saturdays you are available (he/she cannot guess your schedule!)
The easiest is to check off every Saturday of the season so that you don’t forget! Then revisit your preferences on a regular basis as you know your Saturdays schedule ahead of time.
The scheduling policy in our region is the following:
- Each team provides 1 referee per game (each game is split on 2 fields)
- If a team has more than 1 referee present they decide who handles the game
- Bring your shirt and whistle for all games in case the other team doesn’t have any referee that day (otherwise coaches will have to referee their own games)
- Each team must provide one AR (assistant referee) per game, they are NOT assigned in WebYouthSoccer.
- Only the center Referee is scheduled through WebYouthSoccer (may or may not be neutral)
- You will be assigned as center Referee for another game from time to time, usually before or after your team’s game.
- Indicate conflicts or special requests in your preferences 1 week in advance and as clearly as possible!
- In this age group referees are supposed to have more experience. Center referees must have done U10 games before, and for U12B they are expected to have (or soon to have) their Intermediate Referee certification
- Newly trained referees can still help their team as AR.
- Since we need 3 referees per game you may be asked to help for one other game, for instance before or after your team’s game
- Indicate conflicts or special requests in your preferences 1 week in advance and as clearly as possible
- At this age group all referees are supposed to be neutral. ARs may not be neutral if no one else is available
- Center referees must be have the Intermediate level or higher.
- Indicate conflicts or special requests in your preferences 1 week in advance and as clearly as possible
- These games are played on Sunday and scheduled by the Area 2A scheduler (several AYSO regions are combined)
- If you have enough referee experience and want to help at U16, U19 be sure to set your Availability for Sundays.
- Contact your RRA to learn more about getting higher level certifications
To Do the week before your next game
1. Confirm your game assignment(s) on Tuesday evening
The scheduler usually needs until Tuesday to get the assignments ready for the following Saturday. Your game(s) will show up in your Main referee page. WebYouthSoccer doesn’t send email automatically each time a game is assigned to you, you must login and check!
- Please accept/decline game(s) as soon as you see them!
- If you need to decline a game please add a note explaining why in the text field. The assigner will be notified automatically.
Waiting until Thursday or Friday to accept/decline your games is a big NO-NO… The scheduler has to keep sending emails and track people down which is not the pleasant part of this job
2. If something changes later in the week
The schedule may change slightly later in the week due to people’s conflicts, etc. In that case you will receive an email asking you to confirm your assignments.
- Make sure the email address for your WebYouthSoccer account is one you read and respond to frequently
- If you expected a game but don’t see it on your schedule check the Region Game Grid link on our main page, there may be already 3 referees assigned to that game.
- If you see games on this grid that could use more referees and you are willing to help, send an email to the scheduler to be added.
3. Print your game cards on Friday evening
This allows to double-check the schedule and resolve last minute issues with the scheduler if there are any.
- Game cards are the responsibility of the center referee (ARs can print them too but it is not required)
- Coaches may provide his/her own game cards but don’t count on it! It’s better to use your own
- Cut out the extra paper and fold the game cards in half your referee wallet, instead of keeping the full size page where they were printed.
What to do on game day
1. Getting ready
- Be prepared to arrive at the field 20 to 30 minutes early
- Contact the other referees ahead of time if you cannot be there early.
- Don’t forget your basic referee equipment, plus a time-watch, a pen, a coin, and your game cards.
FYI, the equipment for each field is described in the Fields Instructions that coaches must also be aware of.
2. Pre-game instructions
- Make sure the field is clear of hazards (especially if it’s the first game of the day)
- Make sure the goals are positioned correctly and anchored.
- The center referee gives a game card and a flag to each AR, they are responsible for keeping track of players.
- Perform the players’ inspection as a referee team if possible.
- Spend a few minutes to review instructions as a referee team.
- Get 3 game balls from the home team and verify they are inflated correctly.
- Each AR marks which players are sitting out, who is goal keeper, and who is absent, before the 1st “quarter” starts.
- Start the game on time! Late players will need to learn to arrive on time.
Where are the AR flags?
The field box for Almond, Santa Rita and Egan Patch contains referee flags. Remember to return those to the field box unless the next game’s referee need them.
You can use your own flags if you have some (Referees with higher certifications are expected to get their own equipment, that’s why we don’t have referee bags at Hillview, Rosita and Egan main fields)
Missing an Assistant Referee?
Ask the home team for a volunteer “club’s lineman”. That person holds a flag and only signals when the ball goes out of play: you are still responsible for watching who touched the ball last and give the proper restart direction! The club’s lineman should never call offside offences. It is up to you as referee to decide if you are positioned well enough to make your own offside call: when in doubt it’s better not to make any call! If people complain the easy response is to remind them that we could use more volunteers to take the referee training each season
Missing players on one team?
If one team is short of players start the game like this. Later the coach of the other team may decide to play short as well if there is a risk of blow out. But we don’t penalize the other team up-front just because their opponents don’t have enough players. The goal is still to have kids play as much soccer as possible and have fun!
3. During the game
- Don’t worry about making mistakes We all learn something at every game.
- As long as the game is Fun, Fair and Safe you’re doing a good job!
- Stop the game about half way through each half for substitutions and a quick water break (wait when the ball is out of play)
- Do not stop your watch for substitutions! Ask players to come back quickly in position. It is not a coaching or snack moment.
- Stop the game at half-time and take this opportunity to talk with your ARs.
- Remember to record who score goals.
- End each half of the game on time. We don’t add any time for injuries or substitutions.
- Ask people to move 2 yards off your side of the line so that you can run without hitting anyone!
- Focus on your offside line more than you watch the game (it’s the hardest thing to learn at first)
- Record who scores goals as well for the team you are tracking.
- At the substitution break and half-time update your team’s game card with subs and GK.
- Review questions/comments with the other referees at half time.
4. AYSO kids zone reminder
As an AYSO volunteer you may have to remind people that the soccer field is an AYSO kids zone which means that:
Kids are #1.
Fun — not winning — is everything.
Fans only cheer, and only coaches coach.
No yelling in anger.
Respect the volunteer referees.
No swearing. No smoking. Leave no trash behind.
You set a proper example for all children.
They are very few incidents of extreme behaviors our league. However as a referee you have the authority to ask spectators and coaches to comply to the AYSO kids zone rules. If you don’t get any cooperation you should stop the match and not resume it until “the problem has been solved”. Please report any incident to the RRA and CVPA so that our regional board can follow up. In particular we have a zero-tolerance policy for any verbal abuse towards Youth referees!
Constant, loud, or negative coaching is also considered abusive (from a coach or a parent making coaching comments). Don’t hesitate to remind people of the AYSO philosophies and the PIE keywords. All comments should be Positive, Instructional and Encouraging!
5. At the end of the game
- Watch the teams’ hand-shake together as a referee team.
- The center referee must get the game cards from the 2 ARs and check that goals and subs info is correct.
- Ask coaches for any missing data before leaving the field.
- Return the referee flags in the field box unless they are yours.
- If this is the last game of the day please verify that the home team puts the goals and corner flags away.
After the game
The center referee is responsible for entering the game cards on WebYouthSoccer. Please do so no later than Sunday and before you lose those cards… This is very important information to record players’ playing time and be able to balance teams the following year.
How to enter game cards
- Click Game Cards under your Referee menu
- Select the date, region 43, your field, and then the time of the game you refereed.
- You may edit the list of referees if someone else than the scheduled referees was present.
- Add comments if necessary (they will be seen by the RRA and division coordinators)
- Only click on “Escalate to regional board” for incidents that require a response.
Questions or comments on your game?
General questions/feedback can be posted on our public ay43ref Yahoo group (only members can post, but all referees should already be members, using the email address of your WebYouthSoccer account).
Please send private questions or incident reports to the RRA. You should also report equipment problems, missing AR flags or corner flags, etc. A.S.A.P.
Time to think about the next game…
When you are done with your week-end game(s) it’s already time to check that your availability is set correctly for next week-end. Special requests should be added to the instructions field by Sunday night at the latest. Thanks!
See the Common Mistakes page for advice.
Need to review your referee course? See this page.
Would like to share your experience with other referees or ask questions in a friendly setting? Don’t miss our regular pizza nights social events during the season, see the Calendar for details.
Have a great season!