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All referees must be certified! We pride ourselves on AYSO certified referees. For a current list of training dates and locations, please visit the Training page.
Essential references for any referee
Games played in Region 318 follow FIFA (international soccer) Laws of the Game very closely, with only a few changes to adapt to AYSO's philosophy (e.g. controlled substitution to ensure that "everyone plays") and, at the youngest age levels, to adapt the game to the physical and mental maturity of the players. The FIFA Laws of the Game do not provide detailed guidance for every situation or obscure cases. For many years, the additional material that addressed these cases was scattered and often quite hard to find. Today, there are several important documents that draw this material together for the referee.
The first source is Interpretations of the Laws of the Game and Guidelines for Referees which is now included with FIFA Laws of the Game.
The second source is USSF's Advice to Referees on the Laws of the Game. This is a comprehensive document designed to gather together nearly all of FIFA and USSF's supplementary guidance in one place. As such, it is an essential reference for any referee.
The third source is AYSO's Guidance to Referees and Coaches. This document provides AYSO specific guidance, frequently asked questions, and plain language discussion of some of the laws.
The fourth source is USSF's Guide to Procedures. USSF prepared this document in order to standardize officiating techniques, signals and mechanics at all levels of play.
Additionally, the AYSO Short-Sided Games Guide for Referees provides for specific law changes that apply to play in the U-5 through U-12 Age Divisions.
Links to Essential Referee Documents
2008/2009 Laws of the Game (includes additional section titled "Interpretation of the Laws of the Game and Guidelines for Referees")
2007 USSF Advice to Referees
2009 AYSO Guidance to Coaches and Referees
2007/2008 USSF Guide to Procedures
Whistle Stop is the National AYSO weekly newsletter for referees and referee related positions. Every other week, Whistle Stop will contain refereeing tips, interesting anecdotes from other referees, Q & As and other important information. You can also submit any questions or suggestions for articles. Click here to subscribe.
Jewelry, Earrings and Studs
Jewelry, including earrings of any kind, whether or not worn in any body piercing (visible to the referee), must be removed (taping or using a band aid is not acceptable) before a player is to be allowed to participate in a match. The same is true of any stud which is used in a body piercing when the jewelry is not being worn. This rule also applies to practices.
AYSO Referee Program
The referee program provides for multiple levels of referee training and certification. At each level the depth of understanding of the game is increased, matching the needs of the players as they become stronger, faster and more experienced.
The entry level positions are: U8 Official, Assistant Referee and Regional Referee. Knowledge of the game is not required prior to training at any of these levels.
Beyond the entry level positions, Regional Referees can upgrade to Intermediate, then Advanced and finally National Referee certification levels. Each certification level is shown below.
U-8 OFFICIAL: Trained in the fundamental skills needed to officiate short-sided games for players under 8 years of age.
ASSISTANT REFEREE: Trained in basic skills needed to be an AYSO Assistant Referee.
REGIONAL REFEREE (U10): Trained in the basic skills needed to referee AYSO matches under AYSO (FIFA) Laws and AYSO National Rules and Regulations.
INTERMEDIATE REFEREE (U12): Trained in the skills needed beyond the basic level to referee soccer matches that are more physically demanding and challenging under the AYSO (FIFA) Laws and AYSO National Rules and Regulations.
ADVANCED REFEREE (U14): Trained in the advanced skills needed to referee most upper level AYSO soccer matches under the AYSO (FIFA) Laws and AYSO National Rules and Regulations.
NATIONAL REFEREE (U16-U19): Trained in the professional aspects of refereeing needed to referee the more challenging upper level matches under the AYSO (FIFA) Laws and AYSO National Rules & Regulations
The AYSO National Referee Program Manual is an easy to use source of additional information.
We encourage all our referees to upgrade!
As a special incentive, Regional referees upgrading to intermediate referee will receive a Blue referee shirt. Intermediate Referees upgrading to Advanced will receive a Black referee shirt. Advanced referees upgrading to National will receive a Red or Green Shirt.