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A referee will be officiating upper division games. (The referee ranks are still pretty light, so volunteers are still needed.)

Referees are part of the AYSO team, with players as the most important part.

The duty of the referee is to be as little interference as possible.  Duty is to penalize only deliberate breaches of the law.  For younger divisions, the referee is more of a friendly guide.

Shin Guards – Shin guards should be worn inside the socks.

Line up cards – Referees will collect line up cards as part of the pre-game. Line up cards help to monitor that all players have played requisite amount of time. This one will be little harder to institute fully right away. The region will supply coaches with line cards as soon as possible.

Keeping time – If there is a referee, the referee will keep time.

Substitutions – Time out for substitutions will be at approximately half way through the half (first and second). Basically, play will be stopped when there is a natural break in play. Substitutions will also take place at the half. U15 substitutions will take place “on the fly”, on a team’s possession. Players are to remain on the sideline until the player they are substituting for has left the field.

Injuries – If a coach is called to the field, the player must leave the field.  The team may play short until the player returns, or substitute.  If the player is substituted, the injured player may not return that quarter.

Coin Toss – home team calls. The winner of the toss decides which goal to attack. Loser of toss kicks off.

Coaches Box – The U12 and U15 fields will have coaches boxes. Coaches provide instruction to players on the field only from within these areas, on their side of the field. Team members will also line up on this side of the field, on the opposite side of the other team.

Side lines – players and spectators are asked to stay 3-4 feet from the sideline so that the sideline referee has room to run the line.

Spectators – spectators are asked not to sit behind or near the goal and goal area. Coaching is also not allowed in this area.

Referees will conduct pre-game activities as described in the AYSO rule book:


  • Obtain line up card from coach. Card heading should be completely filled out. Players should be listed in numerical order.
  • Obtain first quarter substitutions (mark only the players sitting out).
  • Check players for required equipment.
  • Safe shoes. No toe cleats. Do not have to be cleats. Metal cleats are not allowed.
  • Shin guards completely under the sock. If you can see the shin guard at the ankle, it is not completely covered up.
  • Distinguishable goalie shirt. Check for color conflict with other team.
  • Matching team uniforms.
  • Bicycle shorts should match team shorts.
  • Check for jewelry and hair clips.
    • Absolutely no jewelry is allowed. This means no taped down earrings, no string earrings, no watches, no rings, no bracelets, no necklaces. Player may refuse to remove jewelry, but can not play. Earrings must be removed from newly pierced ears.
    • Only medical ID bracelets or necklaces can be worn, but should be taped down.
    • Metal hair clips, bobby pins or barrettes should be removed.
    • Knee braces should not contain metal.
  • No hard casts (fiberglass or plaster) or wraps with metal stays or clips.
  • Coin Toss – home team calls.
    • Winner of toss picks goal to attack, loser of toss kicks off.

AYSO Handbook

Concussion Information