Referee Introduction

To Register as a New or Returning Referee, select "referee" when you register your child; print out, sign, and mail your volunteer form

Volunteer to Manage Great Game Experiences

Volunteer Referees are an essential part of every AYSO soccer game. AYSO referees often begin by officiating their own children's games, and advance their skills along with their children year-by-year.  As they learn the Laws, develop their own techniques for managing the game and gain an appreciation for how critical the role of the referee is to a fun, fair and safe soccer experience, our referees find it rewarding to expand their knowledge and experience with AYSO’s training and support. 

AYSO’s referee training is considered to be among the best and includes local classes, area classes, on-field mentoring, and online training.  

You need know nothing about soccer to start.  AYSO training can get you quickly up to speed and on the field. If you already familiar with the game, AYSO training will enable you to learn how we apply the Laws in our games. 

Why Should I Referee?

The best reason for being an AYSO referee is for the kids. But if you're in it for the uniform, whistle, or flags, that's OK too.  

Referees play a vital role in keeping the games Safe, Fair and Fun-- what AYSO is all about.

But why should YOU do it?  While everyone is welcome, refereeing is likely to appeal to you if:

  • you like to participate 
  • you want a front row "seat" at games
  • you enjoy (or need!) physical activity 
  • you enjoy a challenge (where you pick the level of difficulty)
  • you don't have enough time during the week to be a coach
  • you want to participate in a sport that is practiced worldwide
If any of these describe you, give refereeing a try. Your role will be to help the kids structure their game, teach them a bit about the game and the role of the referee, and, occasionally, to intervene. Best of all, you get to be out on the field with the kids, enjoying the game from "up close", while everyone else has to watch. You also get to wear a very cool uniform, including shorts with pockets that can hold everything including your cell phone and water bottle.

What Does It Mean to Referee in AYSO?

AYSO has a very clear philosophy -- play games in a safe, positive, enjoyable manner. AYSO games follow standard, international soccer (FIFA) Laws of the Game very closely, with only a very few changes to implement AYSO's philosophy (e.g., controlled substitutions to ensure that "Everyone Plays"). Rules are modified slightly at the younger age levels to match player development level and to keep players engaged.

When Do I Referee Games?

The AYSO season starts just after Labor Day and continues until mid-November. We also host a tournament the first week of December and need experienced referees for that event. The clinics that prepare (or refresh) referees for the season are held and the end of summer or the first couple of weeks of the fall.

How Do I Become a Menlo Park AYSO Referee?

To become an AYSO referee, you can sign up for basic online training at www.aysotraining.org or attend an AYSO referee certification clinic. Clinics are quick, easy, and fun to take -- even for those with no prior soccer experience.  The introductory clinics cover the Laws of the Game, game structure, and the AYSO philosophy.  At these clinics, you can also pick up some things you will need: a copy of the Laws of the Game, a referee uniform, flags, a whistle, stopwatch, and badge. Uniforms and equipment are provided.

Referees are not used in Kinderleague (U6)
Referees officiate with their teams in U7/U8/U9
Referees are self-assigned to games at U10 and above