To save you the trouble of having to create an excuse of your own, we have listed the most of the common excuses we hear when we ask people to referee. To save you even more trouble: just do it! Remember: no refs, no games!
I Don't Know Anything/Enough About the Game
Most of us knew little, or less than you, about soccer when we became referees. Not to worry... for the investment of a few hours we will train you with more knowledge of the Laws of the Game than most Americans ever possess. That's right, you'll know when it really is offside (and, yes, it's not "offsides" which you can think smugly when those who don't know say otherwise). And, seriously, we can train anybody, ANYBODY, to be a referee. Don't believe us? Bring it...
I'm Not Ready to Center Referee
OK with us. We'll train you anyway, and you can signup for Assistant Referee positions until you're ready. Watch, learn, ask to be mentored, and step on in when you're ready.
I Don't Have Time
Becoming a referee is the perfect slot for those AYSO parents who have crowded schedules. Referees are free to choose the games they can do. At many levels you can referee your own child's game, and/or the one just before or after the game your child is playing. You may do as many or as few games as you choose (well, you'll need to do SOME games). In summary: you're usually at your own child's game, with the best seat in the house, looking something like a pumped-up bumble-bee. What's not to like?
I'm Not the Right Kind of Person
Yes you are. You obviously care about your child. This is a youth development program run completely by volunteers. Would you want your child involved with someone who is not as good as you? Who would be better than a concerned parent like you? OK, yeah, that might be a little much in saying since we don't know really know you, but it's worth a shot!
I'd Look Silly in That Uniform
Are you kidding... you obviously haven't seen the Referee Administrator! And you're free to use the uniform, whistle and flags at home! And at Safeway where, by the way, referees always get the freshest produce and finest meats.
I'd Be Embarrassed
Everyone makes mistakes (even those of us who have been officiating for years). It is a rare game where the referee doesn't think he or she should have made a call they didn't, made the wrong call, or should have waited a bit longer before making the call. The great thing is: in soccer, you can talk it over with your assistants and change your mind! That's right, signal a goal, then talk it over, and call it back. The tomatoes may (will) fly, but the import thing is to approach the job with enthusiasm and enjoyment, because that will be passed on to the players and coaches (and we can team you up with an experienced referee to help you through the initial learning process/tomato toss).
I'm a Woman - I Never See Them Referee
Wrong! We have many qualified women referees - and they are great! We could use many more. What other time in your life will you ever...with just one breath (or whistle)...be able to make 22 kids stop what they are doing, actually listen to you, and then do what they are told? And almost half of our players are girls and they love having women referees. They are comfortable with them and look up to them as role models. If you are a mom, you already are used to making quick decisions and multi-tasking. (If you are the mother of two or more children, you already know what it means to be a referee!) Don't worry, we will teach you and support you and start you off refereeing younger children. We will be there to mentor you until you feel comfortable and confident. And you can use the whistle and flags at home if you want!
I can't afford the equipment
Don't worry about expense, because the Region will provide you with everything you need to get you started. But if you want the outfit professionally tailored, that's on you.
I don't think I could keep up with the players. Some of them are pretty fast!
Don't worry, most of us can't keep up with them either. We give the older age division games, with the faster players, to our fitter and more experienced referees. We still have plenty of younger division games on smaller fields where you would be able to keep up. You know, refereeing is also a good way to get a little exercise and to have fun at the same time.
OK, OK. I'll do it!
Now that we've addressed all your concerns we can't wait to see you at referee training. We need you badly. And in return, we promise you:
ONE FINAL NOTE: if you still don't think you are the right kind of person for this job, you took the time to read this whole flyer and that means you care. That means you are exactly the right kind of person. C'mon, just do it!