Games & Game Assignments
- Carry your uniform and equipment with you. In many cases there are no-shows, or mix-ups, or traffic, and by being prepared to step in and referee can, and has, made the the difference between the kids being able to play or not. So please keep your equipment with you.
- We recommend you carry the following with you in addition to your regular gear (whistles, cards, flags, etc):
- plastic bag (dogs....)
- mini-cones to mark hazards
- small pump (for under-inflated balls)
- Hang around a bit after your game if there is a game following to be sure there's coverage there.
- Check around - are there other games being played at your field that are uncovered that you can help out at? If you're scheduled to be an AR but your game has a CR already, and a game next to you has nobody reffing, please go and referee the other game.
- Recommend you download the latest Laws of the Game and either download or link to the Guidelines for your division (U8 here, U9+ here)
Always inspect the field before a game. Mark hazards (exposed sprinklers, holes, deep puddles) with a cone - you can usually borrow one from a coach if you don't have. Clear the field of sharp or dangerous debris. Make sure the goals are anchored. Make sure dogs are leashed.
Have the players line up, inspect for jewelry, non-prescription glasses, casts, etc. Remember: hard casts or splints, bobby-pins or hard clips, jewelry of any kind (except medical alert) that might injure another player or themselves are not allowed. Check shin guards - are the covered by the socks? Are they long enough? Then have players turn around and lift to show their cleats - there can be no metal cleats, no toe cleat.
Each team should provide you with game cards. Have an AR keep track of substitutions and scores with those cards. For age U10 and up, the CR should enter those game cards into the system after the game. Please remember to do this, otherwise we have to find you. And while we always do, it's never pretty....
During the game:
- Use tally marks to records goals scored by each player. Use one column per half
- Mark absent players with an "A"
- Mark the keeper with a "G"
- Mark eligible substitutes, ie. those not playing at the start of that quarter, with an "X", mark injured players who are unable to play at the start of that quarter with an "I". In other words, a player injured during a quarter is still marked as playing that quarter.
- Write halftime score and who is winning
- If a player receives a card, or an incident occurs with a spectator or coach, record the details on the reverse side.
Stay on Time
If your game is starting late, and there are games following yours, shorten each half by an appropriate time to try to get back on schedule and inform the coaches you'll be doing this. If the games are running late then inspect the teams when they're present and while the other team is playing to gain back some time. Ask them to warmup on the sidelines so you can start sooner. If there is a game after yours, give them a short time for some scoring drills if there's a little time, otherwise get right into your game to try to get back on schedule.
There are no referees in the Kinder League; instead, the coaches facilitate Kinder games.
U7 & U8
Please see the U7 & U8 Guidelines for general guidelines for play at this level. All Laws of the Game are enforced with the exception of offside. Also per the guidelines, no slide tackles are permitted at this age.
Please remember that the primary duty of referees, especially at this level, is safety and to provide instruction on the rules and their enforcement. Consider allowing "do-overs" for restarts, especially throw-ins. Call all fouls, but followup with an explanation of the foul, what not to do next time, and how to restart if there is some hesitation. If no whistle, and the players have stopped play for some reason, let them know to continue playing unless there is a whistle.
- For U7: Each full team is inspected at one time by the referee before they are divided by the coach into two evenly skill-balanced mini-teams of 5 players each which stay intact for each of the two mini-games. 4 kids will play, one sub.
- For U8: Each full team is inspected at one time by the referee before they are divided by the coach into two evenly skill-balanced mini-teams of 6 players each which stay intact for each of the two mini-games. 5 kids will play, one sub.
- One referee should be the official timekeeper so both mini-games end at the same time.
- The home team provides the game ball for both mini-games.
- A coin toss is conducted at the beginning of the first mini-game to determine which team will take the first kick-off of the mini-game. The restart after the substitution break in the first mini-game is a kick-off by the team that did not kick-off the first period.
- The visiting team calls the coin toss. The winner of the coin toss chooses the goal it will defend and the other team kicks off.
- A second coin toss begins the second mini-game. The restart after the substitution break in the second mini-game is a kick-off by the team that did not kick off the first period.
- U7 games do not use goal keepers. U8 games do use goal keepers.
- Each mini-game is made up of two 10-minute periods. Substitutions are done at the 10-minute breaks and between the two mini-games. So the kids are playing a total of 40 minutes.
- At the end of the first mini-game, the home team players remain on their respective fields and the visiting teams switch fields.
- Referees stay on the same field for both mini-games.
- A pass-back (when a team member kicks the ball to his/her own goal keeper and the keeper picks up the ball) is not treated as a foul in U8.
- All kicks taken after a foul are direct kicks (a goal may be scored without another player touching the ball).
- Goals may be scored on kickoffs.
Games in U7and U8 are self-assigned with one referee per mini-game, i.e. you coordinate directly with other referees on your team and possibly with the coach, ask your coach what he/she prefers. One referee from every team should be prepared to referee one mini-game, the referee on the other team will do the other. It's generally a good idea to carry or wear your uniform to every game you attend just in case - if nothing else you'll look good.
Each U7 and U8 team should provide a referee. If there are more referees available, one referee can handle both short games or the job can be shared. If there are no uniformed referees for a game, then a coach will act as the referee.
U9 - U14
Please see the Guidelines for general guidelines for play at this level. All Laws of the Game are enforced, including offside. Also per the Guidelines, no slide tackles in U9.
These games use three referees: one Center Referee (the Referee, or CR) who runs on the field and follows the play, and two Assistant Referees, who each run on one of the side lines for half of the length on diagonally opposite sides. This is the Diagonal System of Control.
Each team is required to provide a certified Regional Referee for each game to serve as a Referee; then hopefully there are enough certified referees to act as Assistant Referees. Since most parent referees will occasionally be unavailable, each team should train at least two referees, so they have a backup.
In U9 and U10 games, you can act as either the Referee (CR) or as an Assistant Referee (AR) for your own child's games. For U12 and U14 games you may act as the AR for your own child's games, but may be the CR only with prior permission of the Regional Referee Administrator or in the case where there is no-one else to referee a game and otherwise the game would have to be cancelled. Note that the CR for U12 should be an Intermediate Referee and for U14 an Advanced Referee unless no referees at that level are available.
Games in U9 - U14 are self-assigned through our online system which means we expect you to go on to the system and sign up for those games you're able to referee. Each division also has a scheduler assigned to it. They will be contacting you periodically to fill in holes in the schedule. Please just do what you were able to do, they do it as quickly as you can to reduce the workload on them and so we can focus on getting every game refereed. If your scheduler contacts you and requests an email response please do that quickly. If your scheduler puts out a blanket request for more referees to sign up please just go in and sign up for those games you are able to do, there is no need to respond if you are unable to do a game. We know you care.
To schedule yourself for a game, please do the following:
- The buttons:
- Done: click when you're finished
- Update: Save your selections (make sure you do this!)
- Show/Hide Ref History - see what you've done before
- Don't Select Games to Ref/Select Games to Ref: Toggle to unselect games
- <Your Name> Referee Page: It's all about where you're at!
- A line with a date selector on the left and a series of one or more divisions that you're listed to referee (if this list is incorrect, contact the referee administrator)
- To signup for a game to referee do the following:
- Select the date you want to referee
- Select the division(s) you want to referee on that date
- You'll see something like this:
Note: In this example, the referee is qualified to do GU8 and BU10. Each referee's listing will show only the divisions he/she has signed up for. If you do not see a division you would like to referee for, please contact your scheduler or the referee administrator.
To self-assign, click on the divisions you would like to referee and the Date. The above example came up after clicking on BU10. Select which assignment you'd like by clicking on the Select button. If you need to cancel an assignment, click on Unselect. If you cancel an assignment less than 3 days before your assignment, please let your scheduler know.
Those "N/A" buttons that are greyed out may be because you are not allowed to be a referee for your own child's games at some levels, or the position(s) are already taken or for some other reason.
As a general guideline please schedule yourself a couple of weeks out, anything past that and people tend to forget. But if you want to referee a particular game in the future, put yourself down!
Game Assignment: there will be times when a scheduler will assign you to a game. You'll receive an email about this. Please logon to your account as per the above, go to your Referee Page, and you'll see something like this:
On the third line, note that for the BU12 game the person needs to Accept or Reject that assignment. Please do this as soon as you can after receiving the assignment so that we can know if the game is covered and, if not, try to find someone else to cover it.
If you would like to see games you've refereed, click on "Show Referee History."
Remember to write down in your calendar the position, time and place you're refereeing!
Any questions or issues, contact your scheduler or the referee administrator.
U16 and U19
Because of the higher level of play in these divisions and because games are played against teams from other regions, the Area Jim Madison League Referee Coordinator makes all referee assignments for these games and posts them on that league's board. The Madison League is run through WebYouthSoccer. If you are not currently listed on this system, and would like to be, and you are an Intermediate or higher referee, please contact the referee administrator.