I Can’t be a Referee Because …

Common Reasons Why You Can’t Volunteer to Be a Referee

Here are some things we hear when we’re trying to recruit new referee volunteers — take a moment — see which ones you think apply to your situation, then think again!

I don’t know enough about soccer to become a referee. Looks like too much responsibility.

Refereeing is easy and fun in AYSO! You don’t need to have any prior soccer experience. AYSO’s training programs are considered some of the best and you can take it step-by-step, one level at a time!

    • You can start easy, as an assistant referee or U8 Official for your child’s team, and can take your time before being a center referee. You will have a support network of senior referees who can mentor you.
    • We will not ask you to do anything you do not feel ready to try.
    • Don’t feel embarrassed or intimidated on the field. Soccer and AYSO is organized to allow the referee to maintain order and recognize that we are all human and make mistakes. In this region, we have very few problems with unsporting behavior from adult spectators..
    • With a few hours of training, you will know more about the game of soccer than most of the people you know :-)
    • After a few matches your appreciation and enjoyment of the game is sure to increase!

I don’t have time to take the training.

All we ask is a little of your time.  This one-time investment will allow you to participate in your children’s love of soccer for many years to come!

    • Training is a requirement to be protected as an AYSO volunteer, to go over the basic rules of soccer and to learn how to keep the game Fun, Fair and Safe.
    • We offer classes on many different dates to accomodate everyone.
    • The Volunteer and Child Safe Haven training can be taken online in less than 30 mins (not required for Youth referees).
    • The U8 Official course will take about 3 hours of your time. You will learn the basics for U7 and U8 games.
    • For U10 and above, the Basic (Regional) Referee course takes under 5 hours to upgrade from U8 official (you can also take part of it on-line to reduce the in-class time)
    • Once trained, refereeing doesn’t take any more time than watching your kids’ games and you have a better view :-)

I am only interested in holding the flag on the line, do I need the training?

A spectator who is asked to hold the flag on game day is a “club-linesman”.  A “referee” is a trained volunteer who is protected by AYSO insurance and volunteer support, and knows how to keep the game Fun, Fair and Safe!

    • It’s OK if you’re only interested in being an Assistant Referee (AR) on either side of the field.
    • The training is the same for all referees because everybody needs to learn the same rules and AYSO principles.
    • The job of an AR is more interesting than just signaling when the balls goes out of play.  You’ll learn how to signal offside, how to call fouls happening in your vicinity, how to handle substitutions, etc.
    • You never know, maybe you’ll grow to like this refereeing stuff after a while and ask to use your whistle in the center, instead of staying on the line :-)

I cannot referee every Saturday.

    • You won’t be asked to be there every week-end; just the ones you can, most likely when you had planned to attend your child’s games anyway.
    • You set your schedule preferences online ahead of time, and this tells the scheduler which Saturday you’re available. (Except U7/U8 games where the home team is expected to provide 2 referees. You can arrange your schedule with other parent referees)
    • For U10 and above you are welcome to referee the game before or after your child’s game to help gain more experience and confidence during the short season

I don’t think I can put up with the behavior of some coaches and spectators

Exactly, we do not want our referees to put up with it!

    • The vast majority of players and adults involved in our program are here because we do not allow unsporting behavior.
    • Our regions have strict policies governing such behavior. We actually have very few problems.
    • As a referee, you can help maintain the AYSO philosophy, while setting a good example for our impressionable young players.

I don’t think I can keep up with the players

    • Don’t worry about that :-) Sure some older kids may run faster than you but the fields are smaller and the pace is never that hard (at least until U14)
    • This is a great chance to excercise your mind and your body instead of standing on the sideline.
    • And who knows, maybe this is the impetus for you to finally get into shape as you try and keep up with your kids as they grow older!

Can a teenage sibling qualify to be a referee?

    • Teenagers who already like soccer have no trouble adapting at all — they know the game and what it takes to keep it Safe, Fair and Fun.
    • The training and time refereeing games will earn them community service points as we are a non-profit, all volunteer, community organization.
    • Youth referees are protected by our region’s zero-tolerance policy for criticisms from adults on the sidelines.
    • The minimum age for Youth referee is 10 yrs old for U8 games and 12 yrs old for U10 games.

I Don’t Care !!!

Well there you have it — if, in fact, you are signing up your child to play AYSO soccer and you honestly don’t care about the quality, safety, or enjoyment involved in this program . . . then you have come up with the correct excuse and we no longer have to ask why, because YOU CAN’T BE A REFEREE, and that is that.

However, if this last excuse does not apply to you (and we hope it doesn’t), then we need you badly.

In return we promise you:

                                                                                        A FREE UNIFORM

and . . . you’ll never be able to watch any major sport quite the same way again.

and on top of that . . . the kids will be darn glad that you were there!

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 page . . . that means you care . . . that means you are exactly the right kind of person.

How do you help me become a referee?

    • Provide you with the basics on how to referee at the appropriate age level
    • Supply training, certification, and a uniform at little to no cost to you
    • Match you up with a more senior referee to help you learn.
    • Assign appropriate level games for you
    • Let you choose your schedule.
    • Help you to improve and move up the age divisions as your child does
    • See the New Referees page for more information — and thanks for volunteering!