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Daly City AYSO - Region 146

Referee FAQs

Who are AYSO referees?

They are us: volunteers. Many referees start when their children are young and move up with them. Referee training is provided for all age groups and levels.
AYSO is a volunteer organization; we all do it for the kids. Each season we need as many referees as coaches if not more.  Refereeing is easier and less of a time commitment. AYSO is about playing Fun, Fair and Safe. Our referee training is what makes it possible. If there is no official to referee a game the kids do not get to play.

Is prior soccer experience required to be a referee?

No, but some familiarity with soccer is certainly a plus. Coaches, parents, players and other volunteers have all proved to be excellent referees even if they have never played soccer. Youth referees are especially welcome!

Is it OK for a teenage player or sibling to referee?

Yes, it is more than OK.  Players are encouraged to become referees.  It can even help them to become better players!
The Player Referee Organization (PRO) is a program designed to help teenage players become a referee.  PRO referees are provided training, mentoring, and opportunities to challenge themselves.  Teenage referees gain a variety of benefits from being a referee, including self-confidence, assertiveness, problem-solving skills and increased communication abilities.  The training and time refereeing games can also earn them community service points, as AYSO is a non-profit, volunteer, community organization.

Do I have to ref little kids before I can ref the older kids?

There is no requirement to referee younger players before refereeing older players. You may request referee assignments at whatever age level you feel comfortable. Refereeing at the various age levels requires different skills and just because the players are young does not necessarily mean the games are easier – they are different! Managing six or seven-year-olds (and their parents) and managing 14 or 15-year-olds requires different skills. Your Region and Referee Administrator will help you find the right level.

Can I referee my own child’s games?

Yes. There is no rule prohibiting a referee from refereeing their own child’s game.   This can be especially common at the younger age groups.  It can be a challenge to recruit referees, and regions vary greatly in their ability to cover officiating needs without using referees who are affiliated with the teams.  In some situations when there is a shortage of referees, having a parent officiate their own child’s game may be the only option.  Since no simple rule can cover all the scheduling complexities that regions across the country face, AYSO leaves referee scheduling policies to the regions and areas.

What do I do if I have a problem at a game with a coach or a spectator?

Report all incidents in which a coach or a spectator behaves in a way that makes a game something other than a safe, positive, enjoyable growth experience for the children to your Referee Coordinator, Referee Administrator or any available Regional Board Member.

May referees wear hats or sunglasses?

USSF and AYSO have modified their recommendations related to the use of referee caps to enhance their support for the health and safety of referees. 
If a referee wears a cap, the following requirements apply:
• The cap must not endanger the safety of the official or the players.
• The cap should be solid black or predominately black color.
• The cap may display the logo of AYSO (preferred), USSF, or FIFA, but should not display other logos, slogans, or commercial marks.

Who is responsible for the players’ Medical Release Forms?

It is the coach’s responsibility to be in possession of the Medical Release Forms at all practices and games. Referees are not required, nor recommended, to ask coaches to prove that they have players’ Medical Release Forms in their possession at games. Referees should not require coaches to produce the forms at matches as this would, in effect, put the referee in the position of assuming a responsibility that properly belongs with the coach.

What are the certification levels?

There are the six certification levels for AYSO referees. Here is a brief description of the requirements for each. Contact your Regional Referee Administrator (RRA) for more details:

U-8 Official
(minimum age 10)
Complete the U-8 Official Course and pass the U-8 Official Exam.

Assistant Referee
(minimum age 12)
Complete the Assistant Referee Course and pass the Assistant Referee Exam.

Regional Referee
(minimum age 12)
Complete the Regional Referee Course and pass the Regional Referee Exam.
There is an online version and an in-person option for Regional Certification.

Intermediate Referee
(minimum age 14)
Complete 25 games as referee with at least five in U-12 games, complete the Intermediate Referee Course, pass the Intermediate Referee Exam and be (observed) mentored in a U-12 game.

Advanced Referee
(minimum age 16)
Complete 50 games as referee with at least 10 in U-14 and five as an assistant referee (in U-14), complete the Advanced Referee Course, pass the Advanced Referee Exam, pass one assessment as referee and one as assistant referee in a U-14 match, pass the AYSO Physical Fitness Test.

National Referee
(minimum age 18)
Complete 100 games as referee with at least 30 in U-16 and U-19 games and 25 as Assistant Referee with at least 10 in U-19, complete the National Referee Course, pass the National

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Daly City AYSO Region 146

Daly City AYSO #146, P.O. Box 2297
Daly City, California 94017

Email Us: [email protected]
Phone : 650-733-8603
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