Referee Frequently Asked Questions

Contacts: Equipment Issues? | Team Parent Issues? | Referee Issues? | Coach Issues? | Girls or Boys Team Issues? | Player or Volunteer Registration Issues? | Player or Volunteer Injury? | Help a Youth Referee? | All Other Issues & Questions

Q: Who are the referees?

A: All the referees are AYSO volunteers. Many referees start when their children are young and move up with them. Referee training is provided for all age groups and levels. In the younger age groups, referees are mostly parents who are new at it.   All referees must trained and certified AYSO volunteers.

  • U6:  U6 is typically refereed by the coaches, although certified referee or youth referee volunteer can referee the game.
  • U8:  referee volunteer from the home team Referees the game  There are no assistant referees, although the referee can recruit club linesmen to flag outs.
  • U10 - U19:  Each team provides at least 2 referees.  Referee volunteers for U10 to U19 teams are put into a pool that is schedule to provide coverage for all older division games.   Each U10+ game requires 1 referee and 2 assistant referees. By filling out the referee data sheet (here) volunteers are able to indicate the preference position (e.g. Only be assigned as assistant referee), age group they are comfortable refereeing, and indicate dates that they are unavailable.

Q: Why can't I yell at the referee?

A: Ragging and questioning the referees is not part of AYSO soccer. Remember that this is a game for kids. The kids learn what good sportsmanship looks like from how the adults act as much as what they say. Referees, coaches, all other volunteer parents and friends are out there to see that the game is safe, fair, and fun for the kids. To provide feedback and suggestions contact the referee administrator(s) (see Contact Us).

Q: What training is provided for referees?

A: There are several training courses offered which include U6 or U8 Referee courses that are suitable for referee volunteers for U6 and U8 teams, the Region Referee Course that is suitable for referee  volunteers from u10 and older teams. There are also other courses periodically offered for intermediate and advanced referee certification.

In addition, the online (aysotraining) courses for SafeHaven and Concussion Awareness are offered through aysotraining and are required to taken every year in order to comply with Oregon Law. The Safe Haven training covers safety and child and volunteer protection while the concussion awareness course focuses on the how to recognize a concussion and what to do if one is suspected.

Q: When are the referee clinics?

A: Clinics will be given in August and September. As soon as it becomes available every year, the full clinic schedule is posted on the referee page (here).

Q: Do I have to buy my own uniform?

A: No. Once you complete your training, you will be provided with a free uniform (including jersey, shorts, and socks), badge, whistle, and a copy of the most current edition of the Laws of the Game.

Q: Can I referee my own child's games?

A: You will typically be the center referee in your own child's games in the U6 & U8 divisions.   However, in U10 through U19 you are put in a pool and scheduled to referee games on teams you are not associated with.  We appreciate that this adds to your time commitment, and we try to schedule your games within an hour of your child's games, making it convenient to watch and enjoy your own child's game.

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

A: Report to the Referee Administrator(s) [look for the blue jerseys]. The referee is the ONLY authority in all matters on the field:  a warning or request is often enough to address problem behavior, but you do the authority to remove coaches and spectators from the game, and also have the option of terminating the game.

Q: Do I really want to do this?

A: Yes! We cannot have a game without a referee and the children and the referee volunteers enjoy the game much more when we have full crew (a center referee and two assistant referees).

Q: Who will answer my other questions?

A: The best person to start with is the Referee Administrators, The Referee Administrators work closely with the Coach Administrator(s), Volunteer Advocate(s), and all members of the board to continually improve the AYSO training, programs, and experience.  However, all members of the regional referee staff are happy to answer your questions. (See Contacts at the top of this page)