City Referee Guidelines: General

The Referee’s Role

As a referee YOU are in charge of the game and have three main goals:

  1. To protect the safety of the players;
  2. To help the players learn the rules of the game and to enjoy themselves; and
  3. To expand your soccer experience and to have fun yourself.


Before the Match

When you get an assignment, you must call the assigner IMMEDIATELY if you cannot do the game. It is not acceptable to call at the last minute.

  • Arrive: 15-20 minutes before the start of the game.
  • Bring: whistle, timing device, assignment sheet, coin.
  • Introduce yourself to the two coaches. Have the home coach sign your assignment sheet.
  • Inspect the players:
    • Must have shin-guards UNDERNEATH socks
    • NO metal cleats (can wear sneakers)
    • No dangerous equipment. NO jewelry. NO earrings (earrings may NOT be taped over.) NO hard casts. NO support braces with metal parts.


During the Match

Call for captains, flip the coin, and begin. The winner of the coin toss chooses which goal to defend. The other team kicks off.

Remember the basic of good refereeing of young players:

  • Hustle! Work to get the game started on time and moving.
  • Communicate! Use strong voice, whistle, and hand signals.
  • Call fouls you see! That’s how the players learn fair play.
  • Act as a teacher on the field, not only as a referee.


After the Match

  • After the game shake hands with the coaches.
  • Mail in the assignment sheets, being sure that your name and address are clear. You have to mail these in to get paid.
  • If you have questions or problems, call or email the person who assigned you (listed on assignment sheet).


Refereeing will be challenging at times. Please do not hesitate to call or email with any kind of questions or to relate any refereeing experience. The club wants to hear how you’re doing.