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Referee FAQ

Who are AYSO referees?
All volunteers, they are us. Many referees start when their children are young and move up with them. Referee training is provided for all age groups and levels.

Why does AYSO need volunteer referees?
AYSO is 100 percent 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 don't get to play.

How do I become an AYSO referee?
You must first complete an AYSO volunteer application form and be approved as an AYSO volunteer by your local AYSO Region. Once you are approved as a volunteer, the training to become an AYSO referee is provided to you for free. You should contact your AYSO Region's Referee Administrator, Regina to get more information about the training schedule for referees in your Region.

Who is the Referee Administrator? What do they do? The Referee Administrator in Region 873 is Regina Jackowiak.  She has been an AYSO Volunteer for over 20 years and is the person responsible for implementing the AYSO National Referee Program.

Is prior soccer experience required to officiate?
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 welcome!

Can I referee my own child's games?
There is no national rule prohibiting a referee from refereeing their own child's game.  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.

Where do I buy my uniform? Does my Region pay for this?
The Region will supply your uniform.

What is Safe Haven™?
AYSO makes a commitment to provide a safe place for children to play and compete. The referee has a responsibility to help make the environment safe, as well as fun. To ensure the safety of both children and volunteers, each volunteer is required to take a short online training session called Safe Haven™. It focuses on safety and appropriate behavior with children as well as first aid and other on-field issues. Agreeing to a background check is also required for each volunteer.

Learn More about Safe Haven
Safe Haven™ is a unique program that all AYSO volunteers and how we can all participate in making the AYSO experience a positive one for our kids. In addition, there is an online class, click here for information. Safe Haven™ certification is mandatory for all AYSO coaches and referees on a nation-wide basis. A referee who has been Safe Haven™ certified will be entitled to legal protection for work as a referee under the Volunteer Protection Act of 1997.

I am a soccer player and understand the game very well; can I just take the certification test and avoid some or all of the beginning course?
Currently this is not an option. Many of those who have played the game and think they know the Laws of the Game are surprised to find out how much there is to learn when they actually start studying to become a referee. Attending a face to face completion training course with an experienced instructor is a valuable learning experience.

Do I have to ref little kids before I can ref the older kids?
You may request referee assignments at whatever age level you feel comfortable.  However, you will be assigned based on your level of experience, and/or by your age (Youth vs. Adult Volunteer).  Refereeing at the various age levels requires different skills and just because the players are young doesn't 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.

What do I do if I have a problem at a game with a coach or a spectator?
Report to the Referee Administrator 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.  If immediate action needs to be taken, find a board member on the field to address the issue.

Is it safe for a teenage player or sibling to 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 can also earn them community service points as AYSO is a non-profit, volunteer, community organization.

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Iron County AYSO Region 873

attn: Regional Commissioner, PO Box 311
Cedar City, Utah 84721

Email Us: [email protected]
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