Guidelines for Referees

Be on time.

Get an idea of how long it takes you to get to your assigned field, and be sure to arrive 15 minutes prior to the scheduled start time. If you are running late for whatever reason, please call the head referee / field house manager to inform them. It is not acceptable to miss a game or be consistently late; any referee who does this will have some or all of their games reassigned and risk not being considered as a referee in future season.

Remember your uniform.

Make a list and check it twice (or three times): shoes, socks, shorts, referee jersey, certification badge, whistle, wristwatch (not a cell phone), yellow and red cards, notepad, pen/pencil, coin. It's your responsibility to have a full, clean and professional-looking uniform with you at all of your games, as well as everything else you need to referee the game.

Check the field and players.

Before the game begins, check the field: are there any safety hazards, such as large holes in the ground, or objects on the field, such as branches or garbage? Are the nets properly assembled? Do all of the players have proper soccer cleats and shin guards? Are any players wearing unacceptable jewellery, casts or other hazardous items? It's easiest to check these before the game begins, to avoid having to stop the game to address these sorts of issues.

Confirm the game information at the beginning.

Quickly check the schedule or with the coaches to ensure you know the age division and team names of the game you're refereeing. It's easier to check ahead of time than to scramble afterwards.

Whistle loud and clear.

Sometimes there will be multiple games going on at a park, or other audio distractions. Be confident in your decisions and blow your whistle loudly and clearly, so that your players know to stop. If they do not respond, keep blowing the whistle until they acknowledge it.

Use clear hand signals.

for younger players, use this in conjunction with verbal instructions. It's good practice for you, and for players, if you clearly signal all plays with the appropriate hand signals. Young players likely won't know what these signals mean yet, so combining them with verbal instructions (i.e. “goal kick”, “kick-in for the blue team”) will help them learn the signals and get you in the habit of using them consistently and correctly.

Do not engage in verbal exchanges with players, parents or coaches.

Sometimes players, coaches or spectators will make comments during or after the game concerning your decisions. This is an unfortunate reality of any sport. Always remain calm and professional, and do not engage in any sort of argument with coaches or parents. If you are asked a polite question, you're of course welcome to respond, but you are not required to explain any decisions to anyone during the course of the game, nor are you required to provide your name or any other identifying information to anyone. Your responsibility is only to officiate the game. You may tell any coach or parent who has a complaint to contact the head referee at referees.

Report your scores promptly.

The Club strives to update scores on a daily basis, but this isn't possible unless the scores are reported in a timely manner by the referees. Any referee who makes a habit of being late in score-reporting will have games reassigned.