LYSL Referee Guidelines 2015-2016

LYSL Uses the Guidelines below to train our young referees.  Please use this document as a reference so everyone knows what to expect from the young man or young woman officiating the games at LYSL. 

Two Guiding Principles: 

1. Make sure that the game is safe and fun.
2. Make sure that the game starts on time.

The Officials:

Referee - the person who controls the soccer game and calls fouls

• Acts as timekeeper

• Can stop, suspend or terminate the match, at his discretion, for any infringement of the rules or outside interference of any kind

• Can take action against team officials (coaches) who fail to conduct themselves in a responsible manner and at his discretion, expel them from the field of play

• The decisions of the referee regarding facts connected with a play are final. However, a referee can change a decision on realizing it is incorrect, provided that he has not restarted play.

Linesmen - the person near one of the touch lines that signals when the ball is out of bounds or if a player is offside.

• Be aware that most of the volunteer parents will probably only call the ball out of bounds. Very few will help you call offside, so position yourself so you can see the player with the ball and the second to last defender so you can determine if anyone is offside.


• $10 per game for Under 8, $12 per game for Under 10, $15 per game for Under 12/14

• Fill out a referee card and mail it to the Treasurer (address provided by Referee Coordinator)
• The post card should include:
- The date of the game
- Age group (U8, U10G, U10B, U12/14G, 12/14B) 
- Coach’s Signature


• Email or call Referee Coordinator as soon as possible if you know you cannot referee your game Saturday. If I am not home, call my cell phone. I will respond to let you know I have received your message.

• You may arrange for your own substitute if you wish. Be sure to make me aware of any changes.

• In an emergency, call Referee Coordinator Friday or Saturday morning and they will find someone to cover your game.

On Game Day

• Be 10 to 15 minutes early for each game

• Bring plenty of water, snacks, warm clothes and rain gear to each of your matches.

• Bring a whistle, a coin, a watch, a pen, referee cards, flags and referee shirt

• The home team will provide the game ball.

• If you are refereeing the first set of games on the field, wait until the second referee shows up before you leave. If the second referee doesn't show up, you may take the second set of games. (Your choice; there is no penalty for not refereeing unscheduled games.) If you cannot take the games, inform the coaches that the scheduled referee is not there and that you are leaving.

Pre-Game Procedure

• Arrive 10 to 15 minutes before the game. Inspect the field and if you notice anything unusual bring it to the attention of the coaches or director.

• Introduce yourself to the coaches and ask them to show you their coach’s pass. No adult will be allowed on the player sideline without a coach’s pass. If they do not have a coach’s pass, ask them to move to the parent sideline.

• About 5 minutes before the game is to begin, give each coach a sideline flag with the instructions: "Please give this to an ADULT and give them instructions on the lineman's duties."

• About 4 minutes before the game is to begin, go to the coaches and say, "Please line the kids up so I can check their shin guards." Line them up, kids will rap their shin guards, and then show you their cleats. No metal cleats are allowed, and players without shin guards are not allowed to play.

• Check for jewelry and have players tuck in their shirts.

• One minute prior to game time, blow the whistle LOUDLY, say, "CAPTAINS!", and go through the coin toss routine. Winner of the toss gets the choice of sides or kickoff. In the second half, team that started the game on defense gets the opening kickoff and the teams switch sides.

Starting the Game - Kickoff

• The ball is placed inside of the center circle on the center mark.

• The ball is stationary.

• All players must be on their side of the field.

• Defenders must be outside the center circle. (If not: rekick)

• Count the players on the field. Ask the goalies if they are ready.

• Blow your whistle and play starts once the ball moves forward. If the ball isn't kicked forward, the offensive team retakes the kickoff.

• The kicker cannot touch the ball again until a second player has touched it. (penalty: loss of possession- indirect kick)

• After a team scores a goal, the other team takes the kickoff.

During the Game - Be Assertive

• Blow the whistle LOUDLY on every foul/illegal action and whenever the ball leaves the field. Indicate with your voice and arm pointing who gets the ball.

• Take charge and make the calls! If you don't make the calls, the spectators and coaches will start making the calls from the sidelines. Remember: Keep the game safe and fair.

• In the beginning, if you see play that you don't like, immediately tell the players to clean it up! Tell them what and who you see. ("Stop holding, pushing, keep your hands down, etc.")

• Don't let dirty or questionable play get started. If the players don't stop, use your whistle.

• If a player or players commit more than one foul at the same time, assess the penalty on the most serious offense.

• If there has been contact that doesn't warrant a whistle tell the players to "Play on". This should be used for contact where neither side gains an advantage.

• You should allow play to continue when the team that has been fouled will benefit and penalize the original offense (blow the whistle) only if the anticipated advantage does not occur immediately (within 3 seconds).

• Stop play if a player is seriously injured or could be seriously injured.

• Stop play if a player is bleeding. The player cannot return until the bleeding has stopped.

• The clock runs continuously. There is no clock stoppage for injury.

• Talk to the younger kids to encourage them. Help them set the ball up, instruct them on proper technique, etc.

Protect the Goalkeeper from Injury

• The goalkeeper is considered to be in control of the ball by touching it with any part of his hand or arms.

• As long as the goalkeeper is in control of the ball, the attackers may not kick or head the ball. A typical penalty would be dangerous play, no goal and goal kick to the defenders.

• Possession does NOT include a ball that accidentally rebounds from the goalkeeper, for example after he has just made a save.

Quarters and Halftime

• Use a "double-whistle" to signal the quarter or half and yell "Quarter" or "Half.”

• No more than 2 minutes break for quarters and 5 minutes for half. Keep the game moving.

• Each quarter (half) starts with a kickoff. Kickoffs alternate between teams. Make sure that teams have switched sides to begin the second half and that the goalies are ready.

DON'T FORGET TO START YOUR WATCH!! If you forget, don't panic; just guess the time.

At the End

• Use a "double-whistle" to signal the end of the game and yell "TIME" or "GAME".

• Tell both teams "good game".

• Collect the flags

• Have ONE of the coaches sign your referee card. Send in the card for payment.


In the event of lightning, wait 15 minutes after that last lightning strike. If lightning lasts longer than 15 minutes, call the game. (Work with the coaches on this)