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Refereeing Information

Are referees permitted to wear a cast or splint while refereeing?
The AYSO National Rules and Regulations prohibit players from participating in practices or games while wearing a cast or splint (even with a doctor's permission). However, there is no such prohibition for referees to officiate while wearing a cast or splint even if they are youth referees. The likelihood of an injury to players occurring from contact with the referee's cast or splint is very remote. Some padding on the cast may add a measure of protection.
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. Once you are approved as a volunteer, the training to become an AYSO referee is provided to you for free. You should contact the Referee Administrator <>to get more information about the training schedule for referees in our Region.
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 in-person or 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. Safe Haven™ is a unique program that all AYSO volunteers are required and how we can all participate in making the AYSO experience a positive one for our kids. In addition, there is an online class. Safe Haven™ certification is mandatory for all AYSO coaches and referees on a nation-wide basis, and can be obtained by attending a clinic where Safe Haven™ training is offered.
 
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!
I am a soccer player; can I just take the certification test and avoid some or all of the beginning course?
Currently this is not an option. However, an online Basic Referee Training course is currently used in our Region. It will take less time to complete for those already familiar with the game or for those who would prefer to take their time and learn at their own pace in the comfort of their own home. 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 training course with an experienced instructor is a valuable learning experience.

What are the certification levels?
There are the six certification levels for AYSO referees.
Here is a brief description of the requirements for each:
U-8 Official
Complete the 8U Official Course and pass the 8U Official Exam.

Assistant Referee
Complete the Assistant Referee Course and pass the Assistant Referee Exam.

Regional Referee
Complete the Basic Referee Course and pass the Regional Referee Exam.

Intermediate Referee
Complete 25 games as referee with at least five in 12U games, complete the Intermediate Referee Course, pass the Intermediate Referee Exam and be (observed) mentored in a 12U game.

May referees wear hats or sunglasses?

USSF has modified their recommendations related to the use of referee caps to enhance their support for the health and safety of referees.
AYSO will immediately apply the updated recommendations as follows. If a referee wears a cap, the following requirements apply:
·         The cap must not endanger the safety of the official or the players.
·         The cap should be solid black or predominately black color.
·         The cap may display the logo of AYSO (preferred), USSF, or FIFA, but should not display other logos, slogans, or commercial marks.

Do I have to ref little kids before I can ref the older kids?
There is no requirement to referee younger players before refereeing older players. You may request referee assignments at whatever age level you feel comfortable. 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 old (and their parents) and managing 14 or 15 year old requires different skills. Officiating at the 16/19U is by invitation of the RRA.

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

Report to the Referee Coordinator for the appropriate age group 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.

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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Davison AYSO Region 721

PO BOX 217 
Davison, Michigan 48423

Email Us: [email protected]
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