Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions2023-04-19T09:11:16-07:00
Friendly Reminders to Help Referees Officiate Games Successfully2023-04-19T09:17:17-07:00

When referees follow the simple and easy guidelines provided below, you will find that officiating youth soccer games can be a fun and rewarding experience.

  1. No earrings or jewelry of any kind are allowed! No exceptions!! This rule applies to players and referees alike. It is much easier for players, parents, and coaches to accept this condition when the referee follows the rules too.
  2. Provide a good learning experience for the game of soccer. Recreational leagues are a learning environment, therefore please help educate young players by explaining the rules/laws during the game. Remember to keep things brief and maintain the flow of the game.
  3. Be engaged and energetic. Players, coaches, and parents participate in soccer to have fun however they also want to know that the referees care. Therefore, display professionalism with how you interact with players and show you are engaged through energy and positive body language. (ie. Proper use of flag and whistle mechanics)
  4. Control the game and keep up with play on the field. You are there to ensure player safety and to enforce the laws of the game. Remember, the more you move around and keep up with the play, the better your control of the game.  (US Soccer recommends officials maintain 15-20 yards close to every play.)
  5. You are in control at all times. A confident referee is one who uses a loud whistle and a commanding voice. Remember, when players can hear a referee, they know what’s going on and are able to follow instructions. When a referee uses his/her whistle and voice, coaches and parents are confident that he/she has control of the game and rarely interfere.
Referee Checklist for Game Equipment2023-04-19T09:21:10-07:00
  1. Uniform
    • Shirt, shorts, and socks.
    • Dress professionally always! Wear either a black or dark navy undershirt beneath your referee uniform. With the ever-changing weather in the PNW, including the unpredicted rain, long sleeves are perfectly acceptable as long as they are the correct color mentioned above. Please NO hoods hanging outside of your uniform top. Tuck your uniform top into your black referee shorts or long pants. Black referee socks must be worn pulled up below your knees. It is preferred that referees wear black shoes. I ask that as long as you are warm and dry, look professional, and are wearing shoes that will keep you safe and injury free on whatever surface you will be refereeing, wear what you feel is appropriate. Finally, hats are ok JUST AS LONG AS they are black or dark navy, and you must look professional. (ie. neutral branded baseball caps are ok / ski caps can be worn only during colder weather.
  2. Flags
  3. Fox-40 whistle
    • We suggest getting the ones with the finger grip. Buy 2-3 because you will end up needing a back-up when the other goes missing.  Trust us it will happen eventually.
  4. Yellow/Red cards
  5. Flipping coin
  6. Velcro disc with adhesive
    • For affixing your badge/patch to your shirt.
  7. Referee “book” which is also known as a “wallet”.
    • Score sheets/cards can be printed in RefTown and cut to size to fit into your wallet.  These have all game/match details, so I suggest you use the ones provided in RefTown as they’re very handy.
  8. Pencils and pens.
    • You’ll need a way of keeping track of the match details including score.  You’ll be asked these questions when submitting your game reports in RefTown to get paid.  You can get one for $15.  Make certain it has a stopwatch function.
  9. A large plastic trash bag
    • To put your ref bag inside in case of rain.
  10. Sunscreen
  11. Snacks
    • Energy bars are great! Snacks are needed if you are going to be officiating more than one game.
  12. Ziplock baggies
    • This helps hold a paper copy of league rules and for keeping them dry
  13. Water
  14. Hand Sanitizer
    • Don’t expect port-a-potties to always provide this.
  15. Toilet paper
    • Always be prepared as this is one thing you don’t want to run out of in an emergency.
The 30/30 Lightning Safety Guideline2021-10-20T18:16:30-07:00

The 30/30 Guideline has two parts. The first part deals with when participants should stop outdoor activity and seek protection under an appropriate shelter. The second part deals with when it is safe to return to outdoor activities.

  • Part 1 – Stop the activity if the time between seeing a lightning flash and hearing a thunder-clap is less than 30 seconds, the thunderstorm is within 10km (as sound travels at approximately 340m per second). Stop all outdoor activity immediately and seek appropriate shelter indoors (such as in a solid building or totally enclosed car). Do not seek shelter under a tree (or group of trees) in the open or in small open structures such as picnic shelters.
  • Part 2 – You should wait a minimum of 30 minutes after the last sound of thunder is heard before resuming outdoor activities.

If your game can be played within the scheduled time, please do so. Also, do your best to make the halves even times, if possible, but if not, that’s alright please get the kids playing soccer. If your game cannot be played within the allotted time, there will be NO reschedules and you must end the game so the next one can start on time. Any questions please your referee coordinator.

How to Write Misconduct Reports and Why They’re Important!2021-10-20T18:30:54-07:00

If you show the card, you must do the paperwork! The paperwork is as much a part of the game as calling fouls. Team, coach, and player discipline cannot be done properly unless you turn in ALL misconduct reports promptly and correctly.

What Do I Need?

  1. Your game card and any notes
  2. Current FIFA LOTG – Reference Law 12 for penal fouls (reckless/excessive force)
  3. USSF 7 + 7 Misconduct Information
  4. Sample Misconduct Reports (provided below)

Why Is This Important?

  1. You, as the Referee, are empowered by Law 5 to take disciplinary action against players guilty of cautionable and sending-off offences. Further, you have the authority to take action against team officials who fail to conduct themselves in a responsible manner. However, you are also required to provide your assignor with a match report that includes information on any disciplinary action taken against players/coaches/and/or team officials and any other incidents that occurred before, during or after the match.
  2. The referee assignor, and Club, reviews your written report and allows player/coach to separately comment on their actions.
  3. Sanctions (possible game sit-outs) are levied against the player/coach and/or team, and the reputation of the game is maintained (or not), solely on the basis of your written report!
  4. In some leagues, yellow and red cards “add up” against a player and team. Using cards to control a game and failing to turn in the appropriate paperwork allows players and/or teams to develop a pattern of misconduct without any disciplinary action being taken. Do your fellow referees a favor and do the paperwork!

What are the ABC’s of Writing Misconduct Reports?

  1. Be ACCURATE – in reporting the incident avoid confusing or conflicting statements. Make sure the stated offense matches the incident described. Double-check the player/coach information.
  2. Be BRIEF – you are required to report only the incident leading to the caution or sending off. Information about the state of the playing surface or climatic conditions should be included only if you feel they play a part in the incident described.
  3. Be CLEAR – stick rigidly to a description of the incident. (For example- a kick in the groin, a punch in the face, etc.) It is not for you to pass judgment. The Disciplinary Committee, the League, the Club, etc., will make a judgment from the information you provide.

What Basic Information Should I Get?

  1. All misconduct reports require the basic game / referee / player / team information. Always get complete game rosters before the game from both teams. (Do this for other leagues when a roster is required.) Soccer 5 does not require player rosters, so ask the Coach for player’s first and last name.
  2. Soccer 5 requires referees to look at coach cards of all coaches and note their first and last name on your game card before starting the game. Be certain to include this information in your game report on OSC.
  3. Game Date, Time, Field # and Location, grade, gender, team Name of offending player, first and last name of offending player, Referee name, and any other details you deem relevant to the offense/incident.

What is the Difference Between the Offense and the Incident?

  1. You must differentiate between the “offense” and the “incident” when making a report. The “offense” is a classification according to the laws of the game of a player’s misconduct (ref. the USSF 7 + 7 Misconduct Information see link below). The “incident” is what the player actually did at the time he/she committed the offense.
  2. Your report must also make clear the following:
    • The time at which the incident took place and how long it lasted.
    • Whether it had any consequences and, if so, of what nature.
    • Where it took place using a field diagram to establish location, if necessary.
    • As referee, your position and distance from the incident.
    • Whether the ball was in play, or not.
    • If a player was fouled, the part of the body that was struck.
    • Whether the player received medical treatment. Do not state any personal medical opinions.
    • All of the above will be included in your game report on OSC (Oregon Soccer Central).

Click on this link to access the specifics on the following which I’m confident you will find invaluable whenever you are faced with having to write up a Misconduct Report.

Tips for Referees to Keep Games Running On Time2023-04-19T09:16:27-07:00
  1. Arrive 30 minutes prior to your first game. When one game runs behind it causes a chain reaction for all the following games to run behind. Remember, a prepared referee is a successful referee.
  2. Eliminate the traditional coin toss. Instead, the visiting teams kick off the first half and the home teams take kickoff the second half. Teams can also start the game on the same half of the field as where their team bench area is located.
  3. Running a quick and efficient, but proper, team check-in process. Referees could seek help from a nearby referee mentor, when one is available, to assist them with checking-in teams.
  4. Shorten half time from 10 minutes to 5 minutes, when necessary. Referees MUST communicate that you are doing this to the coaches. It is preferred that referees do NOT shorten the length of games as we want the kids to play as much soccer as possible.
  5. Keeping track of time throughout your shift. Referees need to continually check your watch so that you keep games running “on time” every week. Coaches need to have their teams arrive prepared to play at their assigned kickoff time. If teams aren’t prepared to play by kickoff, referees should start the game clock and communicate you are doing so to both team’s head coaches. If you need assistance, please enlist help from a nearby mentor or contact your assignor.
Referee Rules and Tips for Self-Assigning:2022-09-20T14:48:49-07:00

Each week the fields may have anywhere from 2 to 6 games scheduled

  1. If the field has 2 games, please take both.
  2. If the field has 3 games, please take all three.
  3. If the field has 4 games, please follow the below criteria:
    • Take all four.
    • Take the first two.
    • Take the last two.
  4. If the field has 5 games, please follow the below criteria:
    • Take the first three or the last three.
    • Take the first two or the last two.
  5. If the field has 6 games, please follow the below criteria:
    • Take the first three.
    • Take the last three.
    • Please do not take games in the middle.

The idea is to NEVER leave a single game open that no one else will want to take.

What is the HANDBALL RULE in soccer?2022-10-07T10:23:32-07:00

In this video, we are going to be explaining the handball rule in soccer. This is a controversial topic in soccer that we are going to be breaking down.

What is an Indirect Free Kick (IDFK)?2022-09-21T11:02:58-07:00

In the videos below they will be breaking down indirect free kicks.

Referee Game Management2022-10-18T13:39:07-07:00
  • Beginner Tutorial VIDEO: Click Here to view video.
    • Confidence is hardly ever talked about, but it is one of the most important things to have as a referee.
  • Advanced Tutorial VIDEO: Click Here to view video.
    • Three video clips with really good discussion about different ways to control and maintain control in a match.
Foul Selection2022-10-31T10:02:51-07:00

See below short videos to assist with Foul Selection decision making.

  • Beginner:
    • Clip 1 – Soccer Referee Education – Trips or Fair? (No Foul #19) (90 seconds)
      • Soccer referee does not call this contact between opponents in a soccer game.  Is this fair play or an infringement?  You make the call.
    • Clip 2 – Soccer Ref Tips – Fair Tackle (No Foul #1) (2 mins)
    • Clip 3 – WPA Referee Development – Charging (2 mins)
  • Advanced:
    • Clip 1 – FIFA CONSIDERATIONS Session 5 – Tactical Fouls (13 mins)
      • 3 match clips and discussion regarding Stopping a Promising Attack (SPA) and Denying an Obvious Goal Scoring Opportunity (DOGSO)

All Officials – Can You Tell What the Call Should Be?: Is it SPA, DOGSO, or DOG? (2 mins)

There is no doubt the yellow defender #14 was beaten and fouled the attacker. The question lies in, Is this DOGSO? 1st – At the time the pass is made, the attacker is level at best with #14 and behind all other defenders, so Number of defenders is yes. Distance to goal is yes and direction of play is yes. So we are down to distance to ball or possession. This is what saves the defender. The ball is played long enough, and the goalkeeper is playing a high enough line that there is doubt as to whether the forward had an OBVIOUS scoring opportunity. This makes the misconduct a caution for SPA and not DOGSO as the last qualification was not met.

What is offside in soccer? | The Offside Rule Simplified With Video2022-09-21T11:02:44-07:00

In the videos below they will be breaking down the offside rule. They will teach you exactly what the offside rule is in soccer, and how to call it correctly from a referee’s perspective.

Referee Mechanics / Signals Guide2024-04-08T09:13:02-07:00

Center Referee Signal Mechanics – CLICK HERE

Assistant Referee Flag Mechanics – CLICK HERE

Whistle Basics – CLICK HERE

Five Mistakes Soccer Parents Make With Their Players2023-01-09T17:50:27-07:00

Click Here to read the full story.

  1. They don’t encourage their player to make mistakes.
  2. They fight battles that aren’t theirs to fight.
  3. They don’t engage their players in the development process.
  4. They coach and cheer for the wrong things on game day.
  5. They analyze the game with their player afterwards.
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