The Youth Referee program in Region 418 was launched to answer the growing demand for referees and to provide a leadership opportunity for young people in our community.
Girls and boys ages 10-17 take the required referee training courses which certify them to officiate as assistant or center referees. These Youth Referees meet the same certification requirements as
adults. There will usually be Youth-only Referee Training right before the fall and spring sessions so that new Youth Referees can be trained with their peers. A mentor accompanies Youth Referees to
most games, especially their first few as the Referee - the person in charge of the game. There is an opportunity for additional training to cover games at the U12 and U14 Divisions as well as to be assistant referees (run the lines) for our Northwind travel games. AYSO guidelines establish that a
Youth Referee should typically be at least two years older than the Division they are working as a Referee.
The program has multiple benefits:
Although we expect the best behavior from everyone toward all referees, it is simply forbidden to criticize a youth referee, even if you are a referee. There is ZERO TOLERANCE FOR NEGATIVE COMMENTS TO OR ABOUT YOUTH REFEREES at any time before, during, or after games.
Anyone who does so will be asked to leave the game vicinity by the center referee, and the Regional Board may also choose to enact further sanctions.
These Youth Referees are well-trained, and many are also experienced players; however they are still youngsters without the life experience to handle negative remarks. Please give each your full support and help model good behavior for others to follow.