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AYSO Region 418 Chicago Lakefront

Youth Referees


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 12-17 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. 

Prospective youth referees are welcome to attend any Basic Referee class; there are also usually youth-only referee training classes near the start of the fall and spring seasons so that new youth referees can be trained with their peers. 

A mentor accompanies youth referees to their initial games. There is an opportunity for additional training to cover games in 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 he or she is officiating as the center referee.  (For example, a twelve-year-old youth referee  may be the center referee for a U10 game.)  

The program has multiple benefits:

  • Inspires younger players, giving them role models to look up to
  • Young people participating in the Youth Referee program get a chance to do community service and a unique opportunity for intellectual and emotional growth.
  • Helps relieve the shortage of U10 referees
  • Gives our youth a chance to “graduate” to acting as (paid) assistant referees for Northwind games (see the website for current Northwind AR fees)


Although we expect the best behavior from everyone toward all referees, it is simply forbidden to criticize a youth referee. There is NO TOLERANCE FOR NEGATIVE COMMENTS TO OR ABOUT YOUTH REFEREES (or any other game officials, for that matter) 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.


Thank you for your cooperation in this exciting program. Have a great season! For more information on the Youth Referee Program, please contact:  Michael Goroff, Region 418 Referee Administrator at [email protected]


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AYSO Region 418 - Chicago Lakefront

4507 N Ravenswood Ave, Suite 101
Chicago, Illinois 60640

Email Us: [email protected]
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