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AYSO Region 418 Chicago Lakefront

Information for New and Prospective Referees

    Why are referees needed in the AYSO program?

    AYSO is a volunteer based organization and the Region needs volunteer referees to officiate our 10U and higher division games on Saturdays. Trained referees are a critical part of the AYSO experience for all involved.

    Who can become a referee?

    Adults and youth. Most of our referees are adults who either have kids in the program or previously did. We have many youth refs that were players in the program. One of our previous youth referees who started in AYSO went on to become the Illinois State Youth Referee of the Year.

    Do teams benefit from having trained referees?

    Having refs from teams is important! Teams with active referees are included in the refereed flights at SoccerFest. (SoccerFest is the Region's annual mini-tournament, held the last weekend of the spring season.)  Reports generated by RefScheduler are used to determine who the active referees are.

    What is the Region's role with referees?

    The Region's goal is to prepare you to serve as both assistant and center referees for various games.

    Do I need soccer or prior referee experience?

    No experience is required to be a referee. Coaches, parents, players and other volunteers have all proved to be excellent referees even if they have not played.

    Are there formal requirements?

    Make sure you meet the AYSO Referee Requirements (Where are these?)

    Are there people who can help me learn or answer my questions?

    Absolutely. We have online and in-person classes. We also have a team of experienced referees who are available to help you. 

    Do I need a uniform? Do I need to pay for that on my own?

    The Region will provide with you everything you need including a shirt, shorts, sox and whistle. The uniform is an important part of the game and the kids really like having referees in uniforms.

    Do I have to pay for any training?

    No. AYSO provides all the training and no cost.

    Are there other benefits to reffing?

    Being a referee can provide experience beyond the pitch. Check out this article on how great referees make great managers.

    Does the Region provide food or snacks for referees between games?

    When possible, snacks are provided for referees at the main tent.

    What do I do next if I'm interested in helping?

    There are a few steps that will require action on your part:

    • Register as a volunteer. You must first complete an AYSO volunteer registration form and be approved as an AYSO volunteer by Region 418. Once you are approved as a volunteer. Note: All volunteers must register annually, even if they no longer have kids in AYSO.
    • Take the online and in-person class.
    • Pick up your referee badge, gear and equipment!

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Contact Us

AYSO Region 418 - Chicago Lakefront

4507 N Ravenswood Ave, Suite 101
Chicago, Illinois 60640

Email Us: [email protected]
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