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AYSO Region 418 Chicago Lakefront

Youth Referee Program

What is the Youth Referee Program?

The Youth Referee Program in Region 418 was launched to answer the growing demand for referees and to provide a leadership and volunteer opportunity for young people in our community.

How old do you need to be to participate?

Youth who are 12 to 17 years old 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.

Is training provided?

Yes. Prospective youth referees are welcome to attend any Basic Referee class; occasionally there are 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.  

Does the region provide assistant for youth referees who are just getting started?

A mentor accompanies youth referees to their initial games.

Can youth referees ref any age game?

Youth referees, similar to adults, often start the the U10 level and move up to U12 as they gain more experience. 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. 

Can youth referees just be assistant referees if they don't want to serve as the center referee?

Definitely. We have many youth referees that are only assistant referees. We also have some referees that prefer to be center referees. A well experienced referee of any age has experience in both positions.

Is there an opportunity for youth referees to make money?

Yes. AYSO participates in two competitive travel based soccer programs - Northwind and Extra. Each of these programs compensate referees for their time. Youth referees must demonstrate competency before taking part in these games.

Are youth able to earn service hours for school by participating in the AYSO Youth Referee Program.

Check with your school, but in most cases, volunteer hours spent as a referee can be applied to service hours.

What happens if a youth referee has an issue with a parent or coach?

AYSO has a zero tolerance policy regarding the treatment of youth referees. The Region will fully investigate any reports of inappropriate behavior from parents or coaches. If there are ever any concern, please bring them up immediately to a Regional representative at the onsite game day tent or contact the Regional Referee Administrator at [email protected]

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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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