Website Manager

American Youth Soccer Organization Providing world class youth soccer programs that enrich children's lives.

AYSO Region 418 Chicago Lakefront

Common Questions Asked By Referees

There are many questions and scenarios that may occur for referees before, during or after the game. The below list provides some of the common questions for both new and experienced referees:

Do we give out yellow and red cards?
Not at games below 14U. Any offense at 12U and younger that would typically call for a yellow or red card should be handed by the referee through instruction and feedback. Sometimes the referee might bring in the coach to participate in those conversations. Starting with 14U and up, cards should be administered as appropriate.

What do you do when the game before yours is running late?
All games 12U and younger must end no later than 55 minutes after the hour. Even if a game started late, it must end at the 55 minute mark. 14U games must end no later than 5 minutes before the starting time of the next game.

How do you get teams back on the field after a quarter substitution break when they’re taking a long time?
The quarter substitution break can be a bit of a scramble for coaches as they try to figure out who they will field. It is a substitution break, not an instructional break. Players sometimes come late or unannounced, throwing a well planned player substitution strategy off. Tactfully walk up to the coach and remind them that  the game needs to start  immediately so the kids can have as much playing time as possible. Since you should be on the field at the location of the restart, in the older age groups, a good option is to blow the whistle and let the coaches know that it's time to get the game going again.

How do you handle a situation where a child is really upset?
Dealing with this is part of the coach's job. In the lower age groups, players can be very emotional or sensitive. Let the coach with what is going on in these situations. In many cases, some empathy and a quick chat can address the situations. In extreme cases, you could suggest to the coach that  having the player sit out the rest of the quarter might be an option. In any case, that would be up to the coach.

What do you do when a player is injured and the opposite team has a promising opportunity?
This can be a challenging situation and there's no easy answer and a lot of depends on the division and age of players. You will need to use your best judgment to assess if you let play continue until the opportunity is over. However, if you believe that a player has suffered a head injury or other serious injury, stop play immediately, regardless of the situation.

What do you do if you signed up for a game on Refscheduler, but a parent at the game tells you they are going to ref or a coach wants to ref.
This doesn't come up that often, but if it does, you explain that you are the referee assigned to the game and that you will be handling it. Perhaps a parent can help you as a linesperson or, if they are a certified referee, as an assistant referee. In the case of a coach insisting they want to ref, the message is the same. You are assigned to the game and you will be the referee. Their job is to coach.

What do you do if you have a three man team, and someone from another field asks if one of the ARs can come over and ref.
A full referee team always provides the best experience for players,  but if another game does not have a referee, it's best if one of the ARs goes over to handle that game. This can be difficult for other coaches to understand. If they have questions about it, you can direct them to the Referee Administrator.

Is it OK to ref with one AR?
Definitely. Better to have one trained and qualified AR than none at all. The referee can adjust positioning for that.

Is it OK to have a parent help as a linesman if they are not a certified ref?
Yes. Parents can be very helpful with determining if a ball has gone over the touch line along with which player last touched the ball. This is a great opportunity to bring new referees in to the ranks with a little game exposure. They do not determine offside.

What do you do when you and a coach are in disagreement about a policy?
The referee has the final word and it is important for the Region's referees to be familiar with the Laws of the Game and AYSO Policies. Sometimes there are misunderstandings and if they can't be worked out directly with the coach, then a Regional Board member at the tent can help out.

What if I feel that a child should come off for a concussion injury, but the coach doesn’t agree.
There is no discussion on this topic with coaches. If the referee feels the child may be at risk of a concussion based on their concussion training, the player must sit out for the remainder of the game. Referees have the final say here.

What should I do when kids don’t have shin guards?
They can't play. Those are the rules. The coaches and parents have all been informed of this. Shin guards must be worn completely under the socks. Not on top with the socks pulled down over them. If a player has the socks pulled down over the shin guards, direct the player (and, if needed, the coach) to fix that. The shin guard goes on against the leg, then the sock pulled up and over the shin guard.

How should I handle situations where there’s a soft cast?
Casts of any type, even if removable, are not allowed. Do not allow coaches or parents pressure you that it is OK.

What should I do with kids who have bracelets or other jewelry?
This situation is common, especially after kids come back from vacations or various camps. Bottom line is that the bracelet or jewelry must be removed for them in order to play. Again, coaches and parents have been informed. 

What about studs in newly pierced ears?
Earrings and ear studs are not allowed. They must come out. Despite what parents might claim, they can be removed and put back in after the game. Work through the coach to make it the parent's decision. The player can either remove them and play or keep them in and not play. It's up to the parent.

National Partners

Region 418 Sponsors and Partners

Contact Us

AYSO Region 418 - Chicago Lakefront

4507 N Ravenswood Ave, Suite 101
Chicago, Illinois 60640

Email Us: [email protected]
Phone : 312-216-0102
Copyright © 2024 Region 418  |  Privacy Statement |  Terms Of Use |  License Agreement |  Children's Privacy Policy  Login