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AYSO Region 418 Chicago Lakefront

Common Questions Asked By Referees

There are many questions and scenarios that come for referees before, during and after the game. The below list provides some of the common questions that the Regional hears from new and experienced referees:

Do we give out yellow and red cards?

Not at games below U14. Any offense that would typically be 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 U14 and up, cards can be administered as appropriate .

How do you manage players on a hot day?

On very hot days, additional water breaks may be needed. Use your best judgement and work with coaches for consensus what works best.

What do you do when the game before yours is running late?

All games under U14 end at fifty five minutes after the hour. Even if a game started late, the game must end at the fifty five minute mark. If the referee is wearing a uniform, try to get their attention to point out the time. If it looks like the referee is a coach or parent, work with the coaches along the touch line to help the referee to end the game. 

How do get coaches back on the field after a quarter when they’re taking a long time?

The end of quarter or half can be a bit of a scramble for coaches as they try to figure out who they will field. Players sometimes come late or unannounced throwing a well planned player strategy off. Tactfully walk up to the coach, and let them know the game needs to start so the kids can have as much play time as possible.

How do you handle a situation where a child is really upset?

In the lower age groups, players can be very emotional or sensitive. It can be very helpful to engage and involve the coach with what is going on in these situations. In many cases, some empathy and a quick chat, can address the situations. In other cases, you may need to suggest to the coach that the player sit out the rest of the quarter. 

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 judgement to assess if you let play continue until the opportunity is over. 

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 center.

This doesn't come up that often, but if it does, you can explain the process for how referees sign up for games. Perhaps they can help you as an assist referee. Or if there is another game that needs a referee, you can always go to another field, if that is an option.

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.

The Region has always felt that a full referee team provides the best experience for players and referees even if that means some fields go without referees. This can be difficult for other coaches to understand. If they have questions about it, you can direct them to the Referee Administrator. In the under U14 divisions this doesn't come up often, but it can when referees agree to work together as a team for a specific game.

Is it OK to ref with one AR?

Definitely. Better to have one trained and qualified AR than none at all. The referee should stay on the same side for the entire game.

Is it OK to have a parent help AR 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.

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. 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.

How should I handle situations where there’s a soft cast?

Casts of any type are not allowed in our Region. In some travel leagues, some referees will let players play with some forms of casts, but we do not allow that in our Region. Do not allow coaches or parents pressure you that it is OK.

What should I do with kids who have bracelets that can’t be removed?

This situation is common after kids come back from vacations or various camps. Bottom line is that the bracelet must be removed for them to play. Again, coaches and parents have been informed. 



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AYSO Region 418 - Chicago Lakefront

4507 N Ravenswood Ave, Suite 101
Chicago, Illinois 60640

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