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Referee_FAQ

What's all this about no more heading for younger players?
  • A Legal Settlement involving all US Soccer (including AYSO) involves banning of heading for age 10 and below, and limiting heading in practice for ages 11 to 13.  Effective immediately (15 February 2016)
    • Consistent with the U.S. Soccer mandates on heading the ball, heading is BANNED for all division players U-11 (U-12 and below for programs with single-age divisions) and below in BOTH Practice and games.
    • Heading for players in U-14 is limited to a maximum of thirty (30) minutes per week with no more than 15-20 headers per player.  There is no restriction on heading in [U14 and above] matches.
    • An Indirect Free Kick (IFK) is to be taken from the place where the player touched the ball with his/her head.
    • An IFK awarded to the attacking team INSIDE the [defending] team's goal area, must be taken on the goal area line parallel to the goal line at the point nearest to where the player touched the ball with his/her head.
    • Neither Cautions nor Send-Offs shall be issued for Persistent Infringement or Denying an Obvious Goal-Scoring Opportunity related to the heading infraction.

I want to be a Referee.  What do I do?
The player wants to wear earrings under tape.  Can I let her?
 I signed up for a game but now I can't ref it (or signed up the wrong game by accident).  What do I do?
  • Send email to RRA@ayso35.org.  Be sure to include either GAME NUMBER from Arbiter, or DATE + FIELD + TIME so I have the right one to edit.

Can I referee my own child's game?

  • We'd prefer you referee another game (maybe before or after) and watch your child's game.  If they are short-handed, then it's better to have you as a trained ref than no game or than club linesmen.
  • Definitely don't sign up to center your child's game in advance.  If no one there, then offer to take center. 
  • You may sign up to AR in advance, but please only the night before (give others a crack at it).  Be sure to tell the Center you have a child on one of the teams.

They were short of referees on some fields, and I did more games than I had planned.  How do I get recorded for doing the games?

  • Usually in Arbiter that evening you can go in and sign up even after the fact (if after 9pm, considered "yesterday" since their server is on the east coast, so you'd need to check "Show all games").
  • If it won't let you sign up (or if, say, you and the center swapped), then just email me at RRA@ayso35.org.  Again, be sure to include DATE, FIELD, TIME so I edit the right one.

Where do I enter the scores?

  • See ArbiterSports_Instructions
  • Use COMMENTS field only for safety/sportsmanship issues (will be read by board members) such as field condition, coach/spectator behavior problems, etc.
  • Use NOTES field for all other notes, and if possible, the Jersey numbers scoring for each team.

Do I need to keep the Lineup Cards?

  • For U8, just a souvenir
  • For U10+, in Fall there are post-season tournaments, so just toss them in a drawer at home, in case we need to check later if, for example, a score was entered backwards (I've done it myself more than once).  It's always a good idea to write COLOR on lineup card and mention it in the NOTES (e.g., "Red defeated Blue 2-1.  Red goals #3, #11, Blue goals #7.")

One team had too few players.  How do I record?

  • If U8 just divide up whoever your have with pennies and have fun scrimmage.  No post-season tournament, no problems.  Just record in NOTES in arbiter, please, who was short-handed.
  • If U10 or higher, then there are two categories, Forced Forfeit and ChosenForfeit/Play Down:
    • If by 10 past the start time one team still has TOO FEW PLAYERS <5 for U10 (7v7 game), <6 for U12 (9v9 games) or <7 for U14+, then it's a FORFEIT (record as such in Arbiter).  With coaches, divide up players left with pennies and have a fun scrimmage.
    • If by 10 past start time, one team has the minimum (5 for U10, 6 for U12, 7 for U14+) then the short-handed coach has two choices:
      • Coach choice 1:  Play Down with team on hand.  If so play the regular game.  The other side can field their full allotment (no sense penalizing them; they were on time!).  Record in Arbiter as a regular game (can add notes)
      • Coach choice 2:  Voluntary Forfeit and scrimmage.  If the short-handed coach would rather play a scrimmage, then Record as FORFEIT in Arbiter.  Then you can mix and match teams and play a fun scrimmage.  NOTE:  Any members from prior team (staying around) who play with a team also makes it a Forfeit and scrimmage for Arbiter.  It can still be fun, but it's a forfeit for the purposes of determining tournament points for post-season play.  Note also any "other" player must be a valid AYSO player in that league (no mixed gender play, no big/little sibling from another division).

Where can I go to learn more about being a better referee?

  • See the Area WebPage at http://www.ayso2j.org/referee for links to lots of great tips, videos, class opportunities, etc.
  • Read Whistle Stop, the weekly AYSO Referee national newsletter (always includes great "what if" scenarios).  You can sign up in your Volunteer Form on eAYSO if you want it emailed to you each week.  It includes three separate kinds of info:
    • To Whistle or Not to Whistle:  scenarios (puzzles) on what should the referee do in a given situation
    • What's The Correct AYSO Answer?:  ways beyond LOTG to interact with players, coaches, parents
    • Beyond the Pitch:  ways to get involved in Referee Administration
  • Attend a Referee Meeting.  See http://www.ayso35.org/region-35-calendar for dates and information for Regional and Area meetings.  We'll try to have at least one per season.
  • The San Jose Soccer Referee Association SJSRA has monthly meetings with a mix of refs from AYSO, CYSA, High School, College, MLS (even occasional FIFA Ref guest speaker).  If you really are getting the referee bug and want to meet more refs, it is good.  I will try to send out their meeting notices to the Yahoo groups.
  • Take the INTERMEDIATE Class if you have a Regional badge (or ADVANCED class if you have an Intermediate badge already).  Check the calendar or eAYSO.org for opportunities.  Email me or one of the other area ref instructors and we'll help you find one coming up.
  • Look at the schedule and go watch an upper division game centered by an experience referee.  You can gain a lot from folks who have been there a while already.

I want to help, but am physically unable to referee, or just don't want to be a Referee in Uniform.  What can I do?

  • I am in great need of Referee ADMINISTRATION help.  This could be helping maintain the mailing lists/call lists, or helping me administrate the Ref equipment and uniforms, or helping plan and setting up meetings with referees and coaches (including Youth Referee events), and lots of other things I'd love to do given the help.
  • Email me at RRQ@ayso35.org and we'll figure something out.

I want to add another question/answer to this FAQ.  What do I do?

  • Email me at RRA@ayso35.org for any referee question, or even a "how should I have handled that?"
  • Likewise, if you see ANY issue on people's behavior to referees (and especially to Youth Referees) EMAIL ME or another Board member.
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