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Referee FAQ’s

Who are the referees? 
All volunteers, they are regular people, just like you. Many referees start when their children are young and move up with them. Referee training is provided for all age groups and levels. In the younger age groups, referees are mostly parents and Youth Referees who are new at it. Our goal is to have at least one parent from each team volunteer to take the Referee class.

What training is provided for Referees? 
In addition to Safe Haven, referee training is available on a Regional and Area level for our volunteers. Contact your Regional Referee Administrator for further information.

Why can’t I yell at the referee? 
Questioning the referees is not part of AYSO soccer. Remember that this is a game for kids. The kids learn what good sportsmanship looks like from how the adults act as much as what they say. Referees, coaches, all other volunteer parents and friends are out there to see that the game is safe, fair, and fun for the kids.

But what should I do if the referee makes a bad call? 
You should respect the difficult job that volunteer referees have and recognize that the referee, according to the FIFA Laws of the Game, is the ultimate authority on the field. Whether a coach, spectator, player, or parent, you should not vocally dispute the referees’ call (or even call out for an explanation). The coach may speak privately with the referee at halftime or after the game to seek an explanation.

But sometimes I see referees do things like not calling hand balls, and letting play continue when the ball breaks the plane of the sideline. Are they just trying to let the kids play, or do they just not know the rules?
First off, referees are volunteers, just like the coaches. They do receive thorough training, but even the best referees are going to miss a call from time to time. What’s important is that we are trying to teach the children that the referee is the authority on the field and that poor sportsmanship and complaining are not acceptable.

Secondly, keep in mind that many of the laws of the game in soccer are NOT like those in American games, and not always what they appear to be. For example, a “hand ball” does not need to be called if, in the referee’s judgment, it was not intentional. And, as far as boundary lines go: in soccer, the ball has to be completely over the line to be called out, or considered a goal; and, a player can be physically out of bounds and still be playing a ball inbounds without penalty (this is one reason spectators are often implored to stay well back of the sideline).

There are many other such nuances in the laws of the game. Any of our volunteer referees would be happy to explain some of them to you if you see something you don’t understand (after the game, of course). Generally speaking AYSO follows international soccer laws (FIFA) but there are a few modifications to accommodate AYSO principles (substitution breaks, for example, are not a part of soccer law) and, of course, short-sided soccer.

If you feel a referee is making too many mistakes or is not doing an acceptable job, please contact your Referee Administrator. If you’re still not satisfied, contact your Regional Commissioner.

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AYSO Area 5G

Pete Xiques, Director, AYSO Area 5G 
 Tennessee 37931

Email Us: [email protected]
Phone : 865-604-2678
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