Referee Pre and Post Game Duties and Activities

Pre-Game

  • Arrive early
    • At least 15 minutes prior to game time (20-30 mins if first game of the day)
    • In proper uniform: jersey, shorts, black socks, and badge
    • With required equipment: Watch, pens, whistle, coin, flags, data wallet
  • Check field and equipment
    • Markings
    • Holes, glass, rocks, debris, etc.
    • Goals (properly secured)
    • Nets (secured, no holes/gaps)
    • Corner flags
  • Introduce yourself to the Coaches & Team Managers
    • Learn their names and write them down
    • Be approachable (not flippant, cold or arrogant)
    • Request  Lineup Cards (aka Game Cards)
    • Remind Home Team Coach you will need 3 good balls, properly inflated
    • Home Team wears “pinnies” if both teams have same/similar color jerseys,
    • Home Team (and their spectators) on North (or West) sideline of field
    • Away Team (and their spectators) on South (or East) sideline
  • Check players equipment
    • Team Uniform:
      • Shirt, Shorts, Shoes, Socks, Shinguards
      • If thermal shorts are worn, they must be the same color as the shorts
      • Shin guards must be under the socks (completely covered–safety issue)
      • Goalkeeper’s shirt must be distinguishable
      • If both teams have similar color jerseys, Home Team wears “pinnies”
    • Nothing dangerous (in your opinion)
      • No jewelry, watches, earrings. No taped-over earrings. No rubber “friendship bracelets”
      • No casts or splints (even if padded)
      • Knee braces are okay, but only if padded and safe to all players (in your opinion)
      • Medical alert bracelets may be worn, but must be secured to the player with tape, cloth wristband or something similar that is safe.  The information must remain visible.
  • Brief Assistant Referees
    • Neutral AR’s:
      • Work as a team
      • Follow standard signals
      • Discuss non-standard signals
    • Club Linesmen:
      • Non-neutral
      • Explain expectations
      • Put at ease
      • Only call in/out of play
      • Raise flag straight up when ball has gone completely over the line.
  • Conduct coin toss

Post-game

  • Collect the game balls and return to owner.
  • Supervise team handshake
  • Complete Lineup Card and Misconduct Report (if any).  Deposit in Field Box.
  • Congratulate referee team and seek feedback
  • If you are the last game of the day on that particular field, remind Parents of both teams to break down the field.

See Lineup Card instructions and Misconduct Report on the Referee Info & Resources page.

Please be sure to review your division guidelines on the Rules & Guidelines.