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AYSO Region 42 – Newbury Park, CA

Referee FAQ

How are games handled that don't have a certified, qualified referee?

This policy applies to all Division levels that use Referees.

  • There’s a distinction between Referee Certifications and Referee Qualifications:
    • Certified: Completed necessary training, tests, etc. and has earned the Referee badge appropriate to each Division level. 10U = Regional Referee; 12U = Intermediate Referee; 14U = Advanced Referee.
    • Qualified: Completed necessary steps to be an active volunteer for Region 42 for this year including Volunteer registration, Background check, Live Scan fingerprinting, Safe Haven, SafeSport, etc.).
  • Games: As long as the center referee is both certified (at the correct badge level) AND qualified, the game can be played. Win/loss points will count and that referee (and any certified AND qualified ARs) can earn Ref Points.
  • Games: If there is a certified (at the correct badge level) AND qualified center referee and one or two certified but NOT qualified assistant referee(s), those AR’s can perform all the duties of an AR (not just the ball out-of-bounds calls that club linesmen can make), but they will NOT earn Ref Points.
  • Scrimmages: If there is no certified (at the correct badge level) AND qualified center referee for a given match, that match becomes a scrimmage and win/loss points won’t count for both teams.
  • For scrimmages (i.e. no CR at the correct badge level), any referees who are certified (at a LOWER badge level) AND qualified CAN earn Ref Points for officiating the scrimmage.
  • For scrimmages, if there is a certified (at the correct badge level) but NOT qualified center referee available, that referee can officiate the scrimmage IF there are qualified coaches at the game who can provide the oversight required at any AYSO event, including a scrimmage. That referee would NOT earn Ref Points for officiating the scrimmage.
  • For scrimmages, if there are no certified referees available, the coaches will manage the scrimmage as they would when scrimmaging during practices. The coaches would not, of course, earn Ref Points for these scrimmages.
  • Note that for many games there may be at least two certified and qualified referees (namely the team referees who are there to watch their own child’s game). If they are certified (at the correct badge level) and qualified, they can step in to referee the game and WOULD earn Ref Points for doing so (within the constraints of Ref Points per week).
  • Note that if a team had a scheduled game that became a scrimmage due to the constraints above, their win/loss/tie points from all of their other games in the season will be weighted for comparative team standings. All Ref Points earned during the season would be counted and not weighted.
    • For example:
    • One team plays all 10 games during the season with 5 wins, 2 ties and 3 losses and they earned 2 Ref Points per weekend (up to the maximum of 15 for the season). Their cumulative standings points would be: 5x3 + 2x1 + 3x0 + 15 = 32.
    • Another team plays 9 games and 1 scrimmage during the season with 4 wins, 2 ties and 3 losses in their games (the scrimmage scores don't count) and they earned 2 Ref Points per weekend (up to the maximum of 15 for the season). Their unweighted standings points would be: 4x3 + 2x1 + 3x0 + 15 = 29. However, their win/tie points would be weighted by 1.1 (10/9). Therefore, their weighted standings points would be 4x3x1.1 + 2x1x1.1 + 3x0 + 15 = 13.2 + 2.2 + 0 + 15 = 30.4.

What referee clinics/courses are offered by Region 42 and what age levels can take them?

Basic referee (Regional Referee) training in Region 42 consists of two parts, and is available for volunteers age 12 and above. The first part is an on-line course that can be taken at your own pace.* After taking the course and obtaining the certificate of completion, a supplementary 3-hour, on-the-field class will acquaint new referees with the mechanics of refereeing a 10U referee match. This field work will partly involve practice refereeing of scrimmages between teams that will be playing in the fall.

* This was new for Region 42 in 2021. In prior years we held all-day training sessions, but the on-line course has been substantially improved and now provides excellent instruction.

How do I register for the on-line course and field training?

Please refer to the Referee Training page on this website.

Can Regional referees take AR slots at 12U games?

Yes, but only after attending our Offside Workshop and/or approval of the referee staff. Each season Region 42 offers an Offside Workshop about three weeks into the season. Once you have taken this class, you are eligible to be an AR for 12U games. See details at the Offside Workshop page.

What age levels of referees can earn ref points?

Region 42 uses a “Referee Points” system to ensure we have referee coverage across all our games each weekend (see full description of the Referee Points system here). Referee points are given for teams in the 10U, 12U, and 14U divisions. The younger divisions are non-competitive, and referees for the 16U and 18U games are assigned at the Area 10E level. Each team can accumulate up to 15 referee points per season – these are added to the team standing points. Adult (aged 18 and above) Regional Referees (or higher) can earn Referee points. Youth Referees aged 12–17 cannot earn Referee Points, but they earn incentive points through the Youth Referee Program instead. There is one exception to that rule: Youth Intermediate (or higher) Referees or those who have taken the Intermediate Referee and passing the exam are Intermediate Referee candidates and may earn Referee Points for teams, at the discretion of the Region Referee Staff.

Do volunteer referees officiate their own child’s game?

In the 7/8U Divisions, parents who have a 8U Official certification or higher may referee their own child’s games. Parent referees whose children are in the competitive divisions (10U–14U) should generally not referee their own child’s games. Instead, they sign up to referee other games (and earn Referee Points for their child's team) using the Self Scheduling System.  However, there are exceptions. See examples below.

A parent who happens to be a certified Regional Referee may be at his child’s U10 game, to watch the game. If the game needs an AR or even the CR, the parent can volunteer to step up and fill the open referee role. The other Referee(s) for the game (if any), the coaches, the players and the parents should all be appreciative of the parent stepping up to help out. One suggestion for referee parents: if you’re up for filling in like this, try to have your full uniform with you, especially including your badge. That way you’ll look the part when you take to the field.

Given the challenges of getting full referee coverage ahead of time in the Referee Scheduling system, if we get to the Friday before game day, and a referee parent notices that their own child’s game has no referee coverage in the referee scheduler, that referee parent can feel free to sign up in the ref scheduler to CR that game (assuming they are certified to referee at that division level).

While there are sometimes concerns about bias when a parent is refereeing their child’s game, in our experience those parents go out of their way to be fair and avoid any semblance of bias or conflict of interest.

Do I have to re-certify as a referee by taking the clinic every year?

No, it’s a one-time process (per badge level). We do encourage certified referees to take the online course. Every year there are a few changes to the Laws of the Game and so refreshers are always helpful. You're also welcome at any of the field sessions to help shake off the dust on your refereeing skills. Every AYSO volunteer, including referees, does need to re-register as a volunteer each year. We will also be offering referee "meetings" on a regular basis where new and returning referees can get refereeing information or ask questions about their refereeing experiences.

How do I get my ref point if I referee (CR or AR) a game to fill a vacancy on a Saturday, but I didn’t sign up for it on the scheduler ahead of time?

On a normal game day we typically have a few open slots that have not been scheduled in the online system. Referees filling in for an additional game can earn a point for that game as long as they enter their details on the master paper schedule at the referee tent. Note, however that teams can earn a maximum of 2 referee points per week. (See the Referee Points page for more info)

What do I do if I think there’s an error in my team’s ref points?

Requests to review or modify referee point totals may be submitted to the Referee Scheduler up until week 8 of the season. After week 8, point review requests can not be accepted. (See the Referee Points page for more info)

I work Sunday evenings or am otherwise unavailable to sign up for games at 7pm. By the time I am able to sign up, all the 10U game slots are taken.

We do recognize that while the 7pm release of the two-week-ahead game schedule may be the fairest solution for the most referees, there are some for whom it does not work. We suggest that you ask a family member or your team’s coach to sign in as you at 7pm on Sunday (not a big security concern for you to share your password with them, as there’s very little you can do in the system) and sign you up for a slot. If you know when you’ll be available and they can get a slot that works for your schedule, that’s best. But if you don’t know your schedule yet, have them grab any slot. Once you have one, you can work with the Referee Scheduler to swap slots – many referees are happy to swap slots to help out a fellow referee.

I’m really nervous about my first game, how do I get help?

Sign up for a mentor for your first (and future games, as needed)! (See the Mentor Program page for more info)

Referee Meetings

Region 42 is planning on holding informal referee meetings on a regular basis during the course of the season. These will be held at Pepper Tree Park in the ref shed after (most of) the games are played for the day. These will be informal and open to anyone who would like additional referee information, has questions about refereeing, or would like to discuss their referee experience. Additional information will be posted here, and meetings will be announced with signs at the referee shed on the days of the meetings.

What should I keep in mind when refereeing 7U and 8U games?

Certified 8U (or higher) referees are needed to fill the CR position on 8U and 7U games. Coaches will need to get parent volunteers to take the 8U Official online training. The Home team will be the default team to provide the certified referee at each game. The coaches can confer and adjust that as needed on any given week. The 8U certified team referees are encouraged to register in the Referee Scheduler system and use it each week to sign up for their 7U/8U games. Regional or 8U certified referees who are earning referee points for their team in the competitive divisions (10U-14U) may also sign up to referee any of the 8U games and earn one referee point for an 8U CR slot. Signing up in the referee scheduler prior to game day will ensure that each game has a certified referee.

A few reminders about 7 & 8U games:

  • 20 minute halves
  • 7U plays 6v6 WITHOUT goalkeepers
  • U8 plays 6v6 WITH goalkeepers
  • No offside
  • Direct Free Kick for all offenses ***
  • No heading the ball, goalkeepers may not punt the ball, and no slide tackling; if any of these occur it's a Direct Free Kick for the opposing team
  • The Build Out LIne (BOL) may be used at the discretion of the Division Director.
  • No coaching behind the goal (this is true at all age levels)
  • Referees can and should educate players (short discussions) about fouls called
  • Players can use throw-ins. No action required on a second improper throw-in – just let play continue
  • See 7U/8U Referee Policy and Game Management Overview for more information.

 *** This is different than what is described in the on-line 8U certification course; direct free kicks are more straight forward and less prone to confusion about the proper procedures by both the players and the referees. 

For all divisions, how long are the halves, how many players are on the field per team, is there a goalkeeper and what size ball should be used?

Link to the table: Division and Game Specs

What’s a good site to visit to read questions and answers about refereeing?

Try Great site with questions asked by regular referees and answered by experienced referees

I’m a coach trying to find referees for tournaments in the post season, can you help?

Yes, please see the Tournament Referees List. This lists Region 42 referees who are interested in refereeing in post season tournaments. You can e-mail them to see if they’re available for your tournaments.

What is Region 42’s policy on slide tackles?

Slide tackling is NOT allowed in the 10U and younger divisions. Coaches shall discourage this at both practices and games. The referee should call Dangerous Play on a player who attempts to slide tackle an opponent, regardless of whether or not there is contact with the opponent.

Slide tackles are tricky to properly coach and execute, and both the tackler and the player being tackled are at higher risks of injury. Moreover, legal and illegal slide tackles are difficult for new referees to recognize (it has nothing to do with whether or not the player "got the ball") and therefore to help maintain a safe, fair, and fun environment for young players we do not allow slide tackles at 10U and below. 

It should be noted that if a team makes it to the playoffs it's important to be aware that slide tackles ARE allowed in Area playoff games.

What are the changes that have been made to the Laws of the Game?

The most substantial recent changes to the Laws were made in 2019. Since then there have been a few refinements. Here are a set of resources that provide good overviews of those changes. In addition to the resources listed below, there is an excellent app now available from IFAB that has all the Law changes and Laws of the Game. It's available on the Apple App Store and Google Play.

What are the AYSO policies on heading the ball?

In accordance with requirements of US Soccer, AYSO has rules and regulations related to heading the ball. These are covered in the online Regional Referee Course. they are also reviewed here: Heading the ball - AYSO Rules and Regulations

How should I handle Misconduct Reports (i.e. Yellow or Red Cards)?

Here is the AYSO Region 42 Misconduct Report Policy:

The referee must report all cards shown for misconduct. Cards should never be shown to players in 10U and below, very rarely and only for very serious offenses at 12U, and shown as warranted in 14U. Yellow and red cards shown to both players and coaches (New for 2019: coaches can be shown cards but never spectators) should be reported on the game card of the team(s) shown the card(s), with a brief description of the misconduct. Yellow and red cards should also be reported and described more fully on a Misconduct Form, to be filled out by the Referee. If you need help with the form, ask any of the more experienced referees in attendance. One form can be used per game, even if multiple cards were shown. Be sure to indicate the reason for each misconduct along with details describing the misconduct. The Misconduct Report forms are at the Referee Tent at Dos Vientos and Pepper Tree. They are also online here: misconduct report fill-in pdf

Division Directors will keep track of all Misconduct Reports and cards issued in their division during the season and address instances of coach misconduct as appropriate.

Red cards, including a red card due to a second yellow card shown in a game, result in a mandatory one-game suspension the following week. This suspension does NOT include practices that week. The DD, RRA and RCA can decide to make a recommendation, based on the circumstances of the misconduct, for the suspension to be for more than one game. If a recommendation is made to increase the suspension, the Regional Commissioner (RC) will be informed and will make the final decision.

The accumulation of three yellow cards by a player over the course of multiple games in one season results in a mandatory one-game suspension the week following the third caution. This suspension does NOT include practices that week. The DD, RRA and RCA can decide to make a recommendation, based on the circumstances of the misconducts, for the suspension to be for more than one game. If a recommendation is made to increase the suspension, the Regional Commissioner (RC) should be informed and should make the final decision. The accumulation of cards will not include two yellow cards issued in a single game, which is covered under the red card policy. The RC will inform the coach of any game suspensions.

If a red card or third yellow card is issued during the last game of the season, the game suspension will carry over to the post-season or to the following season for non-post-season players.

In the case of a possible conflict of interest of the DD, RRA, RCA or RC (being a coach in the division, for example), the Assistant Regional Commissioner(s) should take part in the decision.

What are the U.S. Soccer and AYSO "Player Development Initiatives" (PDI's) and how do they impact our games in Region 42?

AYSO implemented in 2016 a set of Player Development Initiatives based on rules from the U.S. Soccer organization. They have been adjusted and updated in subsequent years as their impact on play has been evaluated. They are in effect across the country in both AYSO and club teams. These rules are covered in the online Regional Referee course. They primarily impact our 10U Division as follows:

Goalkeeper punts, drop kicks and half-volleys NOT allowed in 10U and under.

  • Goalkeeper must put ball into play by throw, roll, or kicked pass of the ball from the ground (not in any way bounced into the air and then kicked, even by a teammate).
  • If the goalkeeper violates this rule the opponents get an Indirect Free Kick at the location of the infraction.

Build-Out Line (BOL)

  • Located half of the way between the halfway line and penalty area line, parallel to the goal line.
  • The area between goal line and the BOL on the opponent's side of the field, rather than the halfway line, is the part of the field in which an attacker can be in an offside position.
  • When goalkeepers gains possession of the ball with their hands, OR if there is a goal kick, opponents must retreat behind the BOL.
  • The ball is in play and opponents may cross the BOL as soon as the ball is released from the goakkeeper's hands or as soon as the goal kick is taken. The ball does not have to leave the penalty area for the ball to be in play after a goal kick, so the opponents may cross the BOL as soon as the kick is taken and the ball clearly moves.
  • If opponents cross the BOL before the goalkeeper releases ball or before the goal kick is taken, hold up play and:
    • Goal Kick: have the opponents move back behind the BOL and then have the kick taken, or if it was already kicked, have the goal kick taken over again.
    • Goalkeeper possession: if the goalkeeper still has possession of the ball, tell the offending players to move back behind the BOL and then simply resume play; if the goalkeeper already released the ball and the player(s) who crossed the BOL interfered with play, then an indirect free kick is awarded to the goalkeeper's team at the BOL nearest to where the offending player crossed the line. 

Heading the ball

  • There is no deliberate heading allowed in all divisions at 12U and below.
  • If a player deliberately heads the ball, it is considered to be dangerous play and an Indirect Free Kick is awarded to the opposing team at the location where the ball was headed. 

How do I conduct Kicks From The Mark (KFTM) for tie breakers?

During play-offs or tournaments, Kicks From The Mark may be used to break a tie after the regular game has ended. Please see Kicks From The Mark (KFTM) AYSO Region 42 Summary for instructions as to how to conduct KFTM, including a worksheet to track outcomes.

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AYSO Region 42 – Newbury Park, CA

P.O. Box 709 
Newbury Park, California 91319

Email Us: [email protected]
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