Referee Resources


General Info

AYSO is a sibling of CYSA and USYSA (Club Soccer), is under the umbrella of the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF), which is the national “Association Football” (soccer) Federation for the United States. In turn, USSF is under FIFA, the International body governing the Game.  In AYSO, Region 9 is part of Area E which in turn is part of Section 10. You can reach their web-sites via our Links to Other Sites page. If you ever see this notation written anywhere, 10/E/9, that's us (Section 10 / Area E / Region 9).

All of the resources listed below work together to form the basis of how to apply the Laws to the Game at large in the United States. It is vital for all Referees, regardless of certification level, to be very familiar with these resources as we are Guardians of the Game for our Region’s players, coaches and spectators, to keep our Game fun, fair and safe!

Laws Of The Game (LOTG)

FIFA’s Laws of the Game and related documents:
2013 AYSO Law Changes Summary (added 8/12/2013)
FIFA Circular 1302 - Amendments to the Laws of the Game 2012-2013 added 7/24/2012
Laws Of The Game 2013/2014 coming soon
Reglas del Juego (Spanish) coming soon
AYSO Edition 2013/2014 (added 8/8/2013)

USSF Publications

USSF has several publications including:
2012-13 Amendments to the Laws of the Game added 7/22/2012
Advantage (the new expanded interpretation) added 7/22/2012
Team Officials misconduct (Irresponsible Behavior) added 7/22/2012
USSF 2011-2012 Laws Of The Game Memorandum
Advice to Referees which illuminates the "why and how" FIFA's Laws of the Game (LOTG) are applied in the United States. (En Español Guia Para Arbitros)
Guide to Procedures which details and illustrates the mechanics we use in the United States for the diagonal system of control for officiating soccer matches at all levels of the game. (En Español Guia de Procedimientos)
Directives which demonstrate specific applications of the Laws in the U.S. as needed by the current levels of play.
USSF Resources Center
Week in Review illuminates weekly examples of good calls and missed calls in the Professional Division level of soccer in the U.S. (Major League Soccer).
Referee Weekly Quizzes. US Soccer referee weekly quizzes (and its archive) are fantastic tools. We suggest that you click the "download PDF Report" link when you complete the quiz because it gives you a great feedback form you can save for exams in courses (and annual USSF re-certifications).

The USSF Resource Center website has additional information for referees that you may wish to look at. While not required for AYSO, it is still worth looking over if you wish to know more about refereeing in general.

Note: Some publications, especially the Advice to Referees and Guide to Procedures, are no longer published in print form, only annual PDF files. It is a smart idea for Intermediate Referees and above download this document annual and READ IT. Extra League Referees (ELQRs) MUST download this file annually and internalize the content so you can reflexively apply it in games. Instructors and Assessors should be able to cite this material verbally on demand.

Other Publications

** NEW **Things you might hear on the field. A one-page list of some soccer terminology you might hear around the soccer fields while watching or officiating.

Region 9 Local Directives

Region 9 issues summaries on the USSF Directives applied specifically to our AYSO regular season, All-Stars and Extra League level of play. These Directives focus on harmonizing common misconceptions and authentic applications of the Laws and USSF Directives along with AYSO’s National Rules & Regulations for AYSO levels of play.

Substitution Procedures: "Subs!" has been an ongoing "time suck" problem for decades that deprives players of playing time on the field. The lack of a standard procedure for making substitutions in accordance with AYSO National Rules & Regulations (and AYSO’s Modifications of FIFA’s Laws Of The Game) has deteriorated to the point where coaches, parents, players and even some referees consider "subs" as "water breaks" or mini half-time intervals rather than a specified moment to substitute players efficiently and keep the kids playing their game.

Because of this problem, Region 9 now has a standard Substitution Procedures that started with the 2011 Fall Season. When correctly taught by coaches, performed by coaches and players and applied by Referees, it should ensure players receive their rightful full playing time and uphold the core AYSO philosophy of "Everyone Plays". Developed by Referee staff in consultation with Coaching staff, this procedure must be clearly understood and enforced by Referees and Assistant Referees. By doing this, referees, coaches and players together can make this procedure work for the benefit of the players in Region 9.

Added 7/24/2012:  We now have our own 5 minute video which shows you how NOT to handle subs, and how it SHOULD be done!
This video is in .MOV format (QuickTime Movie) and may take a few minutes to download.  Enjoy!

The Region 9 Dissent Policy primarily applies to our core programs (Fall Season and Premier League), however, the policy’s spirit applies to Extra League matches hosted by Region 9. It must be noted, however, that Extra League matches are primarily subject to USSF’s Directives regarding touchline management, dealing with dissent and their ask-tell-send philosophy.

Remember, in the core programs and Extra League play, coaches and/or spectators under their control may not be shown a card, "cautioned" or "sent-off". Instead they are considered "warned" and "expelled for irresponsible behavior" if and when they reach the unfortunate point where their dissent/irresponsible behavior demands the referee must "send" them away from the game. Referees of every experience and certification level MUST deal with dissent and touchline control immediately. The irresponsible behavior that you dismiss or overlook this week all too often becomes another referee’s problem next week.

Assistant Referees Reminder. This document is specifically geared towards the Assistant Referee.

Referee Responsibility Policy: This policy applies to Referees and Assistant Referees and deals with some mechanics and several informal practices that should NOT be followed.

AYSO and Region 9 Modifications: FIFA permits AYSO to have several modifications to the Laws Of The Game geared towards children, substitutions, field sizes and short-sided games. Region 9 further enhances some of these changes as permitted by AYSO. Click here for to see the particulars as noted in our Coaches manual.

Region 9 Referee Uniform Policy: This Referee Program Policy applies to Region 9 referees only. Respect for your badge is the starting point for others to respect you as a match official. Look the part, act the part and others are more likely to respect you, the players and their Game. Ultimately, referees are Guardians of the Game no matter our level, from FIFA World Cup to AYSO U7. (The policy document is currently unavailable)

Local Summaries on USSF Directives: Our Instructor staff frequency summarizes relevant USSF Directives and their relevance and implications for AYSO play. Typically, these summaries focus on commonly misunderstood and misapplied/under-applied aspects of the LOTG locally. The intent is to clarify and assist Referees with proper implementation, honing their foul recognition/selection skills on the field, and to hopefully facilitate understanding on the part of coaches, players and spectators where appropriate. These Summaries should not be construed as "Local Rules" nor changes to the LOTG or their application under USSF ATR, GTP and/or Directives. They are merely meant to clarify and facilitate proper implementation of the LOTG.

Several areas that the Region 9 Referee Staff has observed over the years as potentially problematic or an area of concern in local play include the following:

Contact our Regional Referee Administrator (RRA), Mark Spear, if you have any questions or need additional information.

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