Referee Guide



District referee assignors use a self assigning system on line. You will be given instructions on how to use this assigning system. Some assignors may, in an emergency, use the telephone or email to contact you at short notice.

To help the assignor and yourself you should:

- Let them know if you are either available or not available for any given week.

- Write down the assignments that you are given on the sheet provided in your blue book or on a calendar. Confirm the date, time, location and division of every assignment.

- If you do your availability properly and ahead of time there should be no need to give back any games except under exceptional circumstances.

- If you trade or give away an assignment to another referee you should clear it with your assignor first. There may be reasons why certain referees are not assigned to certain teams or games.

- Always keep a record of all your assignments in case of errors and future payment problems.


Referees should start to form good habits early by developing a routine before each game. Develop a checklist:

- Uniform clean & ready (not in the wash!)

- Boots cleaned from last game.

- Badge** sewn or velcroed (smooth side on shirt) to uniform

- Whistle(s)**

- Coin

- Watch

- Pen/Pencil

- Notepad & Red/Yellow cards**

- Assistant Referee flags (home made is good for starting out) **supplied by WYSA to new referees through your district

Additional recommended items:

- Clipboard (plus a Zip lock for game sheet when raining)

- Equipment Bag (plus a garbage bag to cover when raining)

- Ball pump & gauge

- WYSA rules (available on the WYSA website)

- FIFA rules (supplied annually through your district)

- Suntan lotion (30+ SPF)

- Drink (water or non-carbonated)

- Spare game sheet

Although the regulation uniform for all referees in youth and senior is a black shirt, black shorts and black socks with three white bands at the top, other colors of uniforms are available such as red or yellow. It is a good idea to have another color of shirt in your bag so that you have an option should there be a color clash with a team.

When Assistant Referees are assigned to league or cup games all three officials must wear the same attire.


After receiving your assignment you should check the field location.

- Do you know where it is? Check a city map or Google it

- How long will it take you to get there?

- Do you need a ride? If so, arrange it ahead of time.

- Can you cycle it?

Arrive at the field 20 minutes before the game to allow for field check, team equipment checks and your warm up. Anything much less than this will make you rushed and not prepared for the game.


Once you arrive at the park you need to walk around the field checking for:

- Dangerous items such as holes, glass or stones especially around the goal.

- Consider the weather especially if lightning has been spotted.

- The lines should be clear and properly marked.

Do your best to play your game unless there is a safety issue with the field or the weather.

If the lines are not clear mark it on the game sheet and tell your Referee in Chief or assignor.

Goals (including portable ones) must be safely anchored and nets (if used) secured properly.

Corner flags are correct height (1.5 metre/5 feet minimum).

Half-way flags (If used) are 1 meter/3 feet away from the touch line outside the field of play

Write on the game sheet any field discrepancies. Use common sense if a game needs to be cancelled. If you are not satisfied with the safety of the field or if its markings are not visible, then the game should be cancelled. If in doubt get the opinion of both coaches.

If there is lightning in the area DO NOT PLAY. Refer to lightning policy on the WYSA website.

Remember only the field owner or you, the referee, can cancel a game due to weather or field conditions.


The away team coach should receive the game sheet from the home coach prior to the kick-off and it should be presented to you so that you can check the adults on the bench before the game starts. Once you have received the game sheet you should check to see if it has been completely filled out.

Perform an ID check as per the recommended procedure.

All players are listed next to their shirt number.

No more than 4 other personnel (coach, manager, etc) are allowed at the team bench area. Their names must be clearly printed on the sheet.

Each team must have an adult of the same gender as the players on the team bench. Teams not having an adult of the same gender as the players on the team bench will result in the game being cancelled (grace time will be allowed). The Referee Liaison (R.L.) must also be written on the game sheet.

The R.L. doesn't need an ID card as they are on the spectator side of the field.

All information such as date, league, field, teams etc. must be completed.

Players arriving late for the game may be added to the sheet at any time before the end of the game.


When you arrive at the park, 20 minutes before the game meet the coaches and ask about the game sheet and inform them that you will be doing an equipment check at a particular time (i.e. 10 minutes before the game). ALL adults on team benches (other than same gender parent) require ID cards.

Once you have the completed game sheet:

- Have players line up.

- If applicable have players present ID cards, one at a time, and state their shirt number.

- Where ID CARDS are not in use verify the player listed on the game sheet against the team roster.  Only a typed WYSA approved roster is VALID.  Written player names are not acceptable on the roster as all approvals are done electronically.  If a player is NOT listed on an approved roster, the player CANNOT participate in the match.  The ONLY exception is a guest player who needs to be appropriately noted on the game sheet.

- Confirm the number and name is the same as that on the game sheet.

- Check that the ID card is valid with:

     - A recognizable photo - IMPORTANT

     - Stamped with current year - IMPORTANT

     - WYSA & District Registrar signature and or stamp - IMPORTANT

- Check the players equipment:

     - Shin guards covered by socks

     - Shirt tucked in, sleeves rolled down & shorts at proper length

     - All jewellery removed other than medic alert tags (made safe) 

NOTE: Medic Alert tags can be taped to make them safe but the medical information must remain visible.

     - Nothing dangerous (no watches, no metal hair clips, knee braces covered)


Make sure you have an ID card for any coach/manager/official listed on the game sheet. If they do not produce an ID card they must remain on the spectator side of the field until the end of the game.

Only players listed on the game sheet, coaches/managers with valid ID cards and same gender adult (if applicable) are permitted to be at the bench area.

Only players and bench personnel who are participating in the game and on the bench side should be listed on the game sheet. Any others must be deleted from the game sheet.

Keep the ID cards in a safe, dry location until after the game and ensure that they are return to their respective team.


After checking that the players and team personnel are on the game sheet, you must ensure that both teams have complied with all of the following rules and regulations before starting the game:

Both teams MUST supply a Referee Liaison. Refer to separate sheet outlining the role of these individuals.

Team benches must be on the same side of the field and spectators must be on the opposite side.

Teams not having an adult of the same gender as the players on the team bench will result in the game being cancelled (grace time will be allowed).

No game shall be considered an official game unless at least eight (8) players of each team take part at the commencement of the 11 a side game or seven (7) players for the 9 a side game. Fifteen (15) minutes (five (5) minutes in fall mid-week games) will be allowed to acquire sufficient players to start the game. The referee will mark on the game sheet the reason why the game did not start.

In cases where colours of uniforms are similar the HOME TEAM shall change. Failure to resolve the clash will result in the game being cancelled.

The home team shall provide the match ball, but both teams must have a ball in reserve. Select a ball that is FIFA approved and is properly inflated.

All uniforms must have numbers. No team can have duplicate numbers. Teams in violation of this rule may forfeit any points won in the game.

The team that wins the coin toss shall decide which goal it will attack in the first half. The opponents will kick-off.


Team officials (coaches) are responsible for the conduct and behaviour of their team, their parents and supporters, before, during and after the game. They must act to maintain sideline discipline at all times especially when requested by the referee. Failure to aid the referee will result in abandonment of the game.

Never approach a spectator directly if they are giving you a hard time. If spectators cause you concern, use foul language towards you or try to intimidate you in any way ask the coach of their team to tell them to stop their actions or remove them if you feel that is necessary. Remind the coach that he/she is responsible for the spectator's behaviour and failure to correct it will result in the abandonment of the game.

If there is a conflict between opposing spectators in which fighting or foul language is exchanged then abandon the game.


If a player has been dismissed (red carded) from the game, they must leave the playing area (i.e. park surroundings). If a dismissed player refuses to leave, the referee will inform the coach to remove the player immediately. The referee shall give the coach the option; "Either have the player leave immediately or the game will be abandoned"Ã?. Say this only twice and if the coach or the player refuses for a third time, abandon the game. The same applies to all other team personnel. They must leave the vicinty of te file if they are dismissed (parking lot for example)  If any person continues to be a problem, the game will be abandoned. If the coach refuses to help you the game will be abandoned. Report it to your district and to WYSA.

In cases of a dismissal red and yellow cards are only to be shown to players and substitutes, not to coaches or team officials.

Players or teams engaged in fighting or brawling must be reported to WYSA. Contact your Referee in Chief for help reporting if necessary.

Any player bleeding from a wound must leave the field for treatment. They can return only after the bleeding has stopped and any blood stained clothing is replaced.

Abandoning the game (not shortening it) because of weather is recommended because of lightning or any dangerous weather. Always write on the game sheet the reason why you abandoned the game and the time that you did.

Shortening the game time due to adverse weather conditions or failing daylight is allowable if:

All three parties (home/away coaches and referee) are in agreement with the time to be played.

The agreed time is not less than 2/3 of the normal playing time.

The game shall be considered invalid if there are fewer than seven (7) players on either team after the game has started.


There are unlimited substitutions in all league games however only three (3) substitutes are allowed at one time.

Coaches must obtain permission from the referee to make a substitution.

The team does not need to have possession of the ball at the restart

Players coming off must leave the field before substitutes can enter but use some discretion in this regard provided that the play is not being interfered with.

Substitutes must enter the field at (or close to) the halfway line.

For goalkeeper substitutions or switches the referee must be notified.

No substitution is allowed for a dismissed player.


As part of your duties as a Referee, you must keep records during the game of all information that will be transferred to the game sheet including:

- Team names, date, field, division/age, and gender.

- Team who kicked off.

- Goals (player number and team).

- Cautions (player number, team, time and reason).

- Dismissals (player number, team, time and reason).


Even though the game has ended your duties as a referee have not.

Return the game ball(s) to the owner.

Observe the post game handshakes to ensure sportsmanship.

Fill out the game sheet and sign it. Remember to:

- Transfer all the information recorded during the game onto the game sheet.

- Double-check the score before writing it down.

- Place a "1" for each goal that a player scores.

- Place an "X" in the Caution and/or Dismissal column next to the player'��s name that you have "����carded"�.

- For Dismissed players you must retain their ID Card (if ID cards are used).

- Make any remarks on the game sheet that either WYSA or coaches should be made aware of i.e. game shortened, field problems, etc.

If a team official was dismissed write it on the game sheet i.e. Coach of (team) dismissed, report to follow. Retain his/her ID card.


Separate the game sheets and hand each coach their copy and their ID cards (minus any retained due to dismissal).

Unless otherwise instructed by your district for all divisions assigned by district assignors the TOP WHITE copy should be given to the WINNING coach. In the event of a TIE it is given to the HOME coach.


Some coaches may want to talk about the game and your decisions. You should only talk to the coach if they are calm and not angry. If the coach wants to argue you should not attempt to discuss any point because that will likely lead to further problems. Coaches have a "��Referee Evaluation" form to voice their opinions. If the coach continues or even raises his/her voice you should say, "I'm sorry, I did what I thought was right, but I don'��t think that this is a good time to talk"�. Walk away and quickly go to the other coach or parent liaison. If the first coach comes after you, then tell the second coach or parent liaison that this coach is bothering you. They will help you. Always seek the aid of the opposition if you feel threatened by any coach, player or spectator.

If you are, or felt threatened at any time then phone your Referee-In-Chief or District Referee assignor as soon as you get home. They will help you with your report and will offer support until the matter is dealt with.

Always try to write down the events that happened so that if needed you can refer to them later (for a report or hearing).


If you have dismissed a player or team official from the game, contact your District Referee-in-Chief or Assignor immediately after the game. They will help you with your report and get it to the proper authority.

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