General Referee Information

General Referee Information for Competitive Youth Soccer and Adult Amateur Competitions

Only take assignments for United States Soccer Federation affiliated matches from certified USSF assignors. Do not take assignments from coaches or any other non-certified assignor. This includes preseason “friendlies”, scrimmages, and all USSF-affiliated tournaments.

Always know what Rules of Competition and pass authority applies.

Arrive at least 30 minutes before the scheduled starting time, in order to check the field, Conduct a full pre-game conference, and check in the players. If you know either or both of the coaches, always address them as “coach” and not by their first name. Any perception of favoritism is not good.

Goals must be anchored.


No Pass, No Play, No Exception. True for youth matches, and also true for coaches. For adult matches, follow the league rules for a player not having their player pass.

Follow the pass and roster documentation requirements of the competition. In general, NO PASS, NO PLAY, but there can be exceptions. 

Understand the severe weather/lightning - NJSRC Thunder & Lightning Policy .

The USSF does not recognize the 2 referee/2 whistle system. This does not apply to affiliated recreation soccer. If only 2 referees show up at the field, 1 is the referee, the other is AR1. You may designate a Club Lines Person Find a parent to call balls in and out of play on the other touchline. 

In cases of referee abuse and/or assault, file a USSF Supplemental report immediately with your assignor, the league, NJ Youth Soccer or other sponsoring organization, and the referee office.

It is your duty and responsibility to file a match report
in the manner required by the competition. If not otherwise specified, this should be done the following day. You must report the score, any misconduct and/or player injuries, and anything else that was relevant to the match.

After the match keep the player passes for those players sent off and return them to the league (note: some youth competitions do not follow this policy – know this BEFORE the match.)

Know if your competition requires that passes for sent-off players and dismissed coaches must be retained and sent to the competition authority. Many do not. You must always retain the pass of an individual being reported for Referee Assault or Referee Abuse.