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AYSO Region 1187 - American Canyon

Referee Resource Page





                              Law #5                              


Referees are as critical to soccer as players and coaches. In AYSO, the game can’t be played if there aren’t enough referees. It’s most common for a volunteer to begin their AYSO referee career by refereeing their own child’s game. However, as they learn the rules, develop their own techniques for managing players, coaches and fans, and gain an appreciation for how important the role of the referee is to a fun, fair and safe soccer experience, they often find it very rewarding to expand their knowledge and experience through AYSO’s advanced training and certification process. AYSO’s referee training is considered some of the best in the U.S. and includes both in-person courses in your community and online opportunities. Soccer knowledge is a plus, but is certainly not required. The AYSO referee training will give you all you need to know to have a terrific experience on the field.

All AYSO Referees in American Canyon are Volunteers. These are parents, siblings, family friends or neighbors who want to help make the AYSO Soccer experience Safe, Fun, Fair and Instructional. Help support all our volunteers by being positive, encouraging and professional. Remember, we are setting the example in front of all AYSO players.


AYSO adheres to the FIFA Laws of the Game. For a downloadable FIFA Laws of the Game, please select one of the following links.

FIFA Laws of the Game


Referee Continuing Education

AYSO encourages continuous education for all AYSO Volunteer Referees. AYSO provides winter and spring courses to help all our Volunteer Referees continue to hone your on-field skills. Please contact your Referee Administrator for a complete list of available courses – On Field, On-Line and Webinar - for your skill level advancement. 

Referee Course and Level Descriptions


 Course Description



 Basic Referee

  This training course trains referees in the basic aspects of refereeing needed to do AYSO matches under FIFA Laws and AYSO National Rules and Regulations.

 8 Hours

 Safe Haven

 Intermediate Referee

  This course trains referees to do more physically demanding and challenging matches under FIFA Laws and AYSO National Rules and Regulations.

 8 Hours

Successful completion of the Basic Referee Course

 Advanced Referee

  This course trains referees to do most matches under FIFA Laws and AYSO National Rules and Regulations.

 8 Hours

 Successful completion of the Intermediate Course

 National Referee

  This course trains referees to referee all AYSO matches under FIFA Laws and AYSO National Rules and Regulations.

 15 Hours

 Successful Completion of the Advanced Referee Course

 Assistant Referee (AR)

  This course trains volunteers in the basics of being an Assistant Referee for AYSO matches under FIFA Laws and AYSO National Rules and Regulations.

 5 Hours

 Safe Haven


Referee Training Schedule

Please see the current Fall 2017 Referee Training dates available for Basic Regional Referee Certification.

Course DateLocationTime
Basic Referee    (7U)July 29thKimberly Fields      8:30 AM to Noon
Basic Referee   8U +July 29thKimberly Fields8:30 AM to 3 PM
Basic Referee    (7U)      August 19th  Kimberly Fields8:30 AM to Noon
Basic Referee   8U +August 19thKimberly Fields8:30 AM to 3 PM
Intermediate  Referee *
Advanced Referee *  

* See a Referee Administrator for available advanced training in Northern California.

Golden Gate Coach and Referee Advanced Training Camp

August 4th-6th, 2017
Palo Alto, California

Check out last years photos at


Whistle Stop

eMail newsletter geared to referees.

Whistle Stop is AYSO's weekly newsletter for referees and referee related positions. Every Thursday, Whistle Stop will contain refereeing tips, interesting anecdotes from other referees, Q & As and other important information. You can also submit any questions or suggestions for articles.

To register for Whistle Stop, please use your AYSO ID (your eMail address and password) to log onto the following Newsletter site at


AYSO Play Guidelines for Short Sided Games


AYSO has implemented the following guidelines for Short-Sided games:

DIVISION U6 U8 U10 U12 U14 U16 U19
Game Length

20 Minutes
2 x10 Minute Halves

40 minutes
2 x 20 Minute Halves

50 Minutes
2 x 25 Minute Halves

60 Minutes
2 x 30 Minute Halves

70 Minutes
2 x 35 Minute Halves

80 Minutes
2 x 40 Minute Halves

90 Minutes
2 x 45 Minute Halves

Players on Field 3 5 7 9 11 11 11
Minimum # of Players 2 3 5 6 7 7 7
Roster Limit 5 7 10 12 15 17 21
Goal Keeper No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Referee Certification Regional
(Coaches referee)
Regional Regional Intermediate Intermediate Advanced Advanced
Assistant Ref Certification n/a n/a Regional
2 ARs/Game
2 ARs/Game
2 ARs/Game
2 ARs/Game
2 ARs/Game
Indirect Kicks
Penalty Kicks
No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Preseason: Once/week
During Season: 35 Minutes before game

1 Hour/Week
Optional 2nd on Friday

2 x Week
60 Minutes each

2 x Week
60 Minutes each

2 x Week
90 Minutes each

2 x Week
90 Minutes each

2 x Week
90 Minutes each

Ball Size 3 3 4 4 5 5 5


Assistant Referee Flag Signals


For U10 and older games, there is a Center Referee and two Assistant Referees to help control the game, make calls and keep players safe. Flags are used to communicate with the Center Referee to indicate off-sides violation, Ball Out direction, penalties, Player exchange, and other play notifications.

Below is a chart with the most common flag positions that Assistant Referees need for AYSO games.

Assistant Referee Flag Signals


Regional Referee Reports


Referee Game reports are used and must be filed with the Regional Referee Administrator and Regional Commissioner within 24 hours of a field incident. Field incidents that require Referee Game Reports are, but are not limited to:


  • Issuance of Red Card (Major Misconduct)
  • Issuance of Yellow Card (Minor Misconduct)
  • Player Injury
  • Game Cancellation
  • Coach or Spectator Misconduct

A downloadable copy of the AYSO Referee Game Report is below.

AYSO Referee Game Report


OffSide Offense

Offside (sometimes known as offsides), per FIFA Law 11, states that if a player is in an offside position when the ball is touched or played by a team-mate, they may not become actively involved in the play. A player is in an offside position if he or she is closer to the opponent's goal line than both the ball and the second-to-last defender (which is usually the last outfield player), but only if the player is in his opponent's half of the pitch. 'Offside position' is a matter of fact, whereas committing an 'offside offence' occurs when a player is 'actively involved' and is subject to the interpretation of the referee. Goals scored after committing an offside offence are nullified if caught by the referee.

This video will help better explain the Offside Offense.


Why I Can't Be A Referee

To save you the trouble of having to create an excuse of your own, we have listed the most of the common excuses for non-participation in this critical function in the AYSO program.(This is from the AYSO National Referee site.)

I Don't Know Anything (Enough) About the Game
Most of us knew little, or less than you, about soccer when we became referees. Not to worry... for the investment of a day (eight hours) we will train you with more knowledge of the Laws of the Game than most Americans ever possess.

I Don't Have Time

Becoming a referee is the perfect slot for those AYSO parents who have crowded schedules. Referees are free to choose the games they can do, which can be scheduled at your convenience; possibly just before or after the game your child is playing. You may do as many or as few games as you choose.

I'm Not the Right Kind of Person

Yes you are. You obviously care about your child. This is a youth development program run by volunteers. Would you want your child involved with someone who is not as good as you? Who would be better than a concerned parent like you?

I'd Look Silly in That Uniform

Good heavens... you obviously haven't seen the Referee Administrator.

I'd Be Embarrassed

Everyone makes mistakes (even those of us who have been officiating for years). The import thing is to approach the job with enthusiasm and enjoyment, because that will be passed on to the players and coaches (and we can team you up with an experienced referee to help you through the initial learning process).

I'm a Woman - I Never See Them Referee

Wrong! We have many qualified women referees - and they are great! We could use many more. What other time in your life will you ever...with just one breath (or whistle) able to make 22 kids stop what they are doing, actually listen to you, and then do what they are told? And almost half of our players are girls and they love having women referees. They are comfortable with them and look up to them as role models. If you are a mom, you already are used to making quick decisions and multi-tasking. (If you are the mother of two or more children, you already know what it means to be a referee!) Don't worry, we will teach you and support you and start you off refereeing younger children. We will be there to mentor you until you feel comfortable and confident.

I can't afford the equipment

Don't worry about expense, because the Region will provide you with the necessary equipment to get you started.

I don't think I could keep up with the players. Some of them are pretty fast!

Don't worry, most of us can't keep up with them either. We give the older age division games, with the faster players, to our fitter and more experienced referees. We still have plenty of younger division games on smaller fields where you would be able to keep up. You know, refereeing is also a good way to get a little exercise and to have fun at the same time.

Now that we've addressed all your concerns we can't wait to see you at referee training. We need you badly. And in return, we promise you:


  • Enjoyment
  • Exercise
  • A sense of belonging
  • A free uniform
  • A small fan club of kids who think you're great and are thrilled to see you
  • A great time - Like many before you, it may turn out to be the most fun you have had in a long time

ONE FINAL NOTE: if you still don't think you are the right kind of person for this job, you took the time to read this whole message and that means you care. That means you are exactly the right kind of person.

Kimberly Fields

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