Tips For Referees

- Remember, none of us is perfect and we will make mistakes. Make a call to the best of your ability, act with confidence and impartiality, and remember your call is final.

- Don't allow coaches, players, or parents to bully you into changing a call or you may lose control of a game.   A good example of this is handballs.  Nearly everyone will contest a handball, especially if you don't see it, or don't call it.  See the following note about handballs...

*Handballs:  Other than the offside call, the most contested call is usually the one regarding handballs.  Ask yourself, "was it ball/hand, or hand/ball?"  If it was the former, the ball bounced up and hit a player's hand/arm below the shoulder by accident and no advantage was gained.  If the latter occurred, it was a deliberate attempt by the player to gain an advantage with his/her hand(s).  Call the intent and the advantage gained.  Don't call the accidental ball/hand hits, as long as no advantage was subsequently attained.

- Explain briefly, when possible, your calls to the players, but don't delay a game to do it. The children are trying to learn the game too.

- If excessive dissent occurs during a match, whether from players, coaches, or parents, issue a warning first, stating that if such behavior does not cease, the game will be called off or forfeited. Follow through if necessary.

- Try to appoint a parent/older child from each team (or unrelated) to act as linesmen. These will greatly help your ability to make "out of bounds calls".

- The main field referee always has the final say on any call.

- It can be helpful to have 2 referees on the large field.

- Line up both teams prior to a match; check player equipment such as shinguards and shoes (make sure shoes are appropriate in accordance with league rules) and make sure no one is wearing jewelry.   Arrange coin toss, remind players to exhibit good sportsmanship, and answer any questions. You should also check to see that players have team shirts tucked into pants (except keeper). This better enables the ref to spot shirt pulling by an opposing team.

- You may find it helpful to keep a small notebook in your pocket with foul/penalties written in for quick reference if necessary. You can also keep track of ball possession per half, score, etc.

- A referee must provide his/her own  whistle and stopwatch.

- Don't "ball watch". Keep your attention focused on the players, especially their feet.

- If possible, watch taped professional matches at home to better understand the game and follow play. You'll be surprised how much you learn and will soon realize that even the pros make numerous mistakes.

- It is important to note that while MGSL follows the fundamental
"Laws of the Game" as determined by world soccer governing organization, FIFA, some rules have been adapted for the youth recreational league.

Helpful Referee Links:

Go to Page  Previous12345678910111213

Back to Main