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Referee Recruiting in U7-U12

Lots of Referees are Needed!

Each team is required to provide one or more trained referees.  The team referees are only required to referee their team's games.  The coach is responsible for communicating this volunteer requirement to the team at the parent meeting, but the team as a whole is responsible for providing the volunteer referees. 

Refereeing requires very little time committment and contributes enormously to the game experience.  There is nothing worse than two teams on the field ready to play, spectators on the sidelines, but no referee team. Properly trained and certified referees are very important to ensure a safe fair and fun environment for everyone involved. 

Experienced referees are critically important in the higher age groups and the only way referees ecome experienced is by starting early.  Which means now!

We recognize that it can be challenging for a coach to recruit referees.  See the section on the right, Help with Referee Recruiting, for a great offer of help from the referee community.

U7/U8/U9 Referees

This is the perfect introduction to refereeing as the fields are small and the laws are simplified.  Each team plays two simultaneous 4v4 games (5v5 in U9) on adjacent fields.  One referee is assigned to each game.  We strongly recommend that each team trains two referees, in case one is unavailable for a game, and also with an eye towards U10 where we run 3-referee system.

U10 Referees

In U10, each team must also provide one certified center referee (Regional or Basic badge) for each game in which their team is the "home team".  The home team is always listed first in the schedule.  The diagonal system consisting of one referee and two assistant-referees on the sidelines is used in U10, and it is likely that one or two team assistant-referees will need to be available for each game.  It is therefore recommended that each team have 2 certified referees available for each game.

U11/U12 Referees

This is the age at which we no longer allow the center referee to referee a game in which their child is playing, owing to the increased level of competitiveness.  Ideally, none of the three referees would be associated with either team.  However, in recent years we have been chronically short of referees at this level.  In 2001, the Palo Alto AYSO board decided to require that each team provide a certified referee (Regional badge) with the expectation that this person will be an assistant-referee at their child's game.
Note, if a team does not provide a referee the team may forfeit the game.  

Help with Referee Recruiting

To help with recruiting volunteers, and to help in building the AYSO team of coaches, parents, and referees, we would like to make experienced AYSO referees available for your meetings.  We think that by having someone who can answer questions about refereeing, and about AYSO refereeing in particular, we may get some more volunteers.  We'll talk about the AYSO regional referee, the training classes, and the support system that Palo Alto AYSO has for the beginner and the advancing referee.

To invite a ref to your meeting, send an email message to  State who you are, in which division you are coaching, and where and when your meeting will take place.