Referee Information

Updated Friday September 4, 2015 by Kent Island Youth Soccer League.

See your profile for referee schedules

Click a topic for help with specific issues.

Frequently Asked Questions:

About being a referee .....

How old does a ref need to be?

Ref should be 12, or turn 12 during the season.

What age ref works games involving what age player?

12 year olds will ref the 6-11 leagues, depending on experience. We generally try to have the refs an age group older than the teams playing.

How much training is involved?

The one ref clinic is mandatory.

How many games per week does each ref work?

Refs will sometimes have 2 games per week and then 2-3 on the weekend.

What does it pay?

It is based on the age of the teams playing. between $7 and $13 per game. We pay in cash, the following week.

What happens on game day?

On game day refs must report 15 minutes before game time and sign in.  All refs should have their own whistle and shirt.

About specific situations....

The 6 - 7 League

Time: 20 minute halves, many coaches prefer to play 10 minute quarters. This is perfectly acceptable as many coaches find it easier to substitute.
Throw-ins: The child is given three tries, on the third try, play continues regardless of the throw-in.
Unlimited Substitutions
No offsides in 6/7.

The 8 - 9 League

Time: Two 25 Minute Halves
Substitutions: (Copied from Rule 11 on our website)
  a.  Only on your throw-in, or you may substitute if the other team has stopped play to substitute. 
  b.  After a goal is scored 
  c.  Injury - the injured player must be substituted and the other team may substitute one for one 
d.  Goal kick - either team may sub 
e.  Yellow card - carded player must have a sub, and the other team may substitute one for one  
 When substituting on your throw-in, the other team may also substitute.

Ages 10 and above

Time: Two Thirty Minute Halves
Substitutions: (Copied from Rule 11 on our website)
  a.  Only on your throw-in, or you may substitute if the other team has stopped play to substitute. 
  b.  After a goal is scored 
  c.  Injury - the injured player must be substituted and the other team may substitute one for one 
  d.  Goal kick - either team may sub 
  e.  Yellow card - carded player must have a sub, and the other team may substitute one for one 
   f.   When substituting on your throw-in, the other team may also substitute.


Blow those whistles with enthusiasm and energy!! It is quite hard to hear the whistles from the sidelines. 
Positioning: Just as each team has a game plan, the referees need a game plan and need to communicate with each other. Before the game, the refs should discuss their positions when the ball is on each end of the field. There is NEVER an excuse to be out of position!!! 
Penalty Kicks : Ensure the goalie and both teams are ready before you blow your whistle to start a penalty kick. It is a good idea to stand next to the ball until you blow your whistle. Especially at the young ages, the players are really fast to kick the ball and you need to make sure both teams are ready. 
Yellow Cards/Red Cards : On a yellow card, the player MUST leave the field and may return on the next substitution. On a red card, the player is out for the duration of the game and the next game. A yellow card given to a coach is a warning and the coach does not need to leave the park. On a red card, the coach must leave the vicinity of game. 
Playing Down: If one team has too few players to field an entire team, the other team is expected to play a man down also. The team with too few players is expected to play everyone; a team cannot choose to play with fewer players so they have substitutes available. This is a courtesy in our league, the refs are expected to inform the other coach, but then it is up to the coach, not the refs to play with fewer players.


Ref Tips

Be Assertive:
First off, this comment could be made every week and usually is! You have to blow those whistles louder and be MORE ASSERTIVE out there. You don't realize how big the field is or how hard it is to hear you guys on the other side of the field. Also, be more assertive and committed to your calls. A specific example... When a ball goes over the touch line, your primary responsibility is to make sure EVERYONE knows which team has the ball. One arm points to the direction of play and the other arm should be pointing at the spot to restart play. Make sure the other referees and the coaches on the other side of the field can see the call, because the coach may be grumbling over substitutions and he needs to know if it is his ball or the other team's throw-in. As a side note, let the soccer players retrieve the ball. That is their job, your job is to make sure everyone knows who has the ball and where the ball went out.   top of page

No one behind goals:
Don't forget, no one is allowed behind the goals during play. For whatever reason, people leaving the 12/13 field tend to stop behind the 8/9 field. Don't be afraid to stop play and ask them to move if you feel they are too close and distracting the goalie.  top of page

Returning Ref Jerseys:
If you are refereeing the late games, you are free to put your referee jersey in the back room of the concession stand. The back room is the room where the controls for the lights on the baseball field are located. If the rest of the concession stand is locked, that room will be open if the lights are on, feel free to leave anything in that room (your referee shirt, KIYSL ball, etc) and it'll be collected the next day.  top of page

Be MORE Assertive:
BE MORE ASSERTIVE!!! Don't be afraid to make a call and control the game. I know, I know, it sounds like a broken record, but we need to be in control of the game and make the calls you see.  top of page

Side Referees:
Make sure you are in position and helping the Center Referee. You have a responsibility to make calls and provide assistance on calls that the Center Referee can't see. If the Center Ref doesn't want your help, he'll tell you. Remember what Mike Tretick said, "There are three teams on each field, the team of referees needs to have a game plan and a strategy too!!!" Discuss beforehand what each of you expect from each other and how you will move up and down to cover the field.  top of page

Rain Policy: 
Remember our rain out policy. If the fields are open, you should be at the fields to work. If the game is rained out once you are up there and attempting to start the game, or assisting the coaches in determining whether the field is safe to play, make sure you fill out a game slip and note that the game was cancelled. You will get paid in that situation, but you won't get paid if the fields are closed by the County.
 top of page

Handling Coaches: 
Always a tough area for teenagers with an adult yelling over their shoulder. 
You feel like you're on an island out there. Handling coaches is always a case-by-case basis, but just a few guidelines of what you should and shouldn't do. This covers that gray area before you pull out the red and yellow cards but you really don't feel like the coach should be yelling so much.

1. You should ignore it. You know the rules, you know there is always a little interpretation in the rules, you know you can't make everyone happy. You know some coaches will complain and scream anyway, so you have to grow some thick skin and just ignore them.

2. If you can't ignore them, you can ask them to calm down because it's distracting to the players and you to have him constantly screaming. You can remind them that they signed a code of conduct to participate in this league and ask them to honor that contract.

3. Lastly, pull out the yellow card and make a note of it on the game slip.


1. Argue back with the coach. If you do this, you've let the coach get under your skin. You don't want a reputation as a referee that can be bullied or manipulated by a coach.

It is a valuable life's lesson to learn, you can't control what other people do, you can only control your reaction to it. The league tries to control all the coaches, but sometimes frustration, confusion, and competition gets the better of a coach. You have to be ready to deal with that, put it behind you and not let it ruin your beautiful day!  top of page


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