Website Manager

Referee Information

Welcome to the Referee Community
from the East Islip Soccer Club!

 Here are some helpful tips and advice for you as a new referee. They have been gathered from experienced referees – who all started their careers as referees just like you and learned many of these lessons the "hard way." The advice found here will get you off to the best possible start.

Remember to have fun!

Game Assignments

* Initial assignments will come from the club's head referee.
* Make sure you receive the name cell number and email of your assignor during the entry level course.
When accepting more than one assignment in a day, make sure you allow enough time to travel to the next game.
* Make sure you let your assignor know what your game schedule looks like if you are playing and if you have any conflicts of interest with other teams.
* Game fees: The game fees paid to referees are made at the end of each season, with the exception of the Fall Classic and the Indoor Winter Tournament.  Referees who work those tournaments can expect to be paid at that time. 

Making a Good First Impression

Know the Laws! Success begins by being prepared

Read and know the Laws of the Game and work to learn the correct interpretations.  Know the local Rules of Competition including:

            ◦Length of halves

            ◦Size of ball

            ◦Number of players


            ◦Penalty kicks or no penalty kicks

            ◦Direct free kicks allowed or only indirect free kicks

            ◦Offside, no offside

            ◦Uniform requirements

As an inexperienced referee, you will not make all the right decisions. You will learn from experience and from working with more experienced referees.

Dress and Act Professionally

* If you expect to command respect (one element of game control) on the field, then you must look and act like a professional.
* Approach the game in a way that shows you are looking forward to being there and being a part of the game.
* Dress for success - wear the proper USSF uniform with your referee jersey tucked in and your socks pulled up.

Take Charge

* Taking charge does not mean yelling and acting like a dictator (which is abuse of power).
* Greet each coach with a firm handshake, a smile and look each coach in the eyes.
* Issue firm, but simple instructions to the players so they know you are capable of managing the game..
* Start the game on time.

What You Need to Have

* An approved referee uniform. If you have not received a uniform yet, please wear a plain black tee shirt along       with black shorts and socks.
* A watch with stopwatch functions – two watches are preferred, one for starting and stopping and one for keeping a running time in case you forget to start the first one.and black shorts.



            ◦Ref slips

            ◦Red and yellow cards

            ◦Tossing coins

            ◦Whistles – always have an extra in your bag

            ◦Flags for the Assistant Referees or Club Linesmen (if you are working alone)

            ◦Cold weather gear when the time of year makes it necessary

            ◦Street shoes and dry socks

            ◦A large plastic trash bag (to put your ref bag inside in case of rain)


            ◦Snacks (energy bars are great!) if you are going to be doing more than one game.

            ◦Water – don't forget to bring water.

What You Need to Do

* You should arrive at the field at least 15 minutes prior to the game.
* If you don't drive, make sure you have made arrangements for someone to pick you up to take you home.
* Bring a cell phone, as well as the telephone number of your assignor and club contact.

Pre-Game Responsibilities

Inspect the Field

* Look for holes or depressions that could cause twisted or broken ankles and see if holes can be filled. All rocks, twigs, debris on the field should be removed.
* Nets should be securely fastened to the goal posts and netting pulled back so as not to interfere with the goalkeeper.
* Goal posts must be securely anchored to the ground. Sandbags on the frame towards the rear are acceptable. Posts don't have to be in the ground, but they must be anchored.
* Corner flags are in place and are not dangerous to players (at least 5 ft high).
* Entire field is properly lined.
* If anything is needed, the home team is responsible for fixing field problems.
* Check in the Players:Home team players/coaches should be checked first but it's not a requirement. You should start with the team that appears to be most ready for inspection.
* Make sure that all jewelry, earrings, watches, etc. are removed. Medical ID must be taped to the player's chest or taped to the wrist with the info showing. (Earrings must be removed. Covering them with tape does not make them legal.)
* All players must wear shin guards and socks must be pulled over shin guards.


* Be aware of your position on the field. It's tough enough to properly call a soccer match when you are on top of the play. It's impossible to make correct decisions when you stay close to or within the center circle. When officiating at the small-sided game level, get in the habit of being in the proper position and working hard.
* At first, you may have to remind yourself to lift the focus of your vision from the ball and the legs of the players so you learn to take in the whole area of active play. It is normal for new referees to have to make this conscious effort to lift their eyes. Once you are more experienced, it will be instinctive for you to see a large area of play if you condition yourself to do this from the beginning.
* Always think about your positioning - you should know why you are where you are. What do you gain by being in this position?
* Make your hand signals clear; point the direction with a straight arm.
* Blow clear and sharp whistles. Learn how to make your whistle ""talk"" for you.
* Use the whistle to communicate control. Too many newly certified referees make a call with barely an audible "tweet" which tells everyone on the field that you are unsure of yourself. On your first call, give the whistle a firm blast and confidently point in the direction of the play. A firm whistle will eliminate 50 percent of the arguments. Vary the strength of your whistle depending on the infraction - for a serious foul, blow the whistle very loudly.
* Be decisive in your calls; players and coaches may try to take advantage of the situation if you seem unsure.
* Run the diagonal system of control. The most accepted diagonal system is from the right corner to the left corner – referees refer to this as a ""left diagonal".

Dealing with Problem Coaches

* Set the ground rules – be proactive
Don't let the coaches intimidate you.
Be confident in your knowledge of the Laws of the Game and Rules of Competition.
Remain calm. If someone is yelling at you, don't yell back at them. Speak respectfully and quietly, so the coach must quiet down to hear you.
Do not take someone yelling at you personally. It happens to all referees, even the most experienced.

However, once the coach steps over the boundaries of the game and begins to make his comments personal or abusive, you must deal with it. Slowly and calmly walk over to the coach. In a polite and respectful way, inform the coach that this type of conduct is unsporting and continuing with this type conduct will result in his or her removal from the game. If the behavior continues – walk immediately to the concession stand and inform the Board member on duty.

Dealing with Problem Players

Make your presence known from the moment you walk on the field - that way players know you are in charge. Stand tall, look people in the eye and smile confidently. Have your pre-game questions down - introduce yourself even if you have worked games with the same coaches before, get the game ball from the home team and check it out, check in players.  Doing these game management things confidently will carry over into the game.
Remember to blow the whistle with confidence, even if you are not feeling so confident and use decisive signals with straight arms.
If you have a difficult player dissenting or doing something else to disrupt the game, at a stoppage of play, issue a caution to them and let the player know that kind of behavior is unacceptable.

Dealing with Problem Parents

* Remain calm.
Do not get into discussions or arguments with the sidelines.
Make note of it on your ref slip
Enlist the support of the coach. Ask him to speak with the offending spectators, and let him know that if the behavior continues, the game will not. This will usually be enough to quiet most parents, but not all.
If you have asked the coach to deal with problem parents and the situation continues, ask the coach to have the spectator leave the area. If the spectator refuses, tell the coach that if the spectator is not removed, the game will end. Give the coach a reasonable amount of time (approximately 30 – 60 seconds) to deal with the situation.
If the parent does not leave, you should feel free to end the game.

How Do Referees Improve?

* To be a good referee, you must continue to learn and improve with every game.
Experience is the best teacher and confidence builder.
The more games you do the more comfortable and confident you'll be.
If something occurs in a game and you aren't sure if you made the correct decision, go back to the Laws of the Game and Advice to Referees after the game and double check.
Talk to more experienced referees about the decision you made and whether or not you should have done something differently, or text an experienced referee with the question.
Watch experienced referees and notice how they deal with specific situations that cause you trouble in a game.
Watch games of every level whenever possible. This helps you to not only watch skilled referees work; it also helps you to learn more about the game.


East Islip Soccer Club

East Islip Soccer Club, PO Box 289
East Islip, New York 11730

Email: [email protected]

Contact Us

East Islip Soccer Club

East Islip Soccer Club, PO Box 289
East Islip, New York 11730

Email: [email protected]

Copyright © 2024 East Islip Soccer Club  |  Privacy Statement |  Terms Of Use |  License Agreement |  Children's Privacy Policy  Log In