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How To Become a Referee

Why should you become an AYSO Referee? We need you. We can't have games without referees. More importantly, it's rewarding and working with kids is great fun!

Referees are critical to soccer - the game can't be played without them. The referee's job is to be the official in charge of the game. They are the independent arbiter and manager of the game. Their authority extends to everyone at the field, including players, substitutes, team officials, spectators, and even assistant referees.

The referee's number one concern is to keep the game as safe as possible for the players. While there is risk in all sports, the referee is responsible for minimizing such risks from field conditions, equipment, spectators, and the players.

The referee is responsible for enforcing the Laws of the Game in such a way as to keep the game safe, fair and fun for everyone: the players, the coaches, the spectators and themselves. They interfere with the game as little as possible, avoiding making calls for doubtful and trifling offenses. Referees only make calls for offenses they are sure occurred.

We want our kids to continue to play, and they keep playing as long as it is fun. Referees learn that fun soccer varies from age group to age group of players.

Step 1 – Register as an AYSO Volunteer and Complete an Online Background Check

All volunteers must register annually. Youth volunteers (ages 12-17) will need a parent or guardian to complete the on-line volunteer process for them. Register on-line as a Volunteer with AYSO at www.ayso84.org. Select Referee (adult volunteers) or Youth Referee (volunteers under 18 years old) from the MYxx Registration for Volunteers program. If the program is not initially displayed, select Show All Available Options. After submitting your volunteer application, look for an email from [email protected]. You must follow this link to initiate the background check.

(Steps 2 through 4 can be completed in any order.)

Step 2 – Complete Live Scan Fingerprinting and SafeSport Training (Adult Volunteers Only)

Effective January 1, 2022, adult volunteers for youth organizations in California are required to complete a one-time Live Scan fingerprinting and SafeSport training. Those who have done Live Scan before will need to do it again, as each Live Scan is specific to the organization requesting it. Sign up and get more information at https://www.applicantservices.com/AYSO. SafeSport training can be found at https://safesporttrained.org/?KeyName=tsVWe36Xa6PS3b5NzOug. You do not need to upload your SafeSport certification. SafeSport will automatically update your profile, generally within 2 hours of completion. If you have taken SafeSport training for another organization and your certificate is still valid, it should automatically transfer into the AYSO system.

Step 3 – Complete Online Safe Haven Courses in ETrainU

All AYSO Volunteers must complete the following online training modules:

  • AYSO’s Safe Haven
  • CDC Concussion Awareness
  • Sudden Cardiac Arrest
To complete, go to the Volunteer tab on your profile at www.ayso84.org and click on the AYSOU button. (Note: AYSOU button takes a day or so to show up for new volunteers.) Select Training Library and then View Courses under the Safe Haven course category. Select the desired course and click Enroll. Once enrolled, go to the My Training tab to find and take the course. If you have previously taken Concussion and/or Sudden Cardiac Arrest training, you can upload your certificate on your Volunteer page in Sports Connect to fulfill the requirement.

Step 4 – Complete Referee Training 

To officiate matches up to the 12U division, new Referees must complete either the Regional Referee - Full In-Person Course or the Regional Referee - Online + In-Person Companion Course (2 Part Bundle). To enroll, go to the Volunteer tab on your profile at www.ayso84.org and click on the AYSOU button. (Note: AYSOU button takes a day or so to show up for new volunteers.) Select Training Library and then View Courses under the Refereeing course category. Select the desired course and click Enroll. Once enrolled, go to the My Training tab to find the course. Select Start and follow the instructions.

To officiate 8U matches, volunteers can either complete the above training or take the 8U Official Course - Online, which can be found at the same location. The 8U Official training is only valid for 8U matches and Regional Referee training will be needed to continue officiating at older divisions.

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AYSO Region 84

P.O. Box 6080-178 
Mission Viejo, California 92690

Email Us: [email protected]
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