PYSL Referee

Check this page for the latest Referee information. There will be online Referee signups for games this spring and fall season. Existing Referees can use the same login as last year. See the Referee Help page for more information on game signups.

Important Referee News & Events

Referee Games Signups are open for Recreation U10-U14 games.     

USSF Referee On-Line Registration is now available on the USSF website. This is for referees renewing licenses. NOT for new referees. Click the link (paper icon with blue dot). The cost is still $25. You pay by credit card.     

Game Card Instructions See this link for an example of a filled out game card.    

Field Permit is available at this link. Print and carry a copy of this permit in your bag just in case there is a conflict at the field.     

Why New Youth Referees Don't Start As ARs Click the link to see a PDF file for an article.    

Players With Medical Alerts Jewelry should USUALLY be allowed to play with them on. See this CNRA article for more details (click the little paper icon with the blue dot). Players and referees, consider bringing a roll of athletic tape with you so that you can tape over a bracelet - but leave the critical information exposed.    

Injury Reports Must Be Filled Out If a player is injured at one of your games, the coach is responsible for filling out an injury report (Case report). Often, the coaches don't have the forms. Please print this form out and have it ready. See this link;    

Referee Uniforms New referees! Don't delay in getting your uniforms. If you delay, when a game opportunity comes up, you won't be ready to take it. Soccer Inc. on Petaluma Blvd. has been notified and they have stocked up with referee apparel and equipment including the most important item - the Fox40 whistle.  

COACHES: Game Schedules (and referees for your games) If you want referees for your games, you must have your game schedule on the website. The webmaster enters schedule information and then the referees can sign up for the games. United teams: do not send individual game requests to the webmaster. Send all United games in one list. The webmaster can't enter individual games.  

Send-Off Reporting Procedure REFEREES! forward send-off reports (click paper icon with blue dot), photocopy of game card and player pass within 24 hours to Mike Mullins; PO Box 184; Kenwood, CA 95452. No need for league President's or Head Referee's signatures. See sections 3:08:04 and 3:10:06 of this Document for more information. Please send a copy to the Head Referee.     

Out-of-town Referee Classes PYSL offers referee classes. Sometimes, your schedule doesn't fit our class dates. Other leagues offer classes too. They charge you for the class but we reimburse you. Check them out at this link:    

See the News and Events pages for the full list of news and event schedules.

New Referee Registration

To access the referee signup system and work games in Petaluma, you must be a registered PYSL referee. You only need to register once. If you were a referee, in 2014, you do not need to register again.

New Referees Only:

After you register, you will be contacted by the referee coordinator and given your website login information to access the referee system and signup for games online. Please read the Referee FAQ and Help pages for details on how the Referee system works.

Game Cards

Print out the game information sheet for each of your assigned games. Click the game number on the Assignments page. The game information sheet contains all of the details you need to fill out your Game Card including: Match Number, Coaches, Referee information, etc...

  1. Fill out your game card completely using the information on the game information sheet.
  2. Write the MATCH number at the top of the game card.
  3. Print the Team numbers and Score clearly.
  4. Print names of any sideline referees.
  5. Turn the game card in promptly to get paid.
Game Card Drop Locations
Jeff Kendall
2184 St. Augustine Circle
Petaluma, CA. 94954
(Near Weisman Fields)

New Game Rating allows you to rate the behavior of the teams in every game that you referee. Make a habit of rating your games after you work them! See the Referee Help page for more information on game rating.


Referee Coordinator for questions or problems related to games or conduct.
Referee Division 4 U10-U14 Adminstrator for questions or problems related to game assignments.
Referee Division 4 U16-U19 Adminstrator for questions or problems related to game assignments.
Referee Division 3 Adminstrator for questions or problems related to game assignments.
Referee Division 1 Adminstrator for questions or problems related to game assignments.
Referee Paymaster for questions or problems related to your paychecks.
Referee Game Card Processing for questions or problems related to your game cards.


PYSL Referee Basic Information
PYSL Referee Recreation Laws of the Game
PYSL Training Presentation (Acrobat)
PYSL Training Presentation (Powerpoint)
Referee Administrative Handbook
US Soccer.Com
District 5 Referee Administration
Wesco Referee Resources
United States Soccer Federation Website
CNRA Referee Forms
NorCal Referee Information
Ask the Referee

Good health Habits for Referees

Game Duration
AgeMinutes AgeMinutes
U17 - U1990U11 - U1260
U15 - U1680U9 - U1050
U13 - U1470U6 - U840

Suggestions for Referee Conduct

The following are suggestions for Referees to follow when working games to avoid problems and keep control of a the game.

  • Honor the Level and Age : The definition of a fair challenge depends on the level of competition. If you are a referee, recognize that you need to officiate recreational, class-3, and class-1 games differently. No one (not the coaches, not the parents, not the players, not the league, and not the assignor) is going to be happy with a referee who uses NCAA Final Four foul criteria to officiate a U6 recreational game.
  • Educate the Unwashed : Think about becoming a verbal referee, explaining your calls or lack of action throughout the game. As long as you are not blind and can show the players, coaches, and spectators that you know the Laws of the Game (LOTG), then your actual decision can vary with the level of play. For that reason, you may want to train players, coaches, and spectators by constantly announcing, "Play on", "Not a foul", "Advantage", "Unintentional", "Inadvertent", etc. It is particularly important to announce, "All ball!" or something similar when you don't call a foul after a successful slide tackle has resulted in the tripping of the original ball carrier. You'll show everyone that you're not blind, that you know the LOTG, and that you have made a "managerial" decision in regards to what just happened.
  • Become Invisible : The better referees are invisible during the game. Even if you are audible (see B. above), you can be invisible. Better referees don't call attention to themselves. For example, you're going to call attention to yourself if you call back a goal scored on a beautiful bicycle kick in the box because you say it was Dangerous Play. Your trick is finding a system that allows you to maintain control of the game without changing its outcome. (For more ways to become visible, see item P. below.)
  • Let the Girls Be Boys : Looking back to the Women's World Cup, the US WNT got beaten by Germany in the semi-finals on physical play. The youth game has also become physical, and after the most recent WWC, play can be expected to continue to become even more so. You may not be used to seeing 9-year old girls knock each other down, but that's the way it is in today's class-1 game. If you permit 9-year old boys to play hard, then extend the same privilege to 9-year old girls.
  • Permit Playing on the Ground : New referees have a knee-jerk reaction that causes them to blow their whistles every time someone sits on the ground. True, there are times when someone is wildly thrashing about on the ground, taking out people's feet from under them, and jabbing them with their studs. There are also times when a player is laying on the ball and opponents are trying to dislodge the ball with their kicks. You should call those because their Dangerous Play. But don't announce "You can't play on the ground." There is no Laws of the Game (LOTG) that addresses playing on the ground. Every on-the-ground situation is not dangerous. If it's not dangerous, don't whistle it. If you’re a coach, don't expect the referee to whistle it.
  • Ease Up on Foul Throws : Throw-ins are just a way to get the ball into play quickly, and at the higher levels, many throw-ins that are technically foul just get a "Play on" from the referee. (Saying "Play on" indicates to the coaches, players, and spectators that the technical error was recognized, but is being disregarded.) Only when the thrower gains an unfair advantage by the throw-in should the throw-in be called back. Lifting a foot an inch or two, stepping over the line an inch or two, and throwing the ball lightly from on top of the head are all things that a recreational referee would call. The current thinking in competitive soccer is to keep the game momentum going.
  • Let the Players Fall Down Once in a While : In the modern youth game, people fall down. But, every fall is not a foul. In fact, most falls are not fouls. Free kicks should not be awarded after physical shoulder tackle just because someone falls down. They may be fair challenges appropriate for the level of play of the players.
  • Give the Goalkeeper an Inch : Most goalkeepers these days end up outside of the penalty box after a punt. Unless you think that the goalkeeper is intentionally trying to gain an unfair advantage, stepping a few inches outside of any crooked-line box is no reason to call a direct free kick and will definitely hurt your invisibility. Just call, "Play on" and mention it to the goalkeeper. Also, remember that once the goalkeeper has thrown the ball into the air, he/she can come outside of the box to kick it, because there is no handling (just, "footling") of the ball.
  • Know a Handball When You Don't See It : Almost all handballs are inadvertent, unintentional, ball-to-hand contact. Most young players are not handball cheaters by nature. Unless handling is intentional or the handled ball drops at the foot of the player giving him/her a clear advantage, just announce, "Unintentional" and let play continue.
  • Take Advantage of the Slow Whistle : Not even all fouls need to be whistled. Wait 2-3 seconds to see if advantage develops. If you whistle immediately when something happens, you never allow advantage to develop. If it develops, you can announce, "Advantage, Blue!" to let the coaches know that there is a method to your madness. If it doesn't develop and you whistle late, then you can blow that whistle and announce, "Advantage didn't develop."
  • Let Players Bicycle in the Box : High kicks are another knee-jerk reaction-getter among new referees. High kicks are always high kicks, and high kicks that injure an opponent are always dangerous play, but not all high kicks are dangerous play. To be dangerous, there has to be another player nearby ... a player with the potential of being injured. You shouldn't whistle just because someone does a high kick.
  • Let Slide Tackles Slide : If your league permits it, let those 10 years old do safe slide tackles. When the ball is close to the goal line, a striker might toe-poke or push it into the goal with the sole (bottom) of the shoe. Such practices can occur elsewhere on the field, as well. Technically, this is can be "showing your studs", but if there is no one around to be injured, or if the studs aren’t pointed at anyone, it's not an offense to the Laws of the Game (LOTG). Pushing your studs into someone's leg is dangerous play or worse, but merely showing the studs is not prohibited by the LOTG.
  • Don't Overstep Your Authority : The referee does not have any authority over the sidelines. The proper way to deal with spectator abuse is to (1) ignore it or, (2) work through the coach. The referee certainly can go to the coach and say, "Mr. Blue Shirt over there stepped over the line when he called me a blind little $#!+, and I'd like you inform him that if this reoccurs, that I'm going to abandon this game, and it will be deferred to the League for disiplinary action. ( PYSL does not allow rescheduling )." To do anything else usually ends up making the referee look silly, particularly when the ejected spectator calls your bluff and refuses to leave.
  • Don't Look Silly: Any time that you base a decision on a technicality, you run the risk of diminishing your credibility and, therefore, your ability to control the game. Silly things are like forbidding players who have different colored socks, or whose player passes aren't laminated, or whose jerseys are not tucked in, or blowing the whistle signaling "game over" in the middle of an breakaway 20 yards from the goal, or when you don't let a team take an earned corner kick or PK when the clock runs out, or making a players stand at attention at the midline when you can clearly see the substituted player running off the field, or forbidding players whose undershirts or sliding shorts don't exactly match the color of their uniforms, or making the players take off the long-sleeved sweat shirts worn under their jerseys when it is snowing ... or, any of the stuff that is technically correct, but doesn't serve the game in any constructive way. It all detracts from the game and makes the referee visible.
  • The aformentioned suggestions are a modified excerpt from the SAYSO Youth Soccer News #451.

Classes & Training

We need Coaches, Parents, and Young adults to become PYSL Referee's. PYSL will again be hosting classes to License new Referees's. You must be twelve years old to take this course.

Referee License Courses. These include the PYSL sponsored classes and the ones hosted by the district. See the Courses page for registration and schedule.

The training sessions are being held in response to the shortage of referees this season and the number of parents who said that they wanted to fix this problem. It is also an opportunity for all those ref hecklers in their lawn chairs on the sidelines.

There are many fun and good things about soccer and about PYSL. I think that we all participate so that our kids get a great experience. To improve that, coaches have coaching meetings and training. Hopefully, the caliber of coaching improves each year. Another element of PYSL that could be improved is the refereeing; not the quality of the existing refs, who we dearly love, but the overall lack of refs.

We will be offering referee courses hoping that adults will volunteer in order to improve the program. Every trained ref is better able to evaluate the game, better able to coach, more sensitive to the existing officials and better able to be a spectator. All too many ignorant spectators, harassing players and officials, are taking away from the "Joy of the Game" for everybody.

Please help this situation by finding an adult volunteer who will sign up for this course and help referee next season or find a volunteer who will at a future time take the course. Anybody wanting to sign up can e-mail or call the Head Referee or League President. The numbers & emails are on the contacts page.