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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.


Referee In-Person Training will take place on August 15th and 22nd times TBD at Barney Schwartz Sports Complex

Referee Schedule

Please click HERE to access the Referee Schedule*

*Once a referee has completed their training and the training has been verified by the CVPA, they will need to set up a profile on the CGI Sports website.

How to Register as a Regional Referee

How to Register as a Regional Referee

Log into your AYSO account at If the account is under your spouse they will need to add you as a registered user.

»Click on "Volunteer" in left hand column
»Click on "Find Volunteer Roles" button on the upper right
»Select "Referee" and complete the form.

Once completed you will need to access and complete your Safesport Training

  1. Login to your Sports Connect account where you registered as a volunteer.
  2. Click on the volunteer tab on the left-hand side of the screen
  3. Click on SafeSport box
  4. Click on Renew and Update
  5. A screen will pop up where you will click on the “click HERE” link or copy and paste the URL into your browser to begin training

You will also receive an email invitation from to complete a Background Check. Please complete this as soon as possible.

Training Requirements

  • Sterling Background check (risk status) (18+ years old)
  • Live Scan Fingerprinting (18+ years old; new CA state law/requirement; required once only)
  • Safe Sport (new CA state law/requirement)
  • AYSO Safe Haven (now required once only!)
  • Concussion Awareness (now required once only!)
  • Sudden Cardiac Arrest (now required once only!)
  • Regional Referee training (online course does not expire)

Next you will need to complete the following Volunteer training requirements: 

»Log into your AYSO account
»Click on "Volunteer" in the left hand column
»Click on "AYSOU" button on the upper right
»Click on "Training Library" on the left hand side
»Click on "Safe Haven" View Courses
•You will need to enroll and complete AYSO Safe Haven CourseCDC Concussion Awareness and Simons Heart Sudden Cardiac Arrest 
»Return to "Training Library"
»Click on "Refereeing" View Courses
»Enroll and complete the "Regional Referee - Online + In-Person Companion Course (2 Part Bundle)"
»Once completed Click on "Training Event" on left hand side
»Use the calendar to find the in-Person training potion of the referee course. * Sessions will be added as the season approaches.
For assistance please contact [email protected]

When you completed all of your training and the Sterling Background Check, please contact Stephanie at [email protected] so we can send you to the final step of getting your fingerprints done. 

Referee Tips

Identify Your Why
Why do you ref? What is your reffing philosophy? What is your role on the field? Knowing these things can help you keep a level head in the heat of the moment and keep the integrity of the game intact.

Be Growth Minded

Seek growth opportunities to learn; about the game, about yourself, and about your role on the field. Mistakes happen; they are part of the game. Learn from each mistake to make you better the next time on the pitch.

Breathing is the easiest, simplest form of self-control. Focus on your breathing to calm down, energize, focus and refocus, take a minute, prepare to perform, regulate temperature, etc. Start with a slow, deep inhale, hold it, and then release it slowly. Repeat as necessary.

Identify Your Stress Tendencies

  • What are my stress triggers?
  • Do I get clammy hands?
  • Does my heart beat race?
  • Does my breathing get shallow and rapid?
  • Does my mind race?
  • What’s my body language like?
  • What’s my inner dialogue saying?
  • Do I feel stress in real time? Do I feel anticipatory stress? Do I feel both?
  • Do I have a quick trigger, or whistle in this case?
  • Do I snap back at players, coaches, or parents?

Knowing the answers to these questions, and what causes them, can help you identify stress early and address it in the moment.

After each game, ask yourself the following questions.

  • What went well today?
  • What could have gone better?
  • What did I learn?
  • What would I like to improve?
  • Was I able to stick to my philosophy?
  • What impact did I have on the game? Was it positive, negative or neutral?

It’s hard to make changes or adjustments if we are unaware of what needs changing or improvement. Self-reflection builds self-awareness and encourages growth, and allows us to make the necessary adjustments to be the best we can in our role.

Managing Player Dissent

10 Tips to Help Manage Player Dissent

Regardless of age or competitive level, players become excited as their personal or team fortunes rise or fall and it is not uncommon for language to be used in the heat of the moment. Such outbursts, while possibly vivid, are typically brief, undirected, and often quickly regretted. The referee must understand the complex emotions of players in relation to the match and discount appropriately language which does no lasting harm to those who might have heard or seen the outburst. Of course, the player might well be warned in various ways (a brief word, direct eye contact, etc.) regarding their behavior.

When the words or gestures directly challenge the authority of the referee or assistant referees, actively dispute an official's decision, or are likely to be taken up by a widening circle of other players, the referee must determine if this dissent can be halted through the more formal action of cautioning the player and displaying the yellow card. The objective of the caution (or other warning) for dissent is to protect the referee's ability to continue to manage the match.

  1. Connect with players before the game starts - aim to make them smile.
  2. Thank the parents for supporting their kids and ask them to support positive behavior. (Kid Zone)
  3. Set a good game tone that makes the players feel that your officiating is fair.
  4. Be close to play when you signal fouls.
  5. Address player frustration and intervene early with a calming influence (using words, body language, gestures, etc.) before this behavior deteriorates into obvious dissent.
  6. player dissent when it first shows up because it requires less effort.
  7. At halftime, identify frustrated players to the coaches so they can talk to them.
  8. Team up with the team captain(s) to help you manage frustrated players.
  9. Watch experienced referees and learn player/game management from them.
  10. Ask your mentor/assessor for techniques to deal with dissent and use them.

Finally, show your interest in the game and the players, it will get you respect.
Dissent is not good for the game and it can easily show up in all matches. It is important that we referees lead the effort and team up with coaches and parents to eliminate it.

-Courtesy of USSF

Excuses Not to be a Referee

To save you the trouble of having to create an excuse of your own, we've listed the most common excuses for non-participation in this critical function in the AYSO program:
  • I Don’t Know Anything (Enough) About the Game
    Most of us knew little, or less than you, about soccer when we became referees. Not to worry… for the investment of about six to eight hours we'll train you with more knowledge of the Laws of the Game than most Americans possess.
  • I Don’t Have Time
    Becoming a referee is perfect for those AYSO parents who have crowded schedules. Referees schedule themselves for the games they can do, possibly just before or after the game your child is playing. You may do as many or as few games as you choose. And, the very busy actor, Will Ferrell, used to referee his kids’ AYSO games! 
  • I’m Not the Right Kind of Person
    Sure you are. You obviously care about your child. This is a youth sports program run by all volunteers. Who would be better than a concerned, involved parent like you?
  • I’d Look Silly in That Uniform
    Good heavens… you obviously haven’t seen the Referee Administrator.     
  • I’d Be Embarrassed
    Everyone makes mistakes (even those of us who have been officiating for years). The important thing is to approach the job with enthusiasm and enjoyment, because that will be passed on to the players and coaches (and we can team you up with an experienced referee to help you through the initial learning process)
  • I’m a Woman – I Never See Them Referee
    Actually, we have many qualified women referees – and they are great! We could use many more. What other time in your life will you ever - with just one breath (or whistle) - be able to make 22 kids stop what they are doing, actually listen to you, and then do what they're told? Almost half of our players are girls and they love having women referees. They're comfortable with them and look up to them as role models. If you're a mom, you already are used to making quick decisions and multi-tasking. (If you're a mother of two or more children, you already know what it means to be a referee!) Don’t worry, we'll teach you, support you, and start you off refereeing younger children. We'll be there to mentor you until you feel comfortable and confident.  
  • I can’t afford the equipment
    Don’t worry about expense, the Region will provide you with the necessary equipment to get you started.
  • I don’t think I could keep up with the players. Some of them are pretty fast!
    Don’t worry, most of us can’t keep up with them either. We give the older age division games, with the faster players, to our fitter and more experienced referees. We still have plenty of younger division games on smaller fields where you would be able to keep up. You know, refereeing is also a good way to get a little exercise and to have fun at the same time.

Now that we’ve addressed all your concerns we can’t wait to see you at referee training. And in return, we promise you:

  • Exercise
  • Enjoyment
  • A sense of belonging
  • A free uniform (and whistle!)
  • A great time – Like for many folks before you, it may turn out to be the most fun you have had in a long time
  • A small fan club of kids who think you’re great and are thrilled to see you 

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Paso Robles AYSO Region 741

AYSO Region 741, PO Box 3412
Paso Robles, California 93447

Email Us: [email protected]
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