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Referee Etiquette

Believe it or not, but Refereeing is a respectable profession with high standards. Referees are expected to act like dignified and professional ladies and gentlemen. Referees control the flow of the game and their decisions can have an impact on the outcome. 

Therefore, the following guidelines and rules of etiquette are expected of all of our RYSL Referees:

Look Professional

Uniform / Gear

1. Wear only approved Referee Uniforms:

Approved uniform consists of:

  • Yellow / Blue / Black or Red Short / Long Sleeve Jersey
    • Do Not wear long sleeve shirt underneath short sleeve jersey
      • Exception: Long sleeve undershirt is same color as Referee Jersey
  • Black Shorts
    • Any black athletic shorts will do
  • Black Tube Socks
    • Prefer official 3-stripe socks, but any BLACK (only) tube sock will do

2. Appropriate Referee Game Equipment / Accessories:

Watch or Stopwatch
Foul Cards - Red / Yellow
Assistant Referee Flag 
Cleated Shoes
  • Whistle - Preferably One That's Pealess
    • Loud and Distinctive
    • Used to Control Game
    • Short / Soft Whistle for Stoppages
    • Loud Whistle for Fouls / Goals
  • Watch or Stopwatch
    • Keeps Official Game Time
    • Experienced Referees Wear 2
      • One That Counts Up
      • The Second One Counts Down
      • Back Up in Case One Stops
  • Foul Cards - A Must For Center Referee
    • Indicates Fouls
    • Yellow for Cautionable Offenses
    • Red for Send Off Offenses
    • Tip - Keep in Separate Pockets So You Don't Show the Wrong Card
  • Coin - Two-Sided
    • Used to Choose Sides of Field / Kick-Off
    • Used to Select Which Team Kicks First in Shoot-Out
    • Any Coin Will Do
  • AR / Linesmen Flag
    • Used by Assistant Referees / Club Linesmen
    • Indicates Ball Out of Play
    • Indicates Offside
    • Indicates Foul
    • Should Be Brightly Colored to Attract Center Referee's Attention
  • Cleated Shoes
    • Prefer Turf / Soft Multi-Cleat Shoes
    • Prevents Slipping

Appearance / Grooming

  • Keep Shirt Tucked In
    • Don't Be a Hypocrite - We Expect the Players to Keep their Shirts Tucked In, So Should the Referee
  • Keep Socks Pulled Up
  • Wear Clean Uniforms
  • Keep Uniform Pressed
    • Wrinkles Look Unprofessional and Sloppy
  • Keep Shoes Shined
  • DO NOT Wear Longsleeve Shirts Under Shortsleeve Referee Uniform
    • Looks Tacky and Unprofessional
    • Exception: Undershirt is Same Color as Jersey
  • USSF Prefers No Hats - However, RYSL Allows Referees to Wear
    • Hats Hats Should Be Black Baseball Style Cap
  • USSF Prefers No Sunglasses Unless Prescription - However, RYSL Allows Sunglasses

Field Demeanor

  • Look and Appear Confident
    • Know the Laws
    • Earns Player / Coach / Spectator Respect
    • Gives You Control of Game
  • Be Assertive When Making Calls
    • Know the Laws
    • Stand By Your Call
      • Exception - Ask AR (In Private) for Help
    • Don't Hesitate
      • Be Sure of Yourself
      • Know the Laws
    • Re-Start Play Right Away
    • Use Proper Whistle Tone
      • Short / Soft for Routine Stoppages
      • Two Short / Loud Blows to Gain Player Attention When Play Continues After Short / Soft Whistle or to Stop Play for Some Aggressive Fouls
      • Long / Loud for Serious Fouls or Offside
  • Be Compassionate
    • Remember, these are Kids
    • Explain to them what they did (This Teaches Them)
    • Although Not Required, Try Explaining to Coach What / Why You made a Call