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Referee Training and Certification

Upcoming Referee Courses
8U OfficialSaturday, March 4, 20239:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.Tiffin City Hall
Assistant RefereeSaturday, March 11, 20239:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.Williamsburg Public Library
Regional RefereeSaturday, March 25, 20239:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.Amana Elementary School

AYSO offers 3 entry-level referee courses:

8U Official Course
This 3 hour course will train volunteers to comfortably and confidently facilitate an AYSO small-sided 8U game in accordance with the simplified rules of competition they follow. Minimum age is 10.

Assistant Referee Course
This 4½ hour course expands upon the 8U Official Course to train volunteers in the basics of being an Assistant Referee (AR) for AYSO matches played in accordance with the International Football Association Board (IFAB) Laws of the Game and the AYSO National Rules & Regulations. Minimum age is 12.

Regional Referee Course
This 5½ hour course trains volunteers in the basics of being a referee for AYSO matches played in accordance with the IFAB Laws of the Game and the AYSO National Rules & Regulations. Minimum age is 12.

If you are interested in becoming a referee volunteer, you need to complete the following steps:

  • Register as a volunteer in Region 1103 (or Login to your account if previously registered)
  • Go to "My Account" and select "Volunteer"
  • Click on AYSOU to login to AYSO University
  • Select "Training Event"
  • Find the course on the calendar that you would like to attend, click on it to open the event description, and then "Enroll"
  • Attend the class

All referee training certifications will stay with you for life. Once you are certified to referee at a certain level, you will not need to re-certify unless specifically requested to do so by the Regional Referee Administrator (RRA). You MUST, however, re-apply as a volunteer annually each Spring in order to continue as a volunteer with the region.

If you have any questions regarding referee training and certification requirements, contact the RRA at [email protected].

All training is available through AYSO University. Referee courses offered by Region 1103 include: 8U Official, Assistant Referee, Regional Referee, and Intermediate Referee. The annual AYSO Section EXPO will offer Advanced Referee and National Referee courses, and Referee Instructor and Mentor / Assessor courses.

All AYSO volunteers are required to complete the 30 minute online Safe Haven Certification module in AYSOU.

Volunteers age 18 and older must undergo a Sterling Volunteers Background Check and complete SafeSport Certification Training through the U.S. Center for SafeSport annually.

Why Become an AYSO Referee?

Why should you become an AYSO Referee? Simply stated, WE NEED YOU! Teams cannot play games without referees. More importantly, it's rewarding and working with kids is great fun too.

The referee acts as a timekeeper, keeps a record of the game, indicates and supervises the restart of play, stops play for an offense or injury; and, depending on the level of the match, controls the game in cooperation with assistant referees. The referee's authority extends to everyone at the field, including players, substitutes, coaches, spectators, and the assistant referees.

Referees are 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, coaches, spectators, and themselves. Of principal concern to the referee is the safety of the players. While there are elements of risk in all sports, the soccer referee is responsible for minimizing risks associated with field conditions, equipment, spectators, and other players.

We want our region's kids to enjoy playing and to keep playing every season with us for as long as it's fun for them.

As an AYSO referee, you can help make fun happen.

Aids to Understanding The Laws of the Game

Links to Publications, Videos, and Quizzes available to aid referees in their understanding of the Laws of the Game are provided below:


Laws of the Game (LOTG)
The 2022-23 International Football Association Board (IFAB) Laws of the Game contains the 17 laws, a description of the laws changes in effect for the 2022-23 season, and practical guidelines for match officials. The Guidelines describe standard Referee / Assistant Referee (AR) practices for positioning, signaling, and mechanics; review AR flag technique and whistle use at restarts; and provide Offside diagrams illustrating “gaining an advantage", "interfering with play", and "interfering with an opponent".
SUGGESTION: Download the IFAB Mobile App to your smartphone and have the LOTG at your fingertips.

Laws Changes Presentation
Proposed laws changes for 2022-23 were reviewed at the 2022 IFAB Annual General Meeting (AGM). The approved Changes to the LOTG were in fact clarifications to existing laws and do not affect how AYSO games are officiated.
NOTE: In general, any changes made to the LOTG at the IFAB AGM will go into effect with the start of our Fall Season.

FIFA Considerations
The FIFA Considerations provide referees with a standard match analysis system based on principles of decision-making. In line with the Laws of the Game, the guidelines specify the factors to be considered when assessing a match incident.


The Definitive Angle
The Definitive Angle is the Professional Referee Organization's (PRO) weekly analysis into the use of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) in Major League Soccer (MLS). Situations where the VAR may intervene include penalty kicks, DOGSO, offside, red cards, mistaken identity, and goal / no goal decisions. (Sometimes the same videos can be seen at MLS Instant Replay from a different perspective.)

Inside Video Review
PRO Manager of Senior Assistant Referees and Video Review Operations, Greg Barkey, takes a closer look at the week’s video review use in the MLS at Inside Video Review.

Refereeing Assistance Programme (RAP)
UEFA launches a Refereeing Assistance Programme twice a year containing clips of recent match situations. You can download the latest module, RAP UEFA 2022:2, to your PC or Mac via the Dutch Referee Blog. Learning categories include: Decision Making, Teamwork, LOTG Review, and a Match Situations Video Test with Analysis. After you watch a video, hover near the bottom of the slide above the progress line and click on INFO to read the Decision, get an Explanation, and see what the VAR saw.


Laws of the Game Quizzes
A weekly Laws of the Game Quiz can be found at the Dutch Referee Blog with 5 new questions every week. Test your knowledge. See the correct answers along with your score immediately after you submit your responses.

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Contact Us

AYSO Region 1103

PO Box 102 
Amana, Iowa 52203

Email Us: [email protected]
Phone : 319-558-8029
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