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American Youth Soccer Organization Providing world class youth soccer programs that enrich children's lives.

AYSO Irvine Region 213 - Serving Irvine for 40 years


Why become a referee?

Referees are critical for the region to have a successful season. There are a number of reasons why people might consider volunteering to become a referee for AYSO:

  • Fun
    Referees on the field, especially the younger 7u, 8u and 10u, enjoy being on the field with the players, being involved, listening to the kids talking and joking. It's actually very entertaining.
  • Exercise
    While not very demanding physically at the younger ages, being a referee helps you get up out of your chair, stretch your legs, and get your steps in.
  • Knowledge
    Becoming a referee helps you to learn the rules (laws) of the game better. This makes the game more enjoyable, whether watching AYSO at the field or professional soccer on TV.
  • Referee / Volunteer points
    In many cases, families need to earn points for their team, helping out with referee quotas. This might be for playoffs, standings, awards, bragging rights, etc.
  • Friendship
    Being part of the referee community, referees enjoy sharing stories and comradery with new referees as well as those more experienced.
  • Leadership
    Especially for the youth referees, being the official in charge helps develop leadership skills, not only useful in high school but in life. This is a huge benefit.
  • Volunteer Service Hours
    Most high schools require a number of volunteer service hours, and being a referee satisfies that requirement. In some cases, even adult referees benefit from this because many employers have programs to benefit volunteering.
  • For the kids
    If a game (7u and older) does not have any referees signed up, the game is at risk of cancellation. A referee can be a hero to two teams and their families by ensuring the games are played.

Whatever the reason, we always welcome more referees to help our program go smoother.

Easy as 1, 2, 3!

There are a few steps every person needs to do before they can Referee for AYSO:

  1. Figure out at which badge level you wish to begin.
  2. Register as a referee. This involves logging in, finding and selecting the referee role, and completing the needed information.
  3. Get trained. Many courses are available online at your convenience, some are available in person. All are free.

1 - Choose a badge level

There are currently five badge levels within AYSO. New referees can start out at either 8U Official or at Regional. The other three badges are upgrades, and require experience and time as an AYSO Referee.

  • The 8u Official is able to manage games for 7u teams and for 8u teams.
    This level is perfect for families of the 7u and 8u players, but also great for younger youth interested in being a referee.
    The minimum age is 10 years old.
    The 8u course is available as either an in-person course or as an online course, and is roughly 3 hours or less. If taken online, a short discussion with a coordinator will help the 8u Official understand the nuances of signing up and refereeing in our region.
  • The Regional Referee is able to manage 10u games, either as the 'center' referee or as an assistant referee. The Regional Referee can also manage the 7u and 8u games.
    The Regional Referee badge is perfect for families of 10u players, 8 to 10 years old. It might also be good if your player is an 8u Spring player, as they will be 10u in the Fall, allowing you to referee for them in future seasons as well.
    The minimum age for Regional Referee is 12 years old.
    The Regional Referee course is roughly 8 hours.
    • It is most commonly taught as an Online + In-person Companion course, with the online portion done first, roughly 4 hours, and the In-person portion at about 3 to 4 hours.
    • It is also taught as completely in-person, either broken down into two evenings, or over a Saturday or Sunday.

For either 8u Official or Regional Referee, you don't need any experience with the game. It is fine to be new to soccer. The training provides everything you'll need to know to get started, including basic understanding of the game of soccer, how to manage the kids and how to handle the game.

2 - Get Registered

Following are the steps in order to register. Once finished, you should be set to get screened and trained and prepare for a great season!

Registration is easy if you follow these steps. But in case you prefer, here is a registration video walkthrough.

  1. Log into our website.
    If you don't yet have an account, you can create one.
  2. Click on Volunteer from the left menu.
  3. Click on the blue [Find Volunteer Roles] button.
    *If a player tied to this account is signed up, you will see divisions for that player. Scroll to the bottom, and click [Show All Available Opportunities]
    Find the Region Volunteers program and click on [View Divisions].
    Check the [x] Volunteer Opportunities checkbox.
    Click [View Selected Opportunities] at the bottom.
  4. In the Region Volunteers program, you'll find Referee. You might need to click the small right-arrow to find it. Click [Select], and then Sign up Registered User.
    If your spouse, child, or person other than the account owner will volunteer, choose Sign up a new users.
    Click the blue [Continue] at the bottom.
  5. Enter any desired information. Any fields with a [ * ] are required fields.
  6. Click the blue [Continue] at the bottom.

If you see something that looks like an error, please email [email protected] to let us know.

*Instructions for use on mobile may vary slightly.

3 - Role Specific Training

All volunteers need to take care of basic Volunteer certifications and screening. Most of these only need to be done once, so you might already have some of them done. Visit our [Becoming a Volunteer] page for info and help on these.

As a reminder, a beginning referee will follow one of 4 routes of training to get started. For all of them, AYSOU is where to start.

To get to AYSOU:

  • Log in to the website.
  • Click 'Volunteer' from the left menu.
  • If you already volunteered for a role, you should see the [AYSOU] button at the top right. Click on that option. It should sign you in automatically.
  • Click on 'Training Library' from the left in AYSOU to view or enroll in online training.
  • Click on 'Training Event' from the left in AYSOU to view In-person courses, or portions of courses.
    *TIP: Click the [x] next to Region 213 in the Regions filter to remove it, enter your zip code and a distance (I suggest 50km) under Location.
  1. To take the 8u Official course online, go to Training Library, then under Refereeing click on (View Courses) and find 8U Official Course - Online. Click on the (Enroll) option.
  2. To take the 8u Official course in person, go to Training Event, adjust Region and Location filters as described above, and type '8u official' in the Courses filter. There aren't usually many options.
  3. To take the Regional Referee course in person, go to Training Event, and type Regional Referee - Full In-Person Course' in the Courses filter.
  4. To take the Regional Referee Companion Course, this is a two-part task. First, take the online portion - go to Training Library, under Refereeing click on (View Courses), find 'New - Regional Referee - Online + In-Person Companion Course,' and click on the (Enroll) button.
    Once finished with the online modules, return to AYSOU, go to Training Event, adjust Region and Location filters as described above, and type 'companion' in the Courses filter. There are currently 3 options, probably some are older names and some newer. Search them all for one convenient for you.

For in-person courses, you can take them anywhere, they don't have to be done by AYSO Irvine.

If you are willing to take a referee course, but nothing above fits your schedule, fill in the very short Referee Class Interest form.

For any questions please email our Regional Referee Admin at [email protected].

First Games

Getting your starting gear
Using Matchtrak
Asking for a mentor if needed

National Partners

In Memory Of

Contact Us

AYSO Irvine - Region 213

14252 Culver Dr, Ste A-206
Irvine, California 92604

Email Us: [email protected]
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