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Each U10 and older game requires an AYSO-certified three-person referee crew on the field. The crew consisting of a referee and two assistant referees. In the event that one or both assistant referees are not available, the home-team coach should provide club linesmen, whose job is to call when the ball crosses the touchline. 

All referees need to register as volunteers every year. Most certifications only need to be taken once, but a few may need bi-annual or yearly reviews.

Becoming a certified referee

To become a referee, follow the steps on the Referee Registration page; in short: register, complete the online courses, and attend an in-person field session at Sea Cloud Park. Sign up to the field sessions via AYSOU. 

For questions, issues, or comments please contact us at [email protected]

Modifications to the Laws of the Game

AYSO Foster City modifies the Laws of the Game, as allowed by IFAB and FIFA, for better enjoyment of youth soccer: We reduce the size of the field of play, ball, goals, and the duration of the halves. Substitutes are allowed to return. We put in place the Player Development Initiatives encouraged by USSF and AYSO National.

During the first two game dates, we ask referees to blow the whistle, briefly instruct proper procedure, and not penalize the following offenses in U10 games only:
  1. Inappropriate throw-in procedure. Restart: retake.
  2. Double touch of a kick-off, goal kick, corner kick, and free kick. Restart: retake
  3. IFK goalkeeper offenses and goalkeeper exiting the penalty area while handling. Restart: dropped ball to goalkeeper in the penalty area.
The modifications are summarized in the Rules of Competition page (in spreadsheet format)

Scheduling and FAQ for 10U-14U matches

10U, 12U, and 14U referees use to schedule games. The minimum badge level for 10U and 12U matches is Regional; for 14U is Intermediate.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can I be the Assistant Referee for my child’s match?
    • Yes!  You can be Assistant Referee of your child, sibling, niece/nephew, grandchild, we encourage you to!  Please do share your affiliation with the referee at the pre-game so that they are aware.
  2. Can I be the referee for my child's match?
    • The National policy in 10U and above is that a parent should not referee their own child’s game unless (1) no referee signs up for the game, or (2) the scheduled referee is a no show, or (3) the assigned referee cannot complete the game. The trained and certified parent may be asked to be the referee by the referee coordinators
    • We have many matches available and are always needing referees to volunteer. It is common for referees to sign up for a match before or after their child’s match so they can watch their child play.
    • We also encourage referees to sign up for at least 4 matches over the season.
  3. Can Referees or Assistant Referees provide coaching advice when officiating the match?
    • No. The referee may relieve an AR from their duties if they are coaching while refereeing.
  4. Are jewelry, taped earrings, or hard casts allowed?
    • No player may wear jewelry, earrings (taped or not), or hard casts during the match. These are considered dangerous for all players.
  5. Are Med‐Alert bracelets allowed?
  6. Where should the coaches be during the match?
    • In their respective technical area, at least 1 yard away from the touchline, between 1 yard and 10 yards from the halfway line.
    • Coaches are not to follow the play from goal line to goal line.
  7. Where should the spectators be during the match?
    • Spectators should remain on their side of the field and not to be behind the goal line or goals.
    • Coaches are responsible of addressing misbehavior by the audience.
  8. What are the specific rules for each category?

Refereeing U16 and older categories

16U and older categories use to schedule games. The minimum badge level for these games is Advanced, although U18 games strongly prefers referees with National badge.

Keeping updated

Keeping your knowledge updated is a key part of being a good referee:

  1. Download the IFAB app and periodically review the laws or check their daily Q&A 
  2. Review the latest Changes to the Laws of the Game or check our YouTube video on Changes to the Laws of the Game since 2019/2020.
    • The video focuses on the most relevant changes and clarifications of the 32 changes in the last couple years.

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Contact Us

Foster City AYSO

PO Box 4270 
Foster City, California 94404

Email Us: [email protected]
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