Referee FAQs

Q: What are the different levels of a soccer referee?

A: The different levels of referees are actually called ‘classes’ and start out at Class 5 (which is a basic course and is oriented towards mini soccer (U6-U10). The next is Class 4, then Class 3, Class 2, and Class 1. From here you can then progress to the ‘National Referee’ level and finally to what most know, the FIFA Referee, which is the highest level to obtain. Except for Class 5, all are oriented towards the 11-aside game with full regulation rules.

Q: How old do I have to be to become a referee?

A: You must be at least 12 years old to attend the Class 5 Referee Course or at least 14 years old to attend the Class 4 Referee Course.

Q: Do referees get paid?

A: Yes. There are several pay scales depending upon which age group you would officiate and pay is issued twice a year. Once in early December and again in early April. Pay is based upon game reports submitted.

Q: Do referees have to attend the annual Referee Refresher Clinic?

A: Yes. It is mandatory by BC Soccer Association that all Class 4 referees, or higher, attend a Refresher Clinic annually prior to refereeing games. It is also mandatory by AYSC for all returning Class 5’s to take a Refresher Clinic which is designed locally and put on locally. This is not the same as the Class 4 Refresher Clinic.

Q: Is there a cost for the Refresher Clinics?

A: No. The cost for Class 4 referees, or higher, to attend the Refresher Clinics are included with the cost of their annual registration fees. There is no fee for the Class 5 referees to attend their Refresher Clinic.

Q: What is the difference between the Referee Refresher Clinic and a Referee Course?

A: The Referee Course is an intense training course, usually held over a weekend to introduce you to officiating or to upgrade you to the next level. The Annual Refresher Clinic is a 4-hour clinic (Class 5 Refresher is 2hrs) that brings each referee up-to-date with any Law changes that have occurred over the summer. There is a fitness portion to the refresher which must be completed at the time of the clinic.

Q: Do referees have to pay their annual registration fees?

A: Yes. All Class 4 or higher referees must pay their annual registration fees (by October 1) to BCSA, AFTER they have attended an Annual Refresher Clinic. There is no annual registration fee for Class 5 referees.

Q: Can referees wear hats while reffing?

A: No. Only the goalkeeper may wear a hat during a game. Though, when it is cold out, a ref may wear a touque, but it must be either dark navy blue or black in colour.

Q: Are game reports necessary?

A: Game reports are mandatory for each game reffed for AYSC, regardless of which division it is in. If a game report is not submitted, the referee (and Assistant Referee, if any) will not get paid for the game. Other clubs and / or districts may not require game reports. Note: only game reports where cards have been issued are also to be done ON-LINE through BC Soccers’ Discipline site.

Q: Are discipline reports necessary?

A: Yes. Should a red or yellow card be issued during a game, then a discipline report (one for each card issued) must be submitted ON-LINE through BC Soccers’ Discipline site. This is also in addition to a game report to be filled out on line as well. A discipline report is not required to be submitted at the club level, just a game report (which also shows that a card/s were issued). Note: The Girls Metro League require game and misconduct reports to go through their website only, not the BCSA’s site.

Q: When do I have to submit my game or misconduct reports?

A: All reports should be submitted within 48 hours of the match. Where cards have been issued, both the game and misconduct report MUST be submitted within 48 hours of the match.

Q: When do I need to be at my game when reffing?

A: You should be at your game at least 15 minutes prior to kick-off (ready to go). There are things that need to be done prior to kick-off such player equipment and ID card checks. This includes assistant referees.

Q: Do all players have to have Player ID cards to play?

A: Yes all players for the U12-U18 age divisions must have Player ID cards by Oct 1st of the coastal season. However, in the event a player cannot present a card, a letter of permission from the District Registrar dated for that particular game must be given to the referee prior to play. This letter is to be kept and handed in with the match report. If a player has neither of these, they cannot be permitted to play. Players for the U11’s are not required to have Player ID cards.

Note: There will soon be a comprehensive policy / direction on how to deal with ID cards in full detail posted on the main referees webpage.

Q: Does a team have to have possession of the ball in order for them to have a substitution?

A: No. Possession of the ball is not required for a team to ask for a substitution. Referees are NOT permitted to instruct teams that they must have possession of the ball before requesting a substitution. The referees’ permission must still be obtained before a substitution can be permitted. The allowance of a substitution should not occur if it will slow the game down.

Q: Do all players have to wear the same colour of sox?

A: Currently, there is no Law or policy stating which colours a player must wear. So long as they have soccer sox on and they cover the shinpads entirely, it is fine.

Q: Do all players have to wear the same colour of shorts?

A: Keep in mind that if players are wearing thermal under-shorts (or the like) this MUST be the same colour as the main shorts that he or she is wearing. In this regard, they are not permitted to play should there be a colour conflict between these two articles of clothing.

Q: Does the Referee have the right to order a spectator from the field?

A: Yes. The Referee does have the authority (by BC Soccer) to order ANY person/s to leave the field area (or even the park) if they are causing interference with the game in hand. This includes any player, substitute, coach or team official, OR spectator. For further information, contact the Head Referee.