Grayslake AYSO #396: Referee Resources

Welcome, AYSO Referees!

Why be a volunteer referee?

AYSO isn't like other youth soccer programs, and AYSO-certified referees are a key part of the difference. Any referee is responsible for the game they're officiating, but in AYSO, the referee's role goes beyond applying the laws of the game to also include the AYSO core philosophies. An AYSO referee helps to keep the game fun, fair, and safe for everyone: the players, the coaches, the spectators, and even themselves. While officiating can be challenging at times, it's also rewarding, and working with kids is great fun!

It doesn't matter if you don't know much about soccer. AYSO offers training at no charge to help ensure you know what you need to know to assist or referee a game. And taking the referee training is a great way to learn more about soccer (even if you never referee a match).

Once you become certified, there's still no obligation. Even if you can only officiate at one or two games in a season, that's still one or two more games that had the benefit of a qualified volunteer. Remember that AYSO is a volunteer organization, and everyone you see at the Region level (coaches, referees, field stripers, board members, team parents, etc.) are all volunteers. Not everyone is able to make the same commitment, but every volunteer is important to providing a positive experience for our participants.

Don't worry about the cost of the equipment. The Region can provide what's necessary to get started.

If at you're interested in volunteering or would like to learn more about the Region's referee program, please contact the Regional Commissioner.

How to become an AYSO-certified referee

There are a few steps to becoming an AYSO-certified referee, the first three of which are required for all AYSO referees and can be done on-line as you have time:

  • Submit a volunteer application via eAYSO
  • Once you have an AYSO ID#, go to AYSO Training and take the following two courses:
    • Safe Haven
    • CDC Concussion Awareness
At this point, if you're already a USSF-certified referee (Grade 8 or above), you can cross-certify as an AYSO Referee, just follow the instructions on the ISRC site.
    Option 1:
  • Login to eAYSO and continue as follows:
    • Select "Enroll to take a class"
    • Select "6" in the Section box, and then click the "Search" button
    • Look for the course you'd like to take, either U8 Official (3 hours), Assistant Referee (5 hours), or Basic Referee Course (7 hours). The Basic Referee Course is the most common starting point for new referees.
    • Click the radio button to select the course, and then click on "Course Signup"
    • Attend the course, pass the exam, and that's it!
    Option 2:
  • Login to AYSO Training and take the Basic Referee online training course (about 1.5 hours)
  • Once completed, login to eAYSO and continue as follows:
    • Select "6" in the Section box, and then click the "Search" button
    • Look for the Basic Referee Online Companion course (3 hours)
    • Click the radio button to select the course, and then click on "Course Signup"
    • Attend the course, pass the exam, and that's it!

If at any point you'd like to learn more about the Region's referee program, or you've completed the process and you're ready to assist or referee, please contact the Regional Commissioner.

Training Opportunities

Remember to check for the latest coach and referee training opportunities in our area. Referee training is offered to AYSO volunteers at no charge.  

Useful Links

AYSO National Site: Referees
Direct from AYSO National: information on becoming a referee; links to referee newsletters; forms such as upgrade requests, game reports, lineup cards; information on rule changes; and more.

eAYSO - Volunteer Registration
AYSO's online registration tool, this is likely your first stop on the way to becoming an AYSO-certified referee. All AYSO referees must be registered volunteers in eAYSO. Please note that there are no fees and no obligation when submitting a volunteer application.

AYSO Online Training
Online Basic referee, AYSO Safe Haven, and CDC Concussion Awareness training courses, and useful publications such as the AYSO edition of the Laws of the Game and Guidance for Referees, Coaches, Parents & Other Volunteers. This is usually the next stop after submitting a volunteer application and getting your AYSO ID#.

AYSO Section 6 Referee Administrator's Blog
Information for AYSO referees straight from the Section 6 Referee Administrator. Check the July 2013 archives for information on the player Sportsmanship Award.

US Soccer Federation: Referee Program
USSF - the official governing body of soccer in the United States. Information on the USSF referee program. The two most helpful items here are the Laws of the Game; and, Advice to Referees (ATR), found under Resources / Downloads / Books.

Illinois Soccer Referee Committee
The ISRC is the local governing body for USSF-certified referees in the state of Illinois. Important information for any AYSO referee certified at the Intermediate level or above that would like to cross-certify with USSF.