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Referee Info Center


Welcome to Loudoun Soccer’s Referee Center, a hub for all relevant information pertaining to officiating youth soccer matches.

Loudoun Soccer hosts numerous types and levels of games year-round, including:

  • In-house Recreational (Rec) league games from grades 1-8;
  • Suburban Friendship League (SFL) games for high school aged teams (16U and 19U);
  • Travel games from 9U to 19U for Club Champions League (CCL) 1 and 2, and Old Dominion Soccer League (ODSL);
  • Adult League, weeknight games at Loudoun Soccer Park;
  • Futsal, both youth and adult, and both summer and winter programs;
  • Pro23, a competitive college aged summer league; and
  • Various tournaments and events.
Page contents:

Who Can Certify

Anyone age 13 or older is eligible to register and certify as a referee. The previous minimum age was 12; however, the Metro DC-Virginia State Referee Program raised the minimum age to 13 in order to comply with recent changes to federal regulations  involving the collection or use of personal information of youth younger than age 13 via websites or online services. Prospective referees must be 13 at the time they register to be eligible to attend a class.

Age 14 is the recommended starting age for referees within Loudoun Soccer.

Referees must have a valid email address to register (their own, or their parent’s if they’re a youth).

Interested individuals must first certify as a referee in USSF’s Competitive Youth level, which is Grade 8; the lower the Grade level, the higher the referee (e.g. the next highest referee level is Grade 7, then Grade 6, etc.).  Referee grades have no correlation with school grades. Although US Soccer offers a Grade 9 certification, Loudoun Soccer does not host Grade 9 courses, and encourages all prospective referees to certify as a Grade 8.

Grade 8 certification courses consist of an online module and test (to be completed before the class begins) and about nine hours of instruction – about six hours of classroom and three hours of on-field training.

Once certified, referees must re-certify annually, which includes completing an online test and attending a five hour re-certification clinic.

There is no requirement for playing experience or fitness ability for Grade 8.


Loudoun Soccer Modifications to FIFA Laws of the Game

Click the links below to view modifications to FIFA’s Laws of the Game:

Rec Program Modifications (view rules on Coach Info Center):

Travel Program Modifications:

7v7 Build Out Line Memo (Grades 3-4, 9U-10U)

College and Adult Rules/Modifications:


Game Day Reminders

Here are some helpful tips and reminders for referees officiating matches:

Know your field: visit  our Fields Directory to find field names, addresses, and maps. Double-check the field number your matches will be played on, so you know which field to report to (several sites include multiple fields). Bring a copy of your schedule from Game Officials to the field.

Review the game modifications: FIFA Laws of the Game are often modified for youth soccer. It’s best to review those modifications before you arrive to the field so your mind is focused, and you can answer questions coaches may have. It’s also a good idea to print a hard copy of these modifications to bring with you in case there is confusion between coaches. Modifications can be found HERE – these include links to 2-page abridged rules for each format (4v4, 7v7, etc.), a helpful one-page chart for key rules, and an explanation of the build out line for 7v7 games.

Arrive early: learn and recite the following mantra: “Early is on time. On time is late. Late is unacceptable.” Arriving 30 minutes prior to the start time gives you a buffer for the unexpected (heavy traffic, no parking spaces, etc.); allows you to warm-up before the match; ensure teams are properly equipped; review field and goal conditions; conduct your pre-game coin toss; and kickoff on time. Be professional – arrive early.

Look the part: referees who look sharp (proper equipment, shirt tucked in, socks pulled high, etc.) command greater respect. Avoid wearing sunglasses (corrective lenses that change shade when exposed to light are permitted); wear a hat if needed. Use a wristwatch to keep time – DO NOT use your mobile phone.

Greet the coaches: introduce yourself (first name only) to all of the coaches; that friendly action is small but will help build positive rapport with the coaches (even those who may scream at you later). This is also a good time to review any age-specific rules with them.

Start on time: most fields will host consecutive games every 60 or 90 minutes (depending on the format). It’s critical that games kickoff on time to ensure games later in the day also kickoff on time.

Be flexible – especially in the first few weeks of the season. The opening of the season is always chaotic, with coaches and players still learning the rules of the game. Explain the rules when appropriate to help all parties understand them, and enforce the Laws of the Game.

Player/Coach/Spectator Behavior: remember your USSF training – Ask, Tell, Dismiss. Ask the person first to stop their inappropriate behavior. Then tell them to stop (and be clear that this is their final warning). And then dismiss them from the field if it continues. There will be a lot of excitement and emotion this first week, so be accommodating when appropriate but address misbehavior as needed.

Center referees should complete the game reports ASAP: although many of the Rec divisions of Loudoun Soccer do not publish standings, we still require referees to submit the score of each game along with other match details so we know you worked your matches so that you can be paid for those matches. This score can also be a back-up report to the divisions that do post standings. Be sure to note any misconduct issues in the report too (be as specific as possible) so that misbehavior can be addressed by the club.


Inclement Weather/Unplayable Fields

Games may be suspended (delayed) or abandoned (canceled) due to inclement weather and/or unplayable field conditions. In the event Loudoun Soccer does not cancel games or close fields directly (often at the direction of Loudoun County Parks and Rec), the referee is responsible for determining whether a match should be played.

Referees should review the club’s Inclement Weather and Unplayable Field Conditions policy.

In the event a referee abandons a match due to unplayable field conditions, the referee MUST notify his/her assignor immediately via email, providing the assignor details (field name and number, why the field is closed) so that this information can be shared with the coaches of teams playing later in the day. The referee should remain at the field to inform the coaches of the next game until directed otherwise by their assignor.

In the event a referee abandons a match due to inclement weather, the referee MUST stay at the field for his/her next scheduled match (if applicable). One game’s cancellation does not mean all games will be canceled – each match should be treated separately. Referees should take shelter (e.g. inside a car or a building) during a match suspension, or in between the abandoned match and the next scheduled match.


Referee Contacts

For questions about referee no-shows or issues with games, coaches may contact our Referee Director at [email protected]
Referees interested in receiving game assignments should contact Tammy Mitchell at [email protected].
Referees with assigning issues or questions should find the appropriate assignor from the chart below:

Area/Game TypeReferee AssignorAssignor Email
Leesburg Rec: Grades 1-6South Riding Rec: Grades 1-6Jim Kennedy[email protected]
Ashburn Rec (including Brambleton and Sterling): Grades 1-6Purcellville Rec: Grades 1-6Barry Hunt[email protected]
Classic Grades 7-8SFLCCLODSLAdult LeagueSchools (Leesburg Christian, Patrick Henry College)Tammy Mitchell[email protected]
Tournaments and events, such as Fall Festival, Fall Classic, Spring Jamboree, and Spring CupVarious assignors used. Point of Contact: Tammy Mitchell[email protected]

Assignment Information

Certified referees (those who just certified for the first time or those who are currently certified and have not yet worked Loudoun Soccer matches) should contact Tammy Mitchell, Loudoun Soccer referee assignor, via email at [email protected]. Tammy will then communicate information on working for Loudoun Soccer.

Due to the size of the club and the number of games to be assigned, Loudoun Soccer utilizes three assignors, who work together as a team to ensure best possible game coverage and that no referee is overlooked. Each referee has a primary assignor, who is their main contact; this is determined by the referee’s experience as well as their residence.

Your primary assignor is responsible for contacting you about your availability and offering you assignments for the season. After this initial contact, you may take assignments from other assignors within Loudoun Soccer.

Referees should familiarize themselves with all three assignors:

Area/Game TypeReferee AssignorAssignor Email
Leesburg Rec: Grades 1-6; South Riding Rec: Grades 1-6Jim Kennedy[email protected]
Ashburn Rec (including Brambleton and Sterling): Grades 1-6Purcellville Rec: Grades 1-6Barry Hunt[email protected]
Classic Grades 7-8, SFL, CCL

ODSL
Adult League
Schools (Leesburg Christian, Patrick Henry College)

Tammy Mitchell[email protected]
Tournaments and events, such as Fall Festival, Fall Classic, Spring Jamboree, and Spring CupVarious assignors used. Point of Contact: Tammy Mitchell[email protected]

 

Referees are assigned to appropriate games based on their experience and age — older and more experienced referees are assigned higher level games, while young referees often begin with 1st and 2ndgrade matches. Additionally, younger referees are more often assigned to games near their home to minimize travel. Center referees are typically at least two years older than the youth match they’re assigned; there is no age restriction for Assistant Referees.

Referee assignments are often issued weeks before the date of the match; it is critical that referees plan out and manage their calendars appropriately.  Additionally: last minute “help wanted” emails are sent the week of matches for referees with availability to accept.

Assigning Tips for Referees:

  • Manage your calendar: keep track of your commitments (family, school, work, the team you play on, etc.) so you do not double-book yourself, and can better know your availability to accept games.
  • Check email often, and reply quickly: most if not all communication is completed via email, so check it often. The sooner you reply to emails, the more likely your assignments will be issued.
  • Check your spam/junk folder: due to the volume of email sent by assignors, some messages may be labeled as spam or junk.
  • Include first and last name in correspondence with assignors: this helps assignors more easily know who they’re communicating with.
  • Keep your assignments: it’s critical that once you accept your assigned games you work them. Turning back games after accepting them will often cause games to be played without referees, so make sure you can work games before you accept them.
  • Be flexible: game details may change (locations can be moved if fields are unplayable, etc.), or your assignments may change to ensure appropriate game coverage. Be flexible when this occurs.
  • Turning games back: we recognize that “life” happens (last minute conflicts, illnesses, injuries, etc.). In the event you cannot keep your assignments, it is critical you notify the assignor IMMEDIATELY so they may find a replacement.

Less than three days’ notice is considered a late turnback: for late turnbacks, notify the assignor IMMEDIATELY, then look for a qualified replacement, and inform the assignor of your replacement. Failure to complete these three steps may result in a fine equal to half of the game pay. Repeated offenses will result in removal from the referee pool.

  • No-Shows are Unacceptable: Not showing up for an assigned game is unacceptable. Notify your assignor in the event of a last-minute emergency. Failure to appear for an assigned match results in a fine equal to the pay rate of that game (special circumstances will be considered by the assignor). Repeated offenses will result from removal from the referee pool.
  • Only accept games from assignors: coaches or game coordinators are not permitted to assign referees – only assignors may do so. You will not be paid for games assigned by anyone but assignors.

Game Reporting

All game reports are submitted via Game Officials, the same system used to receive and accept assignments.

Although Loudoun Soccer does not track or publish scores for many of its Recreational games, and may use other means to collect and post scores for other programs (e.g. Travel, Adult League, etc.), referees are expected to submit the scores of the matches they work, primarily so the referees are paid accurately for their service. Additionally: it is a good habit for referees to develop for when they accept games later in their officiating career.

Game reports are also opportunities for referees to provide feedback (positive or constructive) on teams, coaches, or spectators, or Assistant Referees that are part of their crew for that match.

Timely submission of game reports is critical – referees should develop the habit of completing this task on the same day of the match  (e.g. upon completing a block of three games, report those three games in the system when you return home later that day).

GAME REPORT INSTRUCTIONS:

Only the Center Referee is responsible for submitting game reports for games with more than one referee assigned. However, ALL referees should track their games worked separately in the case of a discrepancy of games worked vs. games paid.

CLICK HERE for instructions on submitting game reports in Game Officials.

Most games will only require submitting the score for both the home and visiting teams – be sure to click “SAVE” to ensure this information is submitted. Additionally, the center referee should verify that the Assistant Referees listed in Game Officials are the names of the Assistant Referees who worked their match (if applicable).

Some games will require additional information via the Comments Section, including the following scenarios:

Your Assistant Referee names don’t match the names of the Assistant Referees who worked the game: record the discrepancy (e.g. if Tom Jones is listed but John Smith worked the game, list this accordingly). Please also email this information to your assignor to ensure they are aware so referees are paid accurately.

Inappropriate behavior from coaches, players, or spectators: include specific comments, including the team (home or away), the individuals in question (names if known or descriptions), and the inappropriate action that occurred (what was said or done). The more specific and detailed, the better.

Players and/or coaches booked: include card color, reason for issuing (e.g. unsporting behavior, violent conduct, etc.), the team in question, the person’s name and/or uniform number (if applicable), and a description of the incident (the more details, the better). Additionally, for any individual sent off (Red card) you must also email a full description/report to the Referee Director within 24 hours to [email protected] so that appropriate disciplinary action for that individual may occur.

Feedback on Assistant Referees: if your ARs performed exceptionally well or exceptionally poor, include this in the comments, and be specific about why you believe this to be the case. This is NOT to punish referees; it’s merely to identify stronger referees to elevate to higher matches, or those officials who may need more attention to improve their abilities.

BE SURE TO CLICK “SAVE” AFTER SUBMITTING ANY COMMENT.

TROUBLESHOOTING:

If you worked games and they are not listed accurately in Game Officials – notify your primary assignor.
If you encounter issues with Game Officials (e.g. cannot log-in) – notify your primary assignor.
Primary Assignors can be found above in Assignment Information.
As a reminder, when you are emailing your assignor, please include your first and last name at the bottom of the message. We can help you better (and quicker) when we know who you are.


Referee Forms

You must complete all 3 steps to work for Loudoun Soccer Referees.

  1. Read the Referee Assignment Information Document for information on how referee assignments work at Loudoun Soccer.
  2. Complete page 1 of the W-9 Form (PDF)
    1. You must include full legal name, address, and social security number – then sign and date the form. Incomplete forms cannot be accepted.
    2. Scan completed form to a PDF file and EMAIL to Kim Kennedy at [email protected].
    3. If not able to scan form, contact Kim Kennedy at [email protected] for mailing instructions.
  3. Once we receive your W-9 Form, you will receive an email with instructions for creating a Game Officials account.

If you earn more than $599 per year, you will receive a 1099 form for your taxes.

Questions: E-mail Tammy Mitchell at [email protected].


Referee FAQs

See this document for frequently asked questions regarding Loudoun Soccer refereeing. 

Contact Us

Loudoun Soccer
19798 Sycolin Rd 
Leesburg, Virginia 20175

Fax: 703-777-1029
Phone: 703-777-9977
Email: [email protected]

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