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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


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all referee certification courses in Virginia are currently suspended.  If you are interested in becoming a referee and meet the requirements listed below, please send an email to [email protected] and we will let you know when classes resume.  (If you are under 18, please have a parent or guardian send the email).


Referee Age Requirement

Anyone age 13 or older is eligible to register and certify as a referee. Those younger than 13 may not register even if they will turn 13 prior to the scheduled class date.  

Loudoun Soccer recommends waiting until at least age 14 to begin officiating.  It's a fun job -- but it's also challenging -- so older youth are more likely to enjoy refereeing and stick with it.  Still, if you choose to certify at younger ages, you are welcome and encouraged to work matches for Loudoun Soccer. We will guide you and help you get the most out of the experience no matter how old or young you are when you get your first badge.

Other Requirements

  • Prospective referees must have a valid email address to register (either their own or they can use a parent’s if they are under 18).
  • Interested individuals must first certify as a referee at the United States Soccer Federation's (USSF) Grassroots Level  
  • Grassroots certification courses consist of an online module and test (to be completed before the class begins) and about nine hours of in-person instruction –  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 three hour re-certification clinic.

There is no requirement for playing experience or fitness ability for the grassroots level.  Referees are needed at all levels in the sport and there are matches available for you no matter how much you know or how fast you are!


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:

  • 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 age-level and league 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: Arriving 30 minutes prior to kickoff 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 routine and start on time. “Early is on time. On time is late. Late is unacceptable.” 
  • Look the part: referees who look sharp (proper equipment, shirt tucked in, socks pulled high, etc.) command greater respect. Jewelry is prohibited for both referees and players.  Please remember to remove earrings and bracelets before taking the field. Avoid wearing sunglasses since this interferes with making eye contact with players, coaches and other officials.  (Corrective lenses that change shade when exposed to light are permitted).  You may wear a solid, black hat if your eyes need sun protection. Use a wristwatch to keep time, never use a mobile phone as a timekeeping device.  If you are looking at your phone to check the time, spectators, players and coaches will assume you are reading text messages and that you are not focused on the game.  
  • Greet the coaches: introduce yourself (first name only) to all of the coaches; this friendly action is small but will help build positive rapport.  This is also a good time to review any age-specific rules with them.  Even if coaches are older than you, don't assume they know Loudoun's rules of competition. Many coaches, especially at the recreational level, have limited experience and are naturally more focused on their player's tactics than rule modifications.
  • Start on time: most fields will host consecutive games with limited time between games.  It’s critical that matches kick off on time to ensure games later in the day stay on schedule.  If you have to kick off late because of factors outside your control (late arriving players or weather), shorten both halves to keep the game to its original time block.  Example:  your recreational match was scheduled to kick off at 9:00 and has 30 minute halves with a 5 minute halftime, but you can't get started until 9:20 because one of the teams was late.  Let both coaches know you will be playing 20 minute halves to stay on schedule.  (This example only applies to recreational games with Loudoun Soccer. If you are working matches in the travel leagues, let your assignor know before you do this -- some leagues may want these situations handled differently). 
  • 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. Explain the rules when appropriate to help all parties understand them, and enforce the Laws of the Game.  Be especially aware of this dynamic in the fall season as teams will have often just moved up an age level and may be operating under new rule modifications for the first time.
  • Player/Coach/Spectator Behavior: remember your USSF training – if a player is engaged in dissent and you can manage their behavior without a card, that's ok, but don't be afraid to give them a card if you need to, especially with older youth players.  If a spectator's behavior is crossing a line, do not address them directly.  Ask the coach to do it for you.  If spectator misbehavior continues or is especially problematic, you may ask the coach to tell the spectator to leave the field.  Remember, the game doesn't re-start until YOU are ready.  Take your time and don't let anyone rush you if you need a problem addressed. Do not issue cards directly to spectators but you may give a yellow card to a coach who does not comply with your requests and a second yellow, plus a red card if the coach continues to not comply.  If it is the coach who is misbehaving, then the approach is the same as with players: if you can manage their behavior without a card that's ok, but don't be afraid to caution them or send them off if their behavior warrants it. Expectations for coaches are even higher than for players. They are the adults at the field and are expected to model the highest levels of sportsmanship.  If they are not doing so that is not your fault and Loudoun Soccer will remind them of their code of conduct after receiving your report.
  • 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 and 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.  When writing reports about misconduct, be sure to use precise language from the laws of the game.  In school you are told not to plagiarize, but when writing referee reports, it's helpful if your words come straight from the Laws of the Game, even if it doesn't sound like something you would normally write. Example:  "in the 24th minute, the head coach of the home (red) team, Coach Smith, deliberately left his technical area to show dissent toward and remonstrate with the .  He was shown the red card and dismissed from the match."

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, complaints or compliments about referee performance, contact Chris McKay, Referee Development Coordinator for Loudoun Soccer at [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 1-6; Purcellville 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 2nd grade 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 players for the matches 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 Development Coordinator within 24 hours to [email protected] so that appropriate disciplinary action for that individual may occur.  When writing reports about misconduct, be sure to use precise language from the laws of the game.  In school you are told not to plagiarize, but when writing referee reports, it's helpful if your words come straight from the Laws of the Game, even if it doesn't sound like something you would normally write. Example:  "in the 24th minute, the head coach of the home (red) team, Coach Smith, deliberately left his technical area to show dissent toward and remonstrate with the .  He was shown the red card and dismissed from the match."

Feedback on Assistant Referees: if your ARs performed exceptionally well or exceptionally poorly, 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. 


Feedback
For any questions or comments on related to this page, please contact [email protected]

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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