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Frequently Asked Questions


Referee Director & Travel Assigner: Ray Almeida / 


How do I get trained to be a soccer referee?

In Massachusetts, you must be at least 14 years old and pass a 1-day course given by the Massachusetts State Referee Committee (MSRC). Visit their web site and read the pages on becoming a soccer referee.


Where do I find referee training classes?

Referee certification and annual recertification is handled by the Massachusetts State Referee Committee (MSRC). Their on-line course list has an up-to-date listing of the various courses available.


What does AYS expect of me?

The league "hires" you to do a job. You should treat it as such.

  • Give your availability to your assigner every week on Sunday for the following week ( ia web form) * First come. first serve.
  • Show up on time for your assignments (be at the field 20 minutes before the game time)
  • Inform your assignor if (through sickness or emergency) you cannot do a game you've accepted. Be sure to give anough notice to cover the game.
  • Wear the proper uniform
  • Maintain a courteaous and professional manner, even if some around do not.
  • Submit on-line game reports completely AND promptly

How do I get to games?

Once you have passed the training course, contact .


What uniform is required?

The basic uniform required of all referees is:

  •      Shorts (black referee shorts, not soccer or basketball shorts)
  •      Referee Jersey (yellow with black stripes) - TUCKED IN!
  •      3-stripe black Referee socks
  •      Black shoes or cleats (no fluorescent colors please, but talk to me if that's all you have...)
  •      Current year patch (available on completion of the USSF training course)

What about other equipment?

Referees will also need score sheets, yellow/red cards, whistle, watch and (eventually) a set of flags. A bag to organize your gear is also nice. You can start out with the minimum and add to it when you progress.


What else might I have to purchase?

If you plan to stick with Refereeing the most common purchases are additional jerseys of different colors, (useful for doing tournaments) because referees must wear a different color jersey from the players. Ashland Youth Soccer primary colors for their teams are Blue and White, thus you are advied NOT to wear a blue referee shirt. Yellow is usually safe for all games.


Where do I get the uniform?

On-line Referee Store  has all that you need for referee equipment.

Referee, 10-piece Kit


How much does it pay?

Referee pay varies with position and game age-level, and depending on the season: Spring vs Fall. The Center Referee is always paid more than Assistant Referees.


How do I get paid for games I've Refereed?

BAYS Travel Referees Payment: Travel Referees are paid by BAYS via check several times during the season, Intown Referees are paid by AYS at end of season.


What is the difference between the AR and the Center Ref?

In matches that have Assistant Referees, they have the responsibility to indicate offside, ball in and out of play, and assist the referee with fouls. The Center Referee has full responsibility for the safety of the game, and enforcement of all of the Laws of the Game.


What happens if I can't do a game assignment that I've accepted?

Once you accept a game assignment, you are expected to honor it. Contact your fellow Referees and recommend a suitable replacement to your Assignor. Be sure to let your Assignor know as soon as possible to make sure the game is covered.


What happens if I miss a foul or an offside?

Nobody has ever called a perfect game. All that we ask is that you do your best and continue to develop your skills. The Assignors job of matching the level of game with your age/training/experience and fitness level will help this process.



Parents/fans and/or coaches are yelling at me!

This should not happen. If it does, it is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Our league has a Zero Tolerance Policy for feedback to Referees that deals with this situation.  All incidents should be reported immediately to your Assignor/Referee Director as well as via the online game reporting system.  It is unfortunate that some spectators/coaches get out of hand. Try not to take any criticism personally, they have no idea what it takes to referee a match!


BAYS provides the the following ZTP guidelines that Referees will use when submitting their online game reports:


Level Conduct Referee Response
0 No issues. Everyone well behaved and positive. No response needed.
1 Minor Some comments. Did not disrupt enjoyment of game by players or distract the referee(s).
2 Major Significant comments. Did disrupt game. Cautions issued or should have been issued.
3 Severe Major distractions for the referee(s). Ejections for ZT occurred or should have. May or may not have considered terminating the game.



What about weather cancellations?

AYS's field cancellation status is kept up-to-date on the front page of our web site, usually by 7am on game-day. It is the referee’s responsibility to check the web site before leaving for the field. If the fields are not officially 'Closed' on the web site, the games are still on. Once at the field, it is the Referee's game to call. If games are rescheduled, different Referees may be assigned to the make-up game.


Do I need to have an email address?

Yes. If it changes, be sure to update your Assignor with the new address.


How often should I check my email?
During soccer season, especially when there are weather problems and lots of make-up games, you should check your email at least once each day.


What resources are available to me?

Checkout the AshlandYouthSoccer.org web site Referee pages. There are pages on our Intown and Travel programs. The BAYS.org web site has a Referee section with details about BAYS Referee Registration, Pay Procedures, and the Current BAYS Rulebook. The MA State Referee Committee (MSRC) is the state association for the United States Soccer Federation (USSF). MSRC provides referee training, certification, assessment, and education for soccer officials engaged in youth, adult amateur and professional USSF affiliated matches in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.


What opportunities are there to referee?

AYS has both Spring and Fall seasons that include Intown and BAYS Travel leagues. Games are played on weekends between 8 am and 5 pm. Contact our Referee Assignor for more information.


What are the age requirements?
Currently the minimum age for a (beginning Referee) Grade 8 certification is 14 years old at the time of the course ( ). A good rule of thumb is that the Center Referee should be at least 2 years older than the players. However, this will vary with referee experience and ability.


What are the fitness requirements?
Fitness requirements do not come into play until referees advance to higher grades (i.e.: Grade 7). However, it is important for the referee to be in shape for the level of game that they accept. Obviously, there are major differences between Division 1 U18 and Division 3 U10 matches. These include size of the field, duration of the match and pace of play. A wise person once said “Stay in shape to referee—don’t referee to stay in shape.”


How do I find the fields?

Check the Field Information section of the AYS web site for links to our field directions.


How do I report on the game?

Our Intown recreational games do not keep standings. However, after each Intown game completed, you must email a simple "game summary" to the Referee Director. For all Travel games, a BAYS on-line game report must be submitted.  Full information will be provided at our season kick-off meeting.


How do you know what games I've done (to get paid for)?

For Intown, the Assignor keeps track of games Assigned and completed.  For BAYS Travel, on-line assignments and subsequent  game reports will determine who gets paid for what games. 


Can I do games for a team containing a friend or family member (coach/player)?
That is up to the assignor. Parent/child assignments are not forbidden.  Do make sure your Assignor is aware of any conflict-of-interest between you and players or coaches of the teams you officiate (brothers/sisters on the team, father/mother coaching, etc.).


Is there a referee development program?

AYS will have some training prior to the start of each season. Beyond that, we develop Referees through observation and mentoring at the field. Check with your Assignor or  if you have specific questions.