Commissioner Rules of Competition General Duties Officiating Division Game Rules
Equipment Checklist Protecting the Goalkeeper Grade Certification
Quiz Helpful Links
The Referee Commissioner coordinates and oversees the scheduling of games and assignment of all referees. He works in co-operation with other coordinators to ensure the smooth operation of the program. All referees are accountable to him.

All RYSA referees agree to abide by and uphold the general Code of Conduct as described in the USSF Referee Commitment to the Game. In addition, all RYSA referees accepts the duties and responsibilities (outlined herein), towards the enjoyment and safety of all players in the GAME.

Referees, please note that all youth leagues have a variant of the official FIFA Laws of the game, that governs their competition. This document addresses RYSA's rules of competition for the FALL In-Town league. The BAYS Spring Travel league will include a different set of rules govening that league play.

Deborah Levine, Referee Commissioner.

General Duties
The referee's duty is to ensure that the game is played fairly for the maximum enjoyment and safety of the players.
  • The referee has jurisdiction from the time he enters the field of play until he signals the end of the game. His decisions are final.
  • The referee shall enforce the laws of the game, and shall stop play whenever a player is injured even if by doing so, it negates an obvious advantage for a goal. Player safety is more important.
  • The referee can stop the game for infringement of the rules (by blowing a whistle).
  • The referee can suspend or terminate a game whenever he deems necessary.
  • The referee will determine the need to cancel a game due to severe weather, such as lightning. Rain in itself is not considered severe weather, unless it endages the safety of the players.
  • The referee can caution a player and shall eject from play any player guilty of violent conduct or serious foul play, using foul or abusive language or persistent infringement of playing rules.
  • The referee can caution any coach or spectator guilty of unsportsman-like conduct, using foul or abusive language. The head coach is responsible for his fans. Should offending fans or coaches refuse to leave the field, the referee can terminate the game.
  • Protest of the referee's judgments are not allowed. Coaches are encouraged to make a report of any improper administration of the game, to the RYSA board.
  • The referee must complete his game report before he can be reimbursed.

Officiating a Game
Before the Game:
The referee should arrive 30 minutes ahead of the kickoff schedule and inspect the field for any obvious safety hazard. This includes large rocks, holes, glass, debris, etc. Under normal circumstances, it is only necessary for the referee doing the first game of the day to perform this duty!

Goals MUST be inspected prior to EVERY game by each referee, for safety.
Are the goals properly fastened and nets secure? Are corner flag posts safe?

Never play in thunder and lighning conditions.

Greet the coaches respectfully. Have them sign the report card.

Request inspection of all players equipment. No jewelry, no cast, no hard barrettes. Goalies may wear soft pliable hats (no hard brim) to avoid sun. Religeous or medical alert devices may be taped to body. Not allowed loose! Allow no one to play who is bleeding.

Be certain all spectators are at least a yard away from touchlines. No one is allowed behind the goals. Distractions are UNSAFE.

Speeches, keep them short; Enjoy the game. Never threaten. Make sure all players & keepers are ready at kick-off.

During the Game:
If a player gets hurt during the game, STOP PLAY. Waive touchline help onto field immediately. When little kids fall down, and are not up right away, blow the whistle. Check them out! Youth soccer is safety first.

Keep track of the time and be conscious of games that need to follow. If necessary, the referee may shorten the duration of the game to maintain game day schedule.

Maintain control of the game. Do restarts quickly. Keep players playing, that's FUN.

After the Game:
Complete game report.

Division Game Rules
The following are special rules of competition governing each divisional game. With the exception of the Under 6, all other groups have separate boys and girls teams.
  • UNDER 6
    The ball MUST be size #3.
    Teams play 4v4 format.
    Games are four (4) 8 minute periods.
    All games are at Belcher Park, Field # 5.
    Teams are co-ed (boys and girls).
  • UNDER 8
    The ball must be size #3.
    Teams play 6v6 format.
    Games are two 25 minute halves.
    All games are at Belcher Park.
  • UNDER 10
    The ball must be size #4.
    Teams play 6v6 format.
    Games are two 25 minute halves.
    Games can be at Belcher Park or REC Center
  • UNDER 12
    The ball must be size #4.
    Teams play 6v6 format.
    Games are two 25 minute halves.
    Games can be at Belcher Park or REC Center
  • UNDER 15
    The ball must be size #5.
    Girls team play 6v6 format. Boys team play 5v5.
    Games are two 25 minute halves.
    Games can be at Belcher Park or REC Center

Referee Equipment Checklist
Here's a checklist of some common things that a referee needs for officiating:

WWPPCC. Whistle, Watch, Pencil (pen), Paper, Coin. Cards are not required.

Wear uniform to clearly distinguish yourself from teams.

Weather related items, as needed; Windbreaker, Extra Socks/Shoes.

Optional water-bottle, First-Aid kit.


Protecting the Goalkeeper
The goalkeeper in his/her penalty area enjoys the use of hands. After a save, they are given 6 seconds to put the ball back into play.

Goalkeepers are open to injury simply by the nature of their position. They are the most vulnerable person on the field. Coaches, players and referees must be sensitive to this fact and behave & advocate safe play, when contact around the goalkeeper is at issue. Coaches must teach responsible challenges, and players must learn to back off.

The only fair charge allowed is shoulder-to-shoulder. If a keeper is charged head on, from the rear, or by a feet first challenge, then referees are expected to protect the keeper and stop play. Referees must always give the benefit of the doubt to the keeper!

If a goalkeeper is flat on the ground, or stretched out exposing vital organs, face or fingers, then a charge using a foot is not fair. In fact, it may be dangerous/unsporting at a minimum (yellow card), or serious foul play/violent conduct (red card).

If a goalkeeper has one finger on the ball or even if the keeper's hands are close, the safety for the keeper is the most important consideration. A keeper's hand against an attacker's foot is not 50-50; not fair; not balanced; just not right. The referee must blow the whistle immediately. Attackers who put keepers at risk must be warned and penalized if necessary.

We want children to learn skills in a safe, sane, sporting environment. Players in harm's way do not learn skills. Youth soccer is safety first.

Remember, soccer is a tough, physical, combative contact sport. But it is also by law, tradition, and spirit of the game; fair and sporting.