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General Referee Information

Referees, like the coaches, administrators and everyone else who makes our league “go” are volunteers. Most are the parents of players who begin when their children are playing in the youngest age groups and move “up” with them.  Some (especially those with significant playing or prior referee experience) start directly with the older kids.  All are welcome.
The best reason for being a referee is for the kids. Referees play a vital role in keeping the games safe, fair and fun - which is what Mt Diablo Soccer is all about; and is why the kids enjoy our region so much.
But why should you do it? While everyone is welcome, refereeing is especially likely to appeal to you if you like being involved (you tend to get fidgety on the sidelines) enjoy sports, even strange ones (you wish you were playing, instead of just your kids) enjoy (or need!) physical activity (reff'ing is a great, light, regular workout) don't have quite enough time, patience or soccer skills to be a coach. If any of these describe you, you should give refereeing a try.
When you do, you'll find out that it’s fun! Especially at the younger age levels, refereeing is not particularly stressful.  Your role is to help the kids structure their game as soccer and, occasionally, to intervene to keep it fair.  Best of all, you get to be out on the field with the kids enjoying the game “up-close”, while everyone else has to watch from the touch-lines.
Mt. Diablo Soccer has a very clear philosophy - its games are to be played so that they are a safe, positive, enjoyable, growth experience for the children. However, this is not achieved by adopting idiosyncratic or peculiar rules. Our games follow standard international soccer (FIFA) Law very closely, with only a very few changes to adapt to AYSO philosophy (e.g. controlled substitution to ensure that “everyone plays”) and, at the youngest age levels, to adapt the game to the physical and mental maturity of the players.
If you are interested in becoming a referee for Mt. Diablo Soccer, take the following steps:
  • Complete an AYSO Volunteer Form. All AYSO volunteers are required to complete an AYSO Volunteer Form each year. This includes coaches, referees, board members, and any other volunteers.  The best way to complete the AYSO Volunteer Form is on-line at  Complete instructions can be found under the Helpful Referee Link section below.
  • Complete the Safe Haven Training for Volunteers.  Safe Haven Certification is a requirement for referee volunteers.  The Safe Haven Certification course can be taken on-line, and must be completed before taking any referee raining course.  You will only need to take this course once in your volunteer career.  Complete instructions can be found under the Helpful Referee Link section below.
  • Find out the age group you wish to volunteer for (e.g. U6, U7 or U8 and older) and plan to attend the corresponding training clinic.  If you are interested in becoming a referee for U8 and above age groups, you should start by taking the Regional/Basic Referee training. See the Referee Training page for more information and class dates.
The fall season is our main season. It starts just after Labor Day and continues until the first week of November. Mt Diablo Soccer and the neighboring AYSO regions offer clinics and training courses that prepare (or refresh) referees for the season and are usually held during the late summer or the first couple of weeks of the Fall.  Please see the calendar on the home page for this year’s specific training dates.  We hope we see you at one of them!