Advice To Referees
This book of Advice to Referees is specifically intended to give USSF referees, assistant referees and
fourth officials a reliable compilation of those international and national guidelines remaining in force,
as modified or updated. It is not a replacement for the Laws of the Game, nor is it a "how to" book
on refereeing. It is an official statement of Federation interpretations of the Laws. Affiliated leagues,
associations, competitions, and officials must implement them to the fullest extent possible.
Participants in affiliated matches must not impose personal, unsupported, or unofficial interpretations of
any provisions of the Laws of the Game. If a point is not made in this Advice, look first to the relevant
Law or Laws of the Game for the answer.
Information For New Referees
You have been through the entry level class, completed all the requirements and have your badge. Now what? The class you took taught you a lot about the Laws of the Game and the mechanics of refereeing, but there are still probably many questions you might have about being a referee.
Based on feedback from thousands of new referees just like you and with the help of more experienced referees who have been where you are now, this information has been put together as a source of helpful tips and advice. All referees, including those who have done World Cup Games, have started just like you and have learned these
lessons the hard way. The advice found here will get you off to the best possible start.
Remember to have fun!
Guide to Procedures
The current edition has been expanded to include guidance in the use of fourth officials and recommended positioning in certain situations. However, given that relatively few referees have the opportunity to serve as a fourth official, this pamphlet does not cover all details of the fourth official’s responsibilities. Referees who need further information on this subject should consult training materials available on the Federation’s website. The new field diagrams indicating recommended positioning must be understood as focusing on optimal locations for officials at various times during a match based on extensive research regarding probable player positions, likely subsequent play sequences and an assessment of what aspects of play most need the officiating team’s attention. They must not be taken as mandating any specific position under all circumstances. In determining where to be, officials must be aware of changing player tactics, team strategies and the specific needs of the match at that time.
Referee Administrative Handbook
The Referee Administrative Handbook is meant to be used as a guide to the administrative processes of the U.S. Soccer Referee Program. It contains information about policies, by-laws and requirements that affect all referees. Of importance, are the various recertifying and upgrade requirements should any referee wish to consider moving to a different grade. Many questions can be addressed by the State Referee Administrator who may be more familiar with certain state procedures and protocols. If you do not know how to contact the State Referee Administrator in your area, you will find a list, with contact information, on our web site, www.ussoccer.com.