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Your association's philosophy will determine what age level referees are introduced into the games. Sanctioned referees are not required, but are recommended as the age of the players increases.

Referee Assignor

Some associations may use an in house Referee Assignor and others may hirer someone outside the organization. Some assignors make an effort to be on site the day of games and help to mentor young referees, but many do not. If your assignor cannot be involved in the club with development, it is important to try and seek out other alternatives.

  • Referee Director 
    • This person is in charge of assigning and also making sure that someone is available on game days in case problems arise.
    • Helps with mentoring young referees.
  • Fourth Official 
    • Make arrangements to have an extra official available during your the day and times that you play games. They get a small fee for being available and are paid additionally for any games they referee.
    • This person should have all the contacts for the referees.
    • Can handle any issues during those time slots.

Education and Development

The Referee Assignor or person in charge of referees is responsible for educating the referees about each association's in house rules. For instance at U10, some associations do not have off side or do not allow the goalkeeper to punt. The Referee Assignor's job is to make sure the referees are aware of these rules and that they are followed throughout the season.

Referees develop and improve over each season. It is a natural progression that happens with the more experience they gain. The Referee Assignor should look to have older referees work with younger ones and offer a mentoring program for younger or new referees. It is important that associations talk to parents about the treatment of referees. Many of your referees are young kids that are learning.

Associations may have their Referee Assignor hold a Referee Clinic at the beginning of the year to go over the rules, any additional rules, and help relieve that nervous feeling of refereeing for the first time in a while. In addition to the clinic, the referees are pushed to attend NCSRA referee courses and gain certification. Information regarding becoming a certified referee can be found at        http://www.ncsra.org/


Referee Recruitment

Associations can seek out referees from players in their older age groups and other levels. For teenage soccer players, refereeing is a great way to earn money and stay in the game. Younger age recreation games are an excellent training ground for new referees and associations should look to foster these opportunities for their older players.

Some classic associations will train scholarship players to work with their recreation association as a means of working for the scholarship.

Referee Support

Retaining quality referees is important. Associations should try to maintain communication without the referees throughout the year. Emails thanking referees for their help during the season or any events helps to foster strong ties. Some associations might consider posting a Young Referee of the Week on the website. Just as associations announce the accolades of its players, if young referees receive awards or work prestigious events like State Cup, Regionals, or Nationals they should receive recognition.

Referee Fees

No league or playing association may pay referee fees higher than the rates established by the North Carolina Youth Soccer Board of Directors. The following fees were adopted 2/13/05 and were implemented starting in the Fall of 2005:


Individual Fee

Total Fee

U17 and above
Asst. Referee
Asst. Referee
Asst. Referee
U12 and below
Asst. Referee


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