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Referee Information

Why Referee?

Referees are part of the AYSO volunteer team and help keep the games safe, fair and fun. Refereeing can be a rewarding experience that gives volunteers a new appreciation for the rules and the game of soccer.

How to become a referee

As with all AYSO Region 158 roles, our referees are all volunteers and are prohibited from taking payment for their services. Please be kind to and respectful of all referees. They are fellow parents and friends from our community, donating their valuable free time to the league to help provide high-quality, low-cost soccer for all of our kids. Please thank them for donating their weekends for our kids.

To become a referee:

  • Enroll as a volunteer for the current season with AYSO Region 158
  • Pass a background check
  • Complete AYSO and Federal/State volunteer requirements as required by the certification level (e.g. Safe Haven, Concussion Awareness, SafeSport, LiveScan fingerprinting)
  • Complete the referee training requirements and pass the exam for the certification level
  • Receive referee uniform and equipment
  • Create an account in the Referee Scheduling System

Upcoming referee training classes are listed on this page.

AYSO referee training requirements by level and division

Training requirements vary by the level of referee certification you're seeking. Anyone may take the training and exams for 8-U Official or Regional Referee, but Intermediate or higher certifications require completion of the lower level qualifications and a certain level of experience.

Regional RefIntermediate RefAdvanced RefNational
Can referee at

12U and below14U and below19U and below19U and below
Can assistant referee at

Any divisionAny divisionAny divisionAny division
Pre-requisite badge

Background check
Safe Haven
CDC Concussion
Sudden Cardiac Arrest
Referee course and exam for the level

Referee uniform and equipment requests

If you're a new or returning referee and need equipment, please email our referee administratorHERE . Equipment requests are typically fulfilled quickly, but please allow 3-5 days lead time in case items need to be retrieved from storage.

Laws of the game and division-specific adjustments

Region 158 follows the IFAB Laws of the Game with age-appropriate modifications to support development and competitive play.

For additional questions, please reach out to HERE

Referee Scheduling System

HorizonWebRef is used to sign up for games. To access the Referee Scheduling System (RSS), navigate to

Additional resources for referees

AYSO Resources

Resources from Soccer Governing Bodies

Team Personnel Listing

Register Now



Zero Tolerance Policy

Zero Tolerance Policy

Our “Zero Tolerance Policy” applies to all referees (not just Youth Referees).

AYSO Region 158 recognizes the hard work and dedication that all of our volunteer parent (and “community”) referees put forth and want to keep them contributing to the region as long as we can. They have volunteered–one of the key components of AYSO–to take on a challenging task and try their best to officiate to the best of their ability. Remember, they are all just regular parents and members of the community (like you) trying to do their best. Sure they will make mistakes, they are only human. Let’s try to keep that in mind as the coaches “coach” and the parents “cheer” our Kids from the touchlines!

Referee Zero Tolerance Policy

AYSO Region 158has a  “Zero Tolerance Policy”  for ALL referees in order to preserve and protect them.

All individuals responsible for a team (Coaches and Team Managers) and all spectators (parents, friends, siblings, relatives)  shall support the referee and respect his/her decisions. Failure to do so will undermine the referee’s authority and has the potential of creating a hostile environment for the players, the referee, and all the other participants and spectators.

Consequently, AYSO Region 158 has adopted and modified the following rules:

  1. No one is to speak to the referee in an aggressive manner before, during or after the game.  Coaches may ask questions, politely, before and after the game, point out emergencies during the game, or respond to the referee if addressed during the game. Coaches and/or Spectators may NOT enter the Field of Play at any time (including halftime and after match has ended) unless instructed/invited to do so by the Referee.

  2. Absolutely no disputing calls, during or after the game.  NO YELLING at the referee–EVER, and no criticism, sarcasm, harassment, or intimidation of any kind before, during or after the game. If the Coach wishes to get an explanation for a particular call he/she must wait until halftime or after the match is finished. They may NOT come onto the Field of Play unless invited to enter with Referee’s permission.  They should approach the Referee in a calm and controlled manner. It is not the Referee’s responsibility to defend or justify his/her calls.  All decisions are made “in the opinion of the referee” (ITOOTR) and to the best of their ability.  In accordance of Law 5 of The Laws of the Game, “The decisions of the referee, and all other match officials, must always be respected.”

  3. Violators may be ejected and are subject to disciplinary action by the AYSO Region 158 Board of Directors.

  4. If coaches or spectators have questions or complaints regarding particular calls, rules, or a specific referee, or wish to give feedback regarding a referee, please feel free to contact the Regional Referee Administrator, Assistant Regional Referee Administrator, or any other board member. 

Enforcing the Referee Zero Tolerance Policy

  1. If a coach (or spectator) questions the call of a referee in a manner deemed inappropriate/irresponsible, the referee may stop the match, retrieve the game ball, and invite the coach onto the field for a conversation.

  2. During this conversation the coach may be told 3 things:

    • The purpose of the conversation is not to “debate” a call but to inform the coach that the behavior of the coach/spectator is unacceptable.

    • The coach has 2 choices. He/she can go back to their coaching area and coach per the AYSO philosophies, or, the coach/spectator can leave the playing facility.

    • The coach/spectator may be sent off if the referee has to speak to them again during the match.

  3. If the referee is a Youth Referee, the Youth Referee may stop the match, retrieve the game ball, and either deal with the matter on his or her own as described above, or, find a board member (if available) to deal with the situation as described above.

  4. Any coach/spectator who is heard “verbally abusing a referee” may automatically be sent off by the referee. “Verbal abuse” includes, but is not limited to, foul and abusive language.  As with all decisions made by the referee, what constitutes “verbal abuse” is entirely “in the opinion of the referee” (ITOOTR).

  5. If the unacceptable behavior of the coach/spectator occurs after the game has ended it will still be reported by the referee and will be considered as a cause for disciplinary action.

  6. Referees must submit a written or verbal report of any occurrences where a coach/spectator is sent off/ejected, and there will be an investigation to determine the facts and subsequent penalty if necessary. The penalties are at the discretion of the Region Board of Directors and may include, but are not limited to, suspension from future games.

  7. The Region Board of Directors also reserves the right to investigate instances when abuse of a referee or volunteer is not reported by the referee or volunteer, but is subsequently brought to the Board’s attention by any individual. The penalties are at the discretion of the Board and may include, but are not limited to, suspension from future games.

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Contact Us

AYSO Region 158

P.O. Box 806095 
St Clair Shores, Michigan 48080

Email Us: [email protected]

Phone: 586-335-2229