Pre-season information

Just a few reminders for the referees out there. Some regions have started and some start in a week. The reminders:

1. Fields should be inspected after every game. This includes the goals which MUST be anchored into the ground. For those in Illinois, it is THE LAW.
(430 ILCS 145/) Movable Soccer Goal Safety Act (aka Zach’s Law).

For those not in Illinois, it is a good rule to follow. Too many children have been killed by a goal tipping over, and a sandbag or two isn’t going to hold it. If the goals are not secured, secure them or DON’T play the match.

2. Player jewelry is NOT to be worn. This includes string bracelets and especially earrings. Tape or a Band-Aid covering the earring is NOT acceptable. The hole will not close in an hour, or just have the player play the first half so it is only 30 minutes. Anyone who was at last year’s expo may have talked to the physician who told of having to remove posts surgically from the skull. Tape and a Band-Aid will not protect the player, and it is in the FIFA Law Book that jewelry is not to be worn. [Medical alert and religious exceptions are allowed]

Section Expo will be in Chicago this coming February. If you are a Referee Instructor, and need your evaluation done, we will be doing it on the 20th at the Expo. More information once everything is locked down, but we will be doing the evaluations. Each time slot is 60 minutes, so we have a limited amount we can fit in, so it will be reserved. How to reserve a slot? Email me and I will write you in. I will let you know your time slot to teach once things are locked down.

Almost done, this should be passed to ALL your referees. This is a higher level test given to the Pro referees on offside. Requires a computer, as it is a web site. Have paper and pencil ready, 25 examples and you call offside or not. No, this doesn’t reflect on you and only you will know your score. I will admit missing 2, and I have 21 years of experience at all levels. Just a great way to test yourself and get you ready for the season.

I will also post this at where I also post all this information that is passed down.

Last, a reminder that I will continue to visit regions unannounced. The reason for unannounced is to see how things are going, offer suggestions without getting everyone nervous about coming to the region. I watch, and will mentor or even referee if you are short when I visit. I have been doing this for years, and it is a great way for me to see how things are going without putting pressure on anyone. Look forward to seeing you soon.

Also Tom Severin has accepted the position of Section Director of Referee instruction. Bill Cooper who has been in the position for years will continue to help out by teaching at different locations including expo. Many thanks for all the years of service to Bill, and Congratulations to Tom on his new position!

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Referee Training and Soccer Jamboree in Hayward Wisonsin

I have had a lot of emails concerning Referee Classes today. Instead of trying to send out tons of emails, I am sending this email out, with a reminder that you can look in under courses to see what classes are pending. Classes are scheduled well in advance, and the instructors are busy getting things lined up for what they have accepted. I highly recommend you look over the list and contact the instructor as soon as possible if you need to get referees trained. Special note, Kansas and Nebraska are having training, for those regions new to Section 6. Peter, I would contact Elmhurst or Oak Park right away, as they are the closest to you for classes, Deanna, let me know what class you would like to co-instruct, and I will contact the instructor. I’d suggest one with David Keller since he is so close to you, but short notice for your schedule. David, Deanna needs the Basic Course for her evaluation, but Tom and I both saw her teach at an Intermediate Class, so will allow you to do a companion course to get her evaluation done.

Also, Hayward Wisconsin is looking for referees for September 12, for an all day jamboree and need referees for U12 and U14 games. I know this is opening day for almost all the regions, but please pass this on to all your referees and lets see what we can do to help them out. Hayward is far Northwest Wisconsin, so those regions in Wisconsin and Minnesota are the best ones to help them out.

201504295 6/N/0875 08/30/15 Basic Referee Online Companion Course Approved Severin, Thomas Scottsbluff NE

201504075 6/D/0418 08/30/15 U-8 Official Approved Stern, Jeffrey Chicago IL

201503348 6/F/0399 08/30/15 U-8-to-Basic Referee Upgrade Course Approved HANSEL, SUSAN Elmhurst IL

201503193 6/D/0418 08/30/15 Basic Referee Online Companion Course Approved Stern, Jeffrey Chicago IL

201502914 6/F/0399 08/30/15 U-8 Official Approved HANSEL, SUSAN Elmhurst IL

201502913 6/F/0399 08/30/15 Basic Referee Course Approved MURRAY, MARK Elmhurst IL

201504328 6/A/0163 08/29/15 U-8-to-Basic Referee Upgrade Course Approved Frice, Wells Lake Bluff IL

201504294 6/N/0875 08/29/15 Basic Referee Course Approved Severin, Thomas Scottsbluff NE

201504094 6/U/0000 08/29/15 U-8 Official Approved Gormanson, Edward Wichita KS

201504093 6/U/0000 08/29/15 Basic Referee Course Approved Kaul, Randy Wichita KS

201504070 6/D/0362 08/29/15 Basic Referee Online Companion Course Approved Heinzen, William Glenview IL

201503192 6/D/0418 08/29/15 Basic Referee Online Companion Course Approved Mullane, Patrick Chicago IL

201504092 6/U/0000 08/28/15 Intermediate Referee Course Approved Roberts, Darryl Wichita KS

201504082 6/D/0362 08/23/15 Basic Referee Online Companion Course Approved Severin, Thomas Glenview IL

201503347 6/F/0399 08/23/15 U-8-to-Basic Referee Upgrade Course Approved MURRAY, MARK Elmhurst IL

201503346 6/F/0399 08/23/15 U-8 Official Approved MURRAY, MARK Elmhurst IL

201503345 6/F/0399 08/23/15 Basic Referee Course Approved MURRAY, MARK Elmhurst IL

201502576 6/F/0697 08/23/15 Basic Referee Course Approved Shalla, Kevin Oak Park IL

201504081 6/D/0362 08/22/15 Basic Referee Online Companion Course Approved Severin, Thomas Glenview IL

201504074 6/D/0418 08/22/15 U-8 Official Approved Keller, David Chicago IL

201503712 6/A/0428 08/22/15 Basic Referee Course Approved Foreman, Brian Round Lake Beach IL

201503344 6/F/0399 08/22/15 U-8 Official Approved MURRAY, MARK Elmhurst IL

201503194 6/D/0418 08/22/15 Basic Referee Online Companion Course Approved Keller, David Chicago IL

201502663 6/F/0399 08/22/15 Intermediate Referee Course Approved HANSEL, SUSAN Elmhurst IL

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Referee Skin Care and the wearing of hats

AYSO, as a member of USSF, follows the guidelines for referee apparel and usage. There has been a change in policy for the wearing of hats. Please see the below article, or go to :

New Recommendations for Referee Skin Care
NEWS Jul 18, 2015 1

As part of U.S. Soccer’s commitment to health and safety, our medical and referee experts have prepared the following recommendations for the referee community and incorporated them into our referee education materials.
In the interest of health and safety, U.S. Soccer recommends that match officials practice the following skin care guidelines:

• Consider wearing sunscreen daily on areas of exposed skin.
• Apply skin protection factor (SPF) of 30 or greater 15 minutes prior to being exposed to the sun.
• At a minimum, reapply every 2 hours or more frequently if sweating extensively.
• Take advantage of halftime to reapply.
• Consider wearing long sleeves (or UV protective clothing) if applicable during high sun exposure periods.
• Periodically (once a year) review exposed skin for any changes or growths and consult your doctor or dermatologist.
• Caps may be worn so long as the cap does not endanger the safety of the official or the players.
• The cap should be consistent with the referee uniform and not conflict with the uniform colors worn by either team.
• The cap may not bear any commercial marks or logos.

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Summer Updates!

Seems like a mid-summer update, so here we go. First up are the number of AYSO Referees nation -wide. Remember this is a snapshot to get a rough idea, and as Debbie states, not be be shared outside your staffs. Per Debbie:

First and foremost, please: this report is internal use to AYSO Volunteers only; not to be used outside your Section/Area/Region staffs.
Why you ask: because this is a snapshot in time of when I pull the reports; the intent of this report is to provide you and your instructors with fun data in referee classes or your Camps. {Numbers sent to your Regional Referee Administrator}

Next, is flag procedures and more from USSF. Did you know when signaling multiple flag ignals, they should be done in the same hand as the next signal? Look at the following web site for explanation and video during actual games to get an idea of what is meant, and some pointers on calls as well.—may-and-june-2015.php

The U08 Referee Course is being reviewed, and I have been asked for input on this. Since I have only taught a couple U08, I am reaching out to the Regions for feedback. I will compile the replies and forward to the National Referee Advisory Commission for review. Send the feedback to em ASAP, as I have to get back to them in a week. Here is what I got:

NRAC is interested in your general overview as to whether the U-8 course is ok with minor updates or if a more extensive revision is necessary.
To this end, we would like some feedback on the following taking into account course content, delivery methods, length of course, exam–how to handle if given at all, amount of field time to be allocated. This used to be call free association!
–Define the purpose of the U-8 training
–What are the problems we have with the current U-8 course
–What is missing
–What should be taken out

Last, but certainly NOT least, Area F is having the Intermediate Course coming up in August. Here is the information I got from Sue Hansel:


DATE: August 22-23, 2015

PLACE: Community Bank of Elmhurst Spring Road and Butterfield

Times: Saturday 9:00am-5:00pm
Sunday 8:30am-3:30pm
(Continental breakfast and sign in at 8:00am)

Must have completed Regional Referee course and passed the test. Both days are required and test will be given at end of day two (time includes testing). There is a pre-test and other materials that need to be received before the day of class. Be sure to sign up in Any questions, please contact me. Hope you are having a good summer!

Going to add a reminder

The FIFA memorandum on offside stated below is for the professional level. This does NOT change the way we call offside in AYSO. Nor should it impact USSF and travelling teams. Age, along with skill level, definite plays a part in this. So remember, we have NOT changed the way we call offside.

By PRO Training & Development Manager Paul Rejer
There is no question that Play of the Week features offside a lot more than any other subject, even more so since the new interpretation started in the 2014/15 season internationally and in 2015 for North America.
Click here to look at the FIFA 2014 amendments to the Laws of the Game regarding offside
The extract from the amendments which is pertinent to this week’s play is:
‘Gaining an advantage by being in that position’ means playing a ball that rebounds, is deflected or is played to the player from a deliberate save by an opponent having been in an offside position.
A player in an offside position receiving the ball from an opponent, who deliberately plays the ball (except from a deliberate save), is not considered to have gained an advantage.
At PRO’s preseason camp in January we discussed a number of incidents that were potential ‘gaining an advantage’ situations and we had to decide whether the ball was:
1. Deliberately played
2. Rebounded or deflected
This led to a lot of debate, hence why this subject is covered so frequently on Play of the Week, as the new clarification is so subjective and open to interpretation.
Under the old law the defender had to clearly have the ball under control and it was obvious it was a deliberate play.
Now, we are told by the International FA Board that if the defender makes a movement towards the ball, even if the ball does not go where it’s intended to, then that is regarded as a play, albeit a bad play.
In most cases, whether you believe it is a deliberate play or not can depend on what team you follow. Obviously that wasn’t a consideration in our preseason camp, yet we still had lively discussions.
This new interpretation was also covered at the preseason club visits and PRO went through various examples with the players. It is fair to say that a number of the players and coaches were not in agreement with this interpretation but realized that law is law and we have to abide by it whether we like it or not.

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Summer training!

Many of the regions have taken a break for Summer. Others are just starting, but either way, training, training, training.

August 1st and 2nd, in Malta Illinois, Intermediate Training. EAYSO roster number is 201501802.

July 10th thru 12th, in Antioch Illinois:
Intermediate Friday July 10th 6:30pm-9:00 AND
Saturday July 11th 9:00 – 4:00
U8 Saturday July 11th 9:00am
Basic Saturday July 11th 9:00am
Referee Administrator Sunday July 12th 12:00-4:00
U8 Sunday July 12th 12:00

July 25th and 26th, Area D has the following:
Area 6D is offering the ADVANCED REFEREE Course over TWO days, July 25 AND July 26 2015. The course venue is HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS, 975 LAKEVIEW PARKWAY, VERNON HILLS, IL 60061. Attendance is required on BOTH days to complete required course work. You must be an AYSO Intermediate Referee or have completed the AYSO Intermediate Referee Course in order to attend this course. Course fee is $90 payable in advance to AYSO Area 6D. This fee includes course materials and breakfast and lunch on both days. Please mail $90 fee to Thomas Severin, 1435 Lenox Court, Wheeling, IL 60090. Please make checks payable to AYSO Area 6D. The AYSO Advanced Referee physical test will be offered on Sunday morning, 26 JULY, prior to coursework. The AYSO Advanced Referee written test will be offered at the end of the day on Sunday, 26 July. Please access the Referee Instructor Section of the AYSO website to review the ADVANCED REFEREE PRE-TEST. Instructor team at this time will include TOM SEVERIN – National Instructor; KAREN BUTLER – Advanced Instructor & NRAC; Mike Hodes – Advanced Instructor & National Referee. Questions? Call Tom Severin at 708-370-0700, email:

In other news, plenty of Sportsmanship Awards have been given out this Spring. Excellent job! If you don’t know what I am talking about, a quick sum up. Any person can submit to me in email, the name of a player that has shown exception sportsmanship. My saying is Good Sportsmanship is expected, Exceptional Sportsmanship is to be rewarded. If I agree, I will send the Area Staff or the Region Staff a patch to be work on the right shoulder. Each November, the Section Director and I pick one person out of all the nominations, and they get to attend the Section Expo, with Section picking up the tab. In February the award was given to a U18 player who during a tournament, admitted he was not fouled AND gave the ball back to the keeper after the restart. Let the referees know in your region to send in names of exceptional Sportsmanship!

Section Tournament in 2 weeks! Have a good summer!

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Advanced Referee Course Enquiry

Putting out a feeler to see if there is enough interest in an Advanced Referee Class. Date and location are left open, but can be at the Area A location in Antioch, Area H in Malta, or even in Chicago if there is enough interest. I am gauging the level of interest before spending the amount of time to arrange a facility and instructors. Please send me an email with your interest and where you would prefer the class.

Speaking of Area A, I include their flyer for the upcoming courses being offered. Please share with your RC if you aren’t one, and with your coach administrators. Lots of courses of various types being offered, make sure you look at the flyer. Referee Instructors, Brian is looking for more help, so if you are interested and available, please let him know.

Don’t forget that Area H will also be having training the first weekend of August in Malta Illinois, Kishwaukee College is a great facility!

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Lots of Class News

I cancelled the referee instructor training, as we only had one interested in it this weekend. However, there is lots of training coming up.

First, Area A, the far North side of Illinois has the following:

Starting Friday evening 7/10 and continuing on Saturday Intermediate Referee

Saturday 7/11 Basic Referee and U8 official

Sunday 7/12 U8 Official

Instructors are needed, please contact Brian Foreman if you are interested in teaching or attending a class there. He can be reached at

Area H the far western suburbs and central Illinois is offering the Intermedidate Referee and if enough interest, the Referee Instructor course on August 1st and 2nd at Kishwaukee College in Malta Illinois. You can reach Jay Bratko at

If you are interested in the National Referee Course [must be an advanced referee, 18 years old and with my signature], Section 8 will be holding it. Here is the information:

Greetings all,

First of all, my apologies to some of you that may get this message and have already taken the National course. eAYSO is being difficult to work with on separating your status.

To the rest of you, opportunity awaits! As I mentioned late last year and talked about at the Section conference we will be holding a National Referee course in Marshall Michigan in July. We are within the two month window so I wanted to firm up who can make it to get the logistics solid. The details are:

DATE: 17/18/19 July 2015
LOCATION: Hampton Inn, Marshall Michigan (325 Sam Hill Dr, Marshall Mi 49068)
COST: $100.00 (This pays for materials, the conference center, National Class polo shirt, Instructor logistics and lunch on Saturday)
ACTIVITIES: National Referee class, National Referee Test and National Referee Fitness Test (Sunday morning).

This class is offered about every 3-4years in Section 8 so please make every effort to attend. Jim D is working hard to augment the training with FIFA/USSF involvement from the MidWest. They say the more the merrier and never was this more true than at the National course. Beyond the knowledge you will get from the National instructors (Mike Wint, Tom Wiltrout), the secret sauce is the ability to talk with your peers and interact on the topics presented.

ACTION: Please send me your commitment (along with shirt size) to the course by 29Jun15 (we need 7-8 people) so I can ensure a quality experience for all. In parallel I will be sending a note to each of the Area Ref Administrators about the class and the value of helping interested referee’s subsidise part of the cost.

Thanks gang, I look forward to seeing everyone at the Section 8 tournament in Coldwater and a month later in Marshall for the National Referee class!

Jim Aebi

Hope you are enjoying your season as we head towards summer break. As always, we are here to help you, so feel free to contact me with any questions.

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