Weeks to go to Section Expo

RRAs, RCs, Staffs,


Just a reminder that Feb 27th, 28th and March 1st is the Section Expo in Madison, Wisconsin.  Along with Referee Instructor, Advanced Referee Instructor, there are multiple referee courses to continue learning the art of refereeing.  Send as many volunteers as possible to get the best referees you can.  Along with refereeing, I will be giving out this years Sportsman of the Year Award to a well-deserved player. Also, if you are interested in Advanced Referee Instructor, AND meet the requirements, you must contact me ASAP.


From Area F Referee Administrator, Sue Hansel, I got this:


We will be holding the Intermediate Referee training in Elmhurst on 3/21-3/22. The course is listed in eayso.org. If any of your referees will be attending, please have them sign up ASAP. You may contact me with any questions.


Sue Hansel




And from the National Office, I forward the following information:


Good morning everyone.


AYSO uses USSF referee resources as part of our training program for referees at all levels.

USSF is in the process of combining two of their manuals to have the information in one document.

The two manuals are the Advice to Referees and the Guide to Procedures.

There is no estimated date of completion so for now, please continue using and referencing both manuals as usual.

When the integration of the manuals is completed, we will let everyone know.

Please share this  information with all of your instructors, assessors, mentors, referees, and other volunteers that help you with the referee program.  


Thank you.


Thomas Bobadilla

National Referee Program Administrator

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Mid-Winter Update

RCs, RRA, Area Staffs,

With it being -1 outside right now, you may not be thinking of soccer at all. However, now is the time to do exactly that.

AYSO Expo will be held in Madison Wisconsin on February 27th, 28th, and March 1st, 2015. Along with all the updates for Referee instructors, assessors, and Referee Administrators, there are multiple classes being offered. DON’Y BE FOOLED BY THE SAME NAMES, the classes are new and updated even if using the names you have seen before.

Along with these classes, AYSO Referee Instructor and AYSO Advanced Referee instructor is being offered. [Please contact me if you are interested in the Advanced Instructor course] These courses are taught Friday morning, so plan on being there Thursday night.

I hope your region is sending as many referees as it can, as this is the best time to learn, network, and even ask questions about refereeing. I look forward to seeing you at the Expo!

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Upcoming Training

With everyone’s Season winding down for winter, time to think of Referee Training.

On November 15,16 2014 Area D will be offering Basic Referee, Intermediate referee, Advanced Referee in Skokie. Referee Instructor will also be offered if there is enough interest. Please sign up immediately in eayso if you are going to attend.

The following weekend, Area N will be hosting referee and coaching courses in Norfolk, Nebraska. Basic referee will be offered there, and the course is also in eayso.

Late February the Section Expo will be held in Madison, Wisconsin. We will again offer the Referee Instructor courses and the required Intro to Instruction Friday morning there. Mailings will be coming from National soon. Also multiple trainings and classes to further your education will be offered at Section meeting, as well as the referee award for Good Sportsmanship will be given to a player. Your region should send as many people as possible for training as possible.

In March, Section will be taking a road show to Missouri. Dates/classes to be determined.

Area F will be offering Intermediate referee and Referee Instructor during the winter. Dates/Times to be announced.

As I have directed for years, the more training the referees take, the better referees we will have. I urge every referee to continue training upwards, to be the best referee possible for the players of AYSO.

I look forward to seeing you at one of the trainings listed above!

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Pre-season update

A lot of you are new to the list, I just got done going through eAYSO and updating the mail list. This mail list is to inform you of what is happening in the AYSO Referee Program and Section 6 in particular. If the region does not have an Regional Referee Administrator, then the Region Commissioner will get the email. Please let me know any corrections to the list, but make sure you also change it in eAYSO. [I mail this to the above and post it here as well to spread the word as far as possible]

To the topics:

First, the subject came up about socks and shin guards. The point was made that the soccer sock can be put on, then the shin guard, and the soccer sock covering the shin guard. NO. This is NOT allowed. FIFA guidelines themselves state the sock must COMPLETELY cover the shin guard. Here was my response:

This one is easy. Fifa states:

Shin guards
• are covered entirely by the stockings
• are made of rubber, plastic or a similar suitable material
• provide a reasonable degree of protection

Covered entirely. If the shin guard is worn on top of the sock, and the sock is long enough to be folded over, that is NOT acceptable. Reasoning is very simple, during the course of a game the sock will slide up uncovering the shin guard becoming dangerous. I had a high school player snap his leg in two because another players cleat got caught in his strap of the shin guard after the sock had pulled up. Yep, the center official missed it during the player inspection.

Nothing says the player cannot wear a small stocking under the shin guard then the shin guard then the soccer sock. Matter of fact, some manufacturers have purposely made socks for that. So the player has an alternative if allergic to the materials of the shin guard.

Second Point:

I have included the slides I made for shoes and what is allowed. It is in Powerpoint in Office 2013 format. Again, metal cleats ARE allowed, as are a toe cleat in a soccer designed shoe. A toe cleat on a football or baseball cleat is NOT allowed. As always it is up to the individual referee to determine what is dangerous or not, but try to stay consistent.

Last, a webinar for AYSO Schedulers, and Assignors is being scheduled. Below is the information from National:

Good day everyone.
A few volunteers asked me to schedule a webinar session on a Wednesday night, at 7:00 p.m. Pacific time.
The session is scheduled for October 1 and interested volunteers can sign up at


Please let your referee assignors know about this additional session.

As always, please feel free to contact me with questions you may have. Remember, your Area and Section Staffs are here to help you. Circle February 27, 28, and March 1st for Section Expo in Madison Wisconsin.

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Shoe Guidelines

Recently I received an email asking about what is permissible and what isn’t in AYSO for players shoes. The National Guidelines say:
Regulation soccer shoes, gym shoes, or sneakers (with or without cleats) are permissible
in all AYSO competitions subject to the referee’s approval regarding their safety.

However, some regions were asking for a little bit more on guidelines. I offer the following:

Turf Shoes which are allowed:
Turf Shoes

Gym Shoes (Athletic Shoes) are allowed

Gym Shoe

Soccer Cleats are allowed:



or Note round or bar type are allowed. A toe cleat on a soccer specific boot (Shoe) is also allowed.

Metal Cleats ARE Allowed. However, each and every cleat should be checked for a sharp edge from wear. If the metal cleat has a sharp edge, then the shoe is NOT to be allowed.

Metal Cleat

The following are NOT allowed

Baseball Cleats are not allowed. Note the extreme toe cleat as well


Football Cleats are NOT allowed. Again, note the extreme toe cleat. These are not allowed


Missing cleat from shoe, not allowed. Doesn’t matter if the hole or just the screw is in shoe, the shoe integrity is compromised, do NOT allow.


The above are a guideline for referees. There isn’t a hard fast rule, since there are many types of shoes, with new versions coming out all the time. As always, it is the decision of the Center Official for that match is the equipment is safe or not in their opinion. It doesn’t matter if the player wore it before or not, if the referee deems the equipment unsafe, then it will not be allowed in the match. Please address any questions you have to me.

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Lots of News

1. Section 6 has grown. For now, we have gained the States of Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, North and South Dakota. All the regions in these states are now in Section 6 for now. This means that I will be travelling along with instructors to make sure the Regions are taken care of, so instructor availability will become limited. If you need a Referee class held, there are plenty in eayso now, and if you need a class in your region, let me know soonest so I can schedule an instructor, IF you wait too long, I may not have an instructor available till training gets caught up.
2. To help with the above, we just offered an instructor course in Malta, at Area H’s Road Show. 4 instructor candidates completed the class portion of the requirements, and are working on becoming full instructors. I will offer the instructor’s course at the Section 6 Expo which will be held in Madison Wisconsin in February.
3. I am working on the Referee classes for the Expo. Classes have been changed with newer materials, and include some Roundtables this year. Section Expo is for everyone, and is a good way to award your referees for the season, and they learn new things at the same time. I highly recommend sending as many referees to Section Expo, this year in Madison Wisconsin as I stated in February.
4. Other training, Area D will be having their Road Show in November this year instead of February. One of the bigger road shows, keep an eye out for additional classes and time/dates coming soon.
5. Don’t forget to submit your players for the Section 6 Sportsperson of the year. I have had 2 submitted so far for the Sportsmanship patch. Out of all the winners, we pick one to attend the Section Expo to receive the Sportsperson of the year award. Remember, Good Sportsmanship is expected in AYSO, exception Sportsmanship will be rewarded. Just send me an email with the player name and circumstance, and if deemed exception, I will either present or send a patch for the RC/RRA to present.
6. Changes to the USSF/AYSO Cross-Certification:

USSF restructured the entry level training for referees to effectively line up training with the type of games that referees will officiate.
The reclassification of USSF’s entry level grades is as follows:
Grade 8 is focused on delivering training for referees who will work youth games.
Grade 7 is focused on delivering training for referees who will work adult games.

The AYSO referee program trains referees to officiate youth games only.
USSF Grades 7 and higher referees, typically have officiated youth games and primarily focus on adult games.
Therefore, the cross-over process needs to reflect the reclassification of USSF grades.

Effective immediately, the cross-over agreement between USSF and AYSO is as follows:
All AYSO referee levels, Intermediate or higher, will cross over to a USSF grade 8.
USSF referee Grade 8 will cross over to AYSO Regional.
USSF referee Grade 7 will cross over to AYSO Intermediate.
USSF referee Grade 6 or higher, will cross over to AYSO Advance.

This updated cross-over agreement will transition referees back and forth to the appropriate levels.

As with all referee levels in all soccer organizations, this cross-over process is the starting point for referee assignments.
The referee assignors need to track and understand the experience level of their referees to make appropriate game assignments.

The attached form has been updated to reflect the changes.
Please share this information with our referee community.

Thomas Bobadilla
AYSO National Referee Program Administrator

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Foam use for 10 yard distance not allowed in AYSO or USSF

Use of the foam to mark 10 yards is not allowed in AYSO. See the message below.

Also lots of regions starting to schedule training. Make sure you check eayso if you are looking for training, some regions include Skokie, Oak Park, Round Lake, Area H, and others.

Good day everyone.

The AYSO Store now sells the Vanishing Marking Foam (vanishing spray) which soccer referees use to mark where players may stand during the taking of a free kick. The AYSO Store carries this product because they have other customers which may be interested in buying the spray.

FIFA allows the use of vanishing spray to provide a player management tool for experienced referees working top level professional games.
In AYSO’s youth games the referees are learning all about free kicks and how to manage players with the use of their personality.
It is important for referees to first learn the appropriate application of the Laws, and how to manage players before they use tools that may provide a false sense of control without the proper experience.

At this point in time, the National Referee Advisory Commission in partnership with the National Coaching Advisory Commission and AYSO’s National Referee Program Administration, do not approve the use of the vanishing spray in AYSO games.

This AYSO directive will continue to allow our AYSO referees to develop player management skills.
This direction is in line with USSF’s guidance which is provided below.
We will monitor the use of the spray in youth competitions outside of AYSO and evaluate further recommendations in 2015.

Please share this information with your Region, Area, and Section referee community. We will also publish a note in Whistle Stop.

Thank you for your support.

Thomas Bobadilla
AYSO National Referee Program Administrator
American Youth Soccer Organization

USSF’s current direction on the use of Vanishing Spray
The use of vanishing spray is prohibited by officials unless approval for use during an affiliated competition is given by U.S. Soccer.
Requests should be made by the appropriate affiliated competition authorities and these will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis provided the following minimum requirements are met:
• The affiliated competition must provide the vanishing spray at no cost to the officials;
• The affiliated competition must provide the officials with training on how to use the vanishing spray and monitor its use throughout the competition;
• The affiliated competition (or associated league of Organization Member) must assume all liability associated with the use of the vanishing spray; and
• When approved, competitions should make best efforts to use the vanishing spray in all competitive matches and officials should make every reasonable effort to ensure the spray is used consistently during their match

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