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Junior Referee Program


Junior Referee Program

The purpose of a Junior Referee Program is to give opportunity, education and experience to young players to referee games prior to US Soccer certification age of 13.  Players aged 9-12 can officiate recreational games to develop their skills and gain experience prior to becoming a US Soccer Certified Referee.

1. How to Develop a Junior Referee Program?

Any club or league can develop a program. 

  • Make it Low Cost, No Cost to participate. Provide a basic kit with T shirt, whistle & lanyard. 
  • Run a class to give basic guidance for participants. Virtual or In person. 60 minutes.
  • Assign to Recreational Games to give the Junior Referee experience.
  • Designate a Point of Contact onsite for game days. 
  • Communicate with your club / league families the program, what a Junior Referee Program is and why it is important. 

2. What does the Junior Referee Program Class Content look like?

To assist your Junior Referees in facilitating soccer games, we suggest a minimum the follow topics be covered;

1. What is a Referee and an Assistant Referee (AR)?

2. What is the role of the Referee or AR ?

3. What are the Laws of the Game (LOTG)?

4. What to wear?

5. What safety protocols to perform before a game (Field, equipment, goals etc.) ?

6. Who to report misconduct or other matters to?

7. How do they get paid?


3. Where can I find the Laws of the Game?

You can find the Laws of the Game produced by IFAB here

In addition, we additional resources about these laws can be found here;

Youtube Channel - Ken Ashton



4. Are Junior Referees covered by any insurance?

Yes, Georgia Soccer sanctioned activities includes recreational games that are in house. All participants in these games are covered by our General Liability and Participant Accident Insurance. 

Ensure that you are an Affiliate member club of Georgia Soccer, your recreational players and coaches are registered with Georgia Soccer and you are operating under Georgia Soccer Youth Rules & Regulations that pertain to recreation.

5. Junior Referee Attire & Kit ideas.

The Junior Referee is not a certified referee and does not need a full kit. However, it is the Club or League choice what it requires. 

At a minimum a referee should wear black short & socks, be provided with a referee T shirt or jersey clearly distinguishing them as a referee, have a whistle & lanyard and a pencil/notebook. This is a low cost option for a club providing the T Shirt & whistle.

An alternative is an Official Kit which can be purchased as low as $38 from Official Sports International.

Additional resources