Frequently Asked Questions

Announcement: Season Begins September 26th

What terms do I need to understand?
  • AR – Assistant Referee (the referee on the lines)
  • CR – Center Referee (the referee in the middle)
  • Grassroots Referee are qualified to officiate competitive, small-sided or recreational youth matches and amateur adult matches. 
  • Regional Referee are qualified to officiate competitive state competitions, regional events and professional leagues including NPSL and USL League Two.
  • AR Assignors – People who are trained at assigning officials to AR U13 thru U19 games
  • USSF Assignor – People who are certified by the USSF to assign referees to Middles and lines for all USSF sanctioned games.
  • USSF – United States Soccer Federation.
  • ENYYSA – Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association.
  • ENYYSA Instructors – people trained to teach the USSF referee courses.
  • LISRA – Long Island Soccer Referee Association
Want To Become An Assistant Referee?

Thanks for your interest in the LISRA sponsored USSF Groundroots Referee Course. This course will teach you enough information to allow you to officiate youth games as an Assistant Referee. You can also use this as a starting point for officiating for your own clubs intramural program. You should find some frequently asked questions about the course and their answers. If after reading it all, you still have some questions, please send it to G9@LISoccerRefs.org and one of many G9 Assignors will answer you.

Lastly, if you complete the course and want to work games then you must realize this is a job. And as with any job if you don’t show up for your job when you are supposed to or you back out (Turnbacks) when you are suppose to work without an acceptable excuse, you will be fined and then dismissed. We will show you how to manage your availability by blocking out when you are playing and personal time.

How old do I have to be to take the class?

As per NY State Labor Laws you must be 14 years old to take the course.

Do I have to be playing Soccer to Take the Class?

No. There is no requirement you have to be playing soccer or be playing for a youth league. This is a USSF class that is a national certification.

Cost? Is There A Fee For the USSF Grassroots Course?

There is a fee for the class which is currently (2021) $190.00 payable in advance of the course. The Fee covers the course and course materials as well as your first year USSF Certification/Registration and a Full Uniform.

What is the Annual Cost?

Every Year you must recertify. The cost is presently at $75.00 for all officials. This can change from year to year. When officials turn 18 you must take a Risk Management (on-line) course. 

How Much Money Can I Earn/What do I get paid?

For Youth Games 2021 you get

  • U9 – U10 : $44 for the middle.
  • U11 : $48 for the middle.
  • U12 : $48 for the middle and $25 for the lines
  • U13 – U14 : $58 for the middle and $30 for the lines.
  • U15 – U16 : $72 for the middle and $37 for the lines.
  • U17, U18 – U19 : $82 for the middle and $42 for the lines.
How Do I Sign Up For The Class?

Go to www.LISoccerRefs.org where, if a current course offering is available, you will find a Course Announcement posted on the Home Page. That announcement specifies all details for the course offering as well as a Registration Link for online class registration.

You MUST REGISTER ONLINE for any LISRA Course ahead of time and submit your course payment as specified in the announcement.

How Many Games Can I Officiate? Where do I officiate?

You can officiate nearly as many games as you want, according to your own Availability. Games are assigned by G9 Assignors. It is based on your availability and skill and adherence to following instructions and procedures as outlined in the AR Guide.

With our online software ArbiterSports.com, LISRA’s online assigning system, YOU ARE IN CONTROL of your Travel distance and your own Availability.

Most ARs are also players whose games are also on Sunday. This will limit you to those games and locations that fit within your playing schedule as well as the schedule of your parents, for whom most ARs will be dependent upon for transportation. In general, you should target to officiate at least 1 game every Sunday. With 8 or 9 weeks to the schedule, you should target 10 games per season.

Anyone who merely wants to officiate a few games (less than 6 in a season) probably should NOT join the Program. You will not improve without officiating games regularly and you will not do yourself much good nor the Program. Some of our ARs have officiated more than 30 games in a season. As a new official you will be limited to officiating U13, U14, U15 and possible U16 until you get more experience. As we get reports back of your performance, we (the assignors) The G9 Assignors will, generally, not assign you to more than 2 or 3 games in a single day, unless you specifically request more.

I Already Know The Laws OF The Game! I Have Been Playing Soccer For Years!

This is a common statement of many players (and coaches) who think they know the LOTG because they have been around the game for many years.

First, if you are not already USSF Certified as a Referee, then you MUST take the entire course as well as pass the written test. No Exceptions!

Second, you will be quite surprised how much of the LOTG you do not know and will have to study and learn in order to pass the test AND to successfully officiate games.

I Am Uncomfortable Officiating Games Where I Know Players, Coaches and Parents

Many ARs work games in their local Club. This means you WILL KNOW a number of players, coaches and spectators at games you officiate.

Some of you may prefer to avoid these games, which is normal, however, it is also discouraged. First, as a new AR, you will ONLY be assigned to the youngest games until you gain experience. Avoiding certain teams will necessarily severely limit the number of games you can officiate and will hurt LISRA’s effort to cover these games with full officiating crews.

Second, you MUST learn to deal with these situations properly. The sooner you do, the better off you will be. Think about the experienced Center Referees who have officiated hundreds (and some thousands) of games in their officiating careers. No matter what, there are players, coaches and spectators that they know. You MUST be able to officiate nearly any game impartially and without any focus on players, coaches and spectators. Of course, there may indeed be legitimate cases in which you should not officiate a game. If a family member is involved in the game, such as a brother or sister who plays in that game or a father or mother who coach a team, it might be wise to avoid those games. You can discuss any such situation with your G9 Assignor (via G9@LISoccerRef.org) at the appropriate time.

The AR Guide includes guidelines you must follow that will help you with the situation in which you know participants and/or spectators in games you officiate. These guidelines include:

  • NEVER speaking with any of these people PRIOR to a game in which you are an official (you need not be rude, but it is SIMPLE to completely AVOID them prior to any game. You have PLENTY of duties prior to that game and need to focus on them and NOT on the participants or spectators)
  • NEVER speak with any of these people DURING a match. Again, if you are doing your job properly, you have NO TIME to stand there talking to ANYONE! They will see by your demeanor and actions that you are completely focused on the game and TOO BUSY to pay any attention to them.
  • NEVER speak to any of these people DURING THE HALFTIME! This is time COMPLETELY DEDICATED to reviewing the first half with your CENTER REFEREE and your partner Assistant Referee. Halftime is too short to waste a single second with players, coaches or spectators.
  • KEEP ANY AND ALL CONVERSATIONS to the AFTERMATH of the game…AND DO NOT DISCUSS specifics of ANY GAME with any player, coach or spectator. Simply do not do it and excuse yourself from any such questions…it’s EASY!

BE SURE YOU READ THE AR GUIDE and FOLLOW ALL GUIDELINES.

BE SURE TO ADVISE YOUR CENTER REFEREE if ANYONE PERSISTS in trying to TALK TO YOU BEFORE or DURING a match after you has politely asked them to stop. Your CENTER REFEREE has the authority and experience to deal with any such, RARE, situation.

I Play On a Travel Soccer Team; Will Officiating Interfere With My Own Games?

We use an online assignment system that will also include your game schedule. ATTACHING allows you to associate yourself with your own games so we can assign around your own game schedule AS LONG AS YOU FOLLOW OUR INSTRUCTIONS and complete your game associations.

Our online system will have your game schedule WELL BEFORE YOUR COACH so this is something easily handled. You NEVER have to miss one of your own games and we don’t want you to. The AR Guide…it goes into more detail about ATTACHING so be sure to read it. YOU control your own availability AND you associate yourself with your games so, short of a REAL EMERGENCY, we don’t expect you to ever turn back a game assignment. Of course, if there IS A REAL EMERGENCY, we understand…however, we cannot effectively manage the Program with

Officials who are routinely turning back game assignments. Anyone who makes a habit of this risk dismissal from the Program

The majority of ARs play their own game and officiate 1 or 2 games each Sunday. We also have the ability to assign you to 1 or more games before or after your own AWAY games, if that is something that interests you. Once you are certified and registered in the online system, your area G9 Assignor can help you with this. All you need do is request game assignments when you travel to your own AWAY games.

My daughter is 15 and plays GU16 ball. She is interested in taking the course to be an assistant referee. Has no experience; is she too old to take class?

No, she is not too old at all. A MINIMUM Age of 14, but there is NO MAXIMUM Age limit. In fact, we ENCOURAGE Adults to take the course and become Assistant Referees as well. Perhaps you are interested and would LOVE taking the flag at your son or daughter’s games, but you are trepidatious about “jumping into the Center”. Why not “run the line”, get exercise, REALLY LEARN The Laws of The Game AND get paid at the same time? You will ALSO be helping Long Island

Youth Soccer by providing a valuable service.

Registration Is Closed Out. Can I Simply Show Up For the Class?

Many people who either receive word of a class offering late or otherwise procrastinate and do not register and submit payment in time, believe they can simply show up for the class and they will be allowed in simply because they are there.

Do NOT do this please as we have strict limits for classroom size that we must abide by both as set by the USSF and as set by the schools that allow us to use their training facilities.

If you have not pre-registered online, you will be turned away at the door as we will not be able to accommodate you.

Responsibilities of an AR; What Are They?

Before you register for the class, please understand:

  1. You will be treated as an adult in the Program.
  2. We EXPECT you to read The AR Guide and follow ALL instructions to the letter.
  3. We EXPECT you to take the course seriously, pay attention and pass the test with flying colors!
  4. We EXPECT you to make yourself available to officiate games every week as much as possible.
  5. We EXPECT you to take every game assignment seriously, as the commitment that it is.
  6. We EXPECT you to take officiating seriously and to work hard to become as good an official as you can be.

If you are not really that interested in officiating, but are doing this only because someone is “forcing” you, we prefer you not join. Officiating is harder than it looks. If you are not serious, you will not be of any help to your Center Referee, or to the game.

If you are the type of person who decides, last minute, that you want to change your plans and skip a prearranged commitment, we prefer you not join the Program. Once you accept a game assignment, you MUST have a very serious conflict in order to change that game assignment. Sickness, of course, does cause one to change plans, but you had better be seriously ill.

A pattern of Declining assignments, “turning back” assignments (declining after first having accepted) and “No-Showing” assignments will most certainly lead to your dismissal from the Program.

Travel - Do I Have To Travel?

We will never make you travel as we understand this has a big impact on your parents. However, keep in mind that there are many older, driving age ARs and some adult ARs in the Program who do travel to officiate. Game assignments are based, first and foremost, on the Zip Code in which you reside In order to balance our need to cover games with a full 3-official crew AND provide maximum opportunities for all ARs in the Program to work, gain experience and earn fees AS WELL as to accommodate each AR’s individual schedule requirements, we ENCOURAGE all ARs to initially work within a 10 mile radius of their home ZIP CODE.

This will generally result in game assignments within your Home Town Club as well as immediate neighboring Clubs. Since we do not have the ability to speak with each of you to determine your specific needs, you will initially be setup this way in Arbiter. Thereafter, should your needs dictate a change to this assignment configuration, you can work on that by emailing your LISRA G9 Assignor at G9@LISoccerRef.org All G9 Assignors have extensive experience customizing Arbiter assignment parameters and are happy to help you. All we need is your communication with us to accomplish this. Please keep in mind that restricting yourself to your own Home Club may necessarily severely limit the number of game assignments you can possibly be offered. You may have a Home Club that has a very limited number of U15 and older home games scheduled. You may have a Home Club that has a large number of ARs, all of whom need to have their fair share of game assignments. Expanding the area in which you are able to officiate will open up many more officiating opportunities for you.

When Are The Games?

99.9% of the games you can be assigned to officiate are on Saturday and Sunday. Many of our ARs ALSO PLAY ON SUNDAYS so you MUST manage your AVAILABILITY using the tools within our Arbiter online assigning system. Those tools are described in The AR Guide.

Will I Get Yelled At By Coaches and Spectators?

Good question!

Sports brings out the competitive side of most spectators and coaches. As an Official, you must learn to deal with players, coaches and spectators and the “ruckus” of the game. Along with you learning The LOTG, you will be in a position of some authority, perhaps for the first time in your life. This is a good thing. You must learn how to handle that authority, treat others with respect and professionalism, all the while maintaining your authority within the bounds of the match. Having stated that, there is NO PLACE for abuse in Youth Sports and there is zero tolerance for abuse of any LISRA G9 Assistant Referee.

The Center Referee is there to handle ANYTHING that makes you uncomfortable and that distracts from your focus on your duties. Your part is to ENSURE YOU NOTIFY THE Center Referee of any such problem so he or she can handle it. It is rare that any of our ARs are abused by players, coaches or spectators, but it does happen on occasion. It is critical the Center Referee be informed about ANY act(s) or statement(s) that bother you IMMEDIATELY. He/She is there to protect you!

Attaching To My Team's Games -- I Cannot Attach In Arbiter

There are a couple of reasons you may not be able to ATTACH to your team’s games within Arbiter:

  1. It is PRIOR to the season and the Game Schedule is NOT YET AVAILABLE and NOT YET LOADED INTO Arbiter

If this is the case, you should see an Arbiter Home Page Announcement to this effect. Announcements will be updated to reflect the current status of the current season’s Game Schedule. If the Games are not loaded in Arbiter, you cannot ATTACH.

ATTACHMENT is by GAME and not simply by Team.

  1. Your Team’s Schedule is NOT maintained in Arbiter.
    1. The ONLY Game Schedules that are loaded into Arbiter is LIJSL Travel League.
    Premier, MAPS, Super Y and LIJSL U13 and younger Games will NOT be in Arbiter. You will have to find your teams schedule then block out the time in Arbiter using the Calendar Block feature. This procedure to do this is explained in greater detail in the AR Guide.
Travel Distance -- I Want To Expand My Travel Distance

You can change it yourself. Go to Arbiter – Blocks – Travel Distance and change the miles from your zip code. Click Apply.

Payments -- What Do I Do To Get Paid For My Games?

Games are paid on the field. The CR will receive all of the fees from the coaches and will then pay each AR prior to the game starting.

I Play On a Premier Team -- How Does That Affect Me?

Number 1, your Premier Team’s Game Schedule will NOT be in ArbiterSports.com

Therefore, you will NOT be able to ATTACH to your Team’s Games.

You simply need to use the CALENDAR BLOCK feature to block out all time, including Travel, for your games.

Since Premier Schedules tend to be late and can often change, we advise you CONSERVATIVELY manage your Availability, which means, when in doubt, BLOCK OUT THE TIME as we do not want turn backs of AR Game Assignments at the last minute due to the changing and late Premier Schedules.

Work with your specific LISRA G9 Area Assignor, as he/she is happy to try to help you manage your AR Officiating with your demanding Premier Game Schedule.

What Do I Do Next? I Took The Course, Passed The Test...Now What?

Well, did you DO YOUR FIRST NIGHT’S Course Homework?

If you are the Parent and there was a Parent’s Meeting, did you attend?

The answer to all your questions is in THE AR GUIDE”.

Start by reading and following all steps to become Registered with ArbiterSports.com the online assigning system used for ALL AR Assignments.

After reading The AR Guide, should you have questions, simply send them to g9@LISoccerRef.org

ALL LISRA G9 Assignors receive your email sent to this address and you WILL GET A RESPONSE.

Phone Number? I Need to Speak With Someone On The Phone!
Center Referees email Support@lisoccerrefs.org with your name and town
Assistant Referees email G9@lisoccerrefs.org with your name and town

 

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