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General Referee Information

Referees, like the coaches, administrators and everyone else who makes our league “go” are volunteers. Most are the parents of players who begin when their children are playing in the youngest age groups and move “up” with them.  Some (especially those with significant playing or prior referee experience) start directly with the older kids.  All are welcome.
The best reason for being a referee is for the kids. Referees play a vital role in keeping the games safe, fair and fun - which is what Mt Diablo Soccer is all about; and is why the kids enjoy our region so much.
But why should you do it? While everyone is welcome, refereeing is especially likely to appeal to you if you like being involved (you tend to get fidgety on the sidelines) enjoy sports, even strange ones (you wish you were playing, instead of just your kids) enjoy (or need!) physical activity (reff'ing is a great, light, regular workout) don't have quite enough time, patience or soccer skills to be a coach. If any of these describe you, you should give refereeing a try.
When you do, you'll find out that it’s fun! Especially at the younger age levels, refereeing is not particularly stressful.  Your role is to help the kids structure their game as soccer and, occasionally, to intervene to keep it fair.  Best of all, you get to be out on the field with the kids enjoying the game “up-close”, while everyone else has to watch from the touch-lines.
Mt. Diablo Soccer has a very clear philosophy - its games are to be played so that they are a safe, positive, enjoyable, growth experience for the children. However, this is not achieved by adopting idiosyncratic or peculiar rules. Our games follow standard international soccer (FIFA) Law very closely, with only a very few changes to adapt to AYSO philosophy (e.g. controlled substitution to ensure that “everyone plays”) and, at the youngest age levels, to adapt the game to the physical and mental maturity of the players.
If you are interested in becoming a referee for Mt. Diablo Soccer, take the following steps:
  • Complete an AYSO Volunteer Form. All AYSO volunteers are required to complete an AYSO Volunteer Form each year. This includes coaches, referees, board members, and any other volunteers.  The best way to complete the AYSO Volunteer Form is on-line at  Complete instructions can be found under the Helpful Referee Link section below.
  • Complete the Safe Haven Training for Volunteers.  Safe Haven Certification is a requirement for referee volunteers.  The Safe Haven Certification course can be taken on-line, and must be completed before taking any referee raining course.  You will only need to take this course once in your volunteer career.  Complete instructions can be found under the Helpful Referee Link section below.
  • Find out the age group you wish to volunteer for (e.g. U6, U7 or U8 and older) and plan to attend the corresponding training clinic.  If you are interested in becoming a referee for U8 and above age groups, you should start by taking the Regional/Basic Referee training.
The fall season is our main season. It starts just after Labor Day and continues until the first week of November. Mt Diablo Soccer and the neighboring AYSO regions offer clinics and training courses that prepare (or refresh) referees for the season and are usually held during the late summer or the first couple of weeks of the Fall.  Please see the calendar on the home page for this year’s specific training dates.  We hope we see you at one of them!

Referee Training Classes

AYSO referee training classes are designed to allow you to grow as a referee, in step with your child’s progression throughout the years.
Under 6 Referee Training
Mt Diablo Soccer conducts short clinics each summer (prior to the start of the fall season) to allow volunteers to referee at these age group levels.  The clinic is informal and will cover the referees responsibilities and age appropriate rules.  Upon completion of the clinic, each referee will receive a yellow team referee t-shirt flipping coin and whistle.
If you are interested in attending this training, please contact our Referee Administrator at  Please include your full name, contact details, including phone number(s), all e-mail addresses, age group/division (e.g. U6 G), and team number for the upcoming season.
Under 7 and Older Age Groups Referee Training
Regional/Basic Referee Training
The Basic Referee Training Course is required for all new referee volunteers who will be officiating in our region at the U7 level or above. The first year referee volunteer will generally be doing games in the U7,U8, and U10 divisions.  All new referees regardless of their childs age group must take this course.  Except U6 referees (see above). U7 and U8 referee training consists of one 3 hour class. This will be the first class of either session. U10 and above referee training consists of two 3 hour classes. The first and second class of either session. Field training will be held on the following Saturday and is mandatory as well as very useful. Youth referees may also take this course. Volunteers that take this class will be introduced to the Laws of the Game by AYSO certified instructors. Upon completion, the Basic Referee graduate will be supplied with a complete uniform, consisting of jersey, shorts, socks, whistle, lanyard, flipping coin, flags, score cards, and a Regional/Basic Referee badge.
If you are interested in attending this training, please contact our Referee Administrator at  Please include your full name, contact details, including phone number(s), all e-mail addresses, age group/division (e.g. U7, U10, etc.), and team number for the upcoming season.
Intermediate and Advance Training Courses
Existing referees wishing to advance to the next level of training should contact our regional referee administrator for course information.