In order to ensure the safety of our players all volunteers (not just referees) are required to complete the following requirements.

Time One Time Requirement Yearly Requirement
  • Finger printing
  • Referee Training
  • AYSO Safe Haven
  • Sudden Cardiac Arrest training
  • CDC Concussion training (but may become yearly soon)
  • AYSO Background Check (via Sterling Volunteers)
    • 18+ volunteers only

Step 1 – Register as a Volunteer with AYSO

Adult Refs Youth Refs
  • Complete current year registration in inLeague (annual requirement)
  • Select Referee Volunteer Role
  • Parents must add youth as a new user on their inLeague Account – with a unique email address
  • Select Referee volunteer role
Background Check
  • Once the Volunteer Application is submitted it will trigger a background check to Sterling Volunteers to complete (AYSO National Requirement)
  • Check your email for a message from Sterling Volunteers.
    • Follow the steps to submit your Background Check.
    • You will receive a further email from Sterling Volunteers once your Background Check is complete and you are eligible to volunteer.  Your background check must be completed annually.
No background check is required until the volunteer reaches their 18th birthday

Step 2 – Fingerprinting with Capital Live Scan (one-time only)

  • Starting 2022, California AB 506 requires all adult volunteers who have direct contact with children in California to have a one-time fingerprint background check as approved by the California Department of Justice to exclude individuals with a history of child abuse.
  • Request a code to cover the cost of the fingerprinting from MDSA by emailing
  • Make an appointment and get fingerprinted at a Live Scan Service Center:
  • Please note, this only needs to be done once unless there is a 5 year gap in volunteer service. It is not transferable from another organization.

Step 3 – Complete Mandatory Volunteer Training

  • Sign in to your inLeague account and then select the “graduation cap” icon on the menu bar to login to eTrainU for your online training
  • Select Training Library Menu / Safe Haven (View Courses)
    • AYSO Safe Haven (outlines the important elements around protecting our children and volunteers)
    • CDC HEADS UP Concussion training
    • Sudden Cardiac Arrest training

Step 4 – Complete the applicable age-appropriate official Referee Certification

Every new referee should aim to take the Regional Referee Training.  For those referees wanting to develop and further their learning the Intermediate and Advanced levels are recommended, but not mandatory.

It’s time to learn how to be a referee! We provide training options depending on the age group you want to referee, both online and in person (subject to current health guidelines). All class options will be found by logging into inleague / eTrainU / Training Library / Refereeing Courses.  Specific course names are listed below and you can search for in-person and virtual options.

Age Group Certification Required Course Options (eTrainU)
8U 8U Referee 8U Official Course – Online or 8U Official – Full In Person Course 
10U & older (required) Regional Referee Regional Referee – Online + In-Person Companion Course.  (This is online + in person field session)


Regional Referee – Full In-Person Course (2-3 in person sessions)

12U (Suggested) Intermediate Referee Intermediate Referee – In Person Course
14U (Suggested) Advanced Referee Advanced Referee Course – In Person Course
16U+ (Suggested) National Referee National Referee Course – In Person Course

Contact our Referee Admin Team for any questions on what class may be best for you or if you are having difficulty locating a session.  Once you have completed your training, we will provide you with the basic referee gear to get started:

  • 8U referees will receive a shirt, whistle and 8U referee badge
  • Regional referees will receive a shirt, shorts, socks, whistle, flags, MDSA coin, referee wallet.
  • Achieving your Intermediate or above certification will earn you another referee shirt with your color preference!

Step 5 – Safesport

All referees are required to take an online training course at Safesport.  Your Safesport course can be accessed via inLeague – 

The US Center for SafeSport is an independent nonprofit committed to building a sport community where participants can work and learn together free of emotional, physical and sexual abuse and misconduct.

Step 6 – Self-Assign on Game Schedule

Once all your required training is complete – the referee schedule should be available for self-assignment.  AND always bring your gear to the game as you will likely be asked to help out.

  • For Fall, Spring and Select Program games: inLeague (someone from refadmin will approve the self-assignment).  

Want to be a USSF Referee as well?

You will need your USSF certification as well in order to referee USSF matches.  MDSA has partnered with AYSO United and Diablo Valley Wolves to create Diablo Valley Futbol Club.  Please visit the DVFC Referee Section of the website for more details.