One of the great things about being an AYSO referee is that there are a lot of ways for the new and the not-so-new referees to get help in improving their referee skills. Beyond the courses we teach, the monthly referee meetings, and the tons of helpful advice we get from the touch lines, anyone who is interested can always ask to be mentored, observed, or assessed to get advice on not only things they need to improve on, but also things that they do well.
Mentoring is the feedback you get from your fellow referees. It can be the informal discussions that you should have with your referee team after each match, or it can be a more formal process where you can have another referee watch your game to give you advice. Mentoring occurs at all referee levels and is one of the more valuable ways to learn how to improve your match skills.
If you would like to be mentored, please contact our Director of Mentoring. Try to contact us at least 1 to 2 weeks before you would like to be mentored, and let us know the time, date, and place of the match that you are scheduled to do. We will work with you to schedule a mentor to come to your match.
Observations and Assessments
Observations and assessments are formal ways for referees to be evaluated for badge upgrades, but also can be done informally to get more structured feedback. Formal observations are required to upgrade from a Regional badge (U10) to an Intermediate badge (U12). Assessments are used to move from Intermediate to Advanced (U14) to National (U16 and U19).
||Game Level Required
||Yes, center and AR
|Yes, center and AR
You can schedule an observation or assessment by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Intermediate observations and the pre-assessments (Area policy to check that you are ready for an upgrade) are scheduled internally within Region 84, so those are pretty easy to do. For the formal assessment; however, we need to bring in an assessor from outside the Region, so we need at least 2 weeks lead time. Once we have the time, date, and place of the match that you are scheduled to do, we will work with you to schedule the assessor.
Things to do to Make Your Assessment Easier
- Have a good pre-game discussion with your referee team. You might not fail a Advanced assessment because of a poor pre-game, but it will increase the chances for failure in the match because of the confusion that results. You will fail a national assessment with a poor pre-game.
- Stay within 10 to 15 yards of play. If you are consistently far from play, you will miss fouls, lose credibility, and risk the safety of the players.
- Work on your foul/non-foul recognition. We like to see a good balance between enforcing the laws (controlling the match) and applying the spirit of the game (allowing play to flow). In other words, keep the players safe, the match fair; but let them have fun.
- Show teamwork. We like to see a lot of eye contact and acknowledgement of signals during the match.
- Use sharp signals, a clear whistle, and your voice. Poor performance here and you risk losing credibility with the players, coaches, and spectators.
- As an AR, keep with the second to last defender or the ball if it passes that defender. We have strict standards for AR upgrades in Area L. We expect to see the AR even with the defender or hustling down the line after ball. Why? Not being in position to see if the attacker was offside when a goal is scored can lead to loss of match control.
- Know the laws and the correct restarts. You’ll be more comfortable and have an easier time in your matches. Major mistakes here are another avoidable way to lose control of the match.
AYSO has a great program for helping referees improve their skills, so take advantage of it and give us a call!