Why be a Referee?

No soccer game sanctioned by California Youth Soccer League can be played without a referee licensed by the United States Soccer Federation. This means no TPSC game can take place without a qualified referee. TPSC trains and helps anyone interested to become a licensed referee. Also we need qualified referees to insure player safety and to promote play in accordance with the Laws of the Game.

For adults, refereeing provides an opportunity to:

  • Promote player safety.      

  • Contribute to the community and children’s teams.                                                      

  • Lend maturity to the competitive (and often emotional) environment in which games are played.

  • Be a role model.

  • Learn a new skill and the Laws of the Game.

For younger people (under 18), refereeing provides an opportunity to:

  • Earn cash ($10-$40 depending on age group and classification of game).

  • Develop decision making skills.

  • Develop confidence and maturity.

  • Learn the Laws of the Game.

  • An opportunity for Community Service.


Email Kim Stibich for details at

** Read: Advice for New Referees 

Sign Up for Games (Online)

Licensed Grade 8 or Grade 9 referees may request to be assigned to officiate games for the TPSC recreational and competitive leagues.  Games will be asssigned through our referee assignor site.  Please check back for details coming soon.

Referee Cheat Sheet

We have teams playing in many different playing leagues with many sets of modified rules.

Download and print Cheat Sheet

USSF Handout for Referees

While designed for new referees, well worth a read for even the most experienced among us. Read Here 

Referee Courses 

TPSC holds at least one entry-level course each year. You can check the website for information on local courses.  You will need to renew your license each year and pay a renewal fee.  You can only do this via the site.

There are many other local referee courses in the area each spring and summer. If our own dates don’t work out for you, you can often sign up for courses with our sister leagues in Mill Valley, Central Marin, Dixie (San Rafael) or others.  All approved courses are listed on the CNRA website!  Just look for Entry Level, Grade 8 Referee Courses in the West Region.

Special Notes:

Safety Note about Goalposts!
Since 1979, there have been 27 deaths in the United States alone from goalposts that have fallen over on players. DO NOT USE unanchored goalposts. Period! Before practice and games, make sure that the posts are anchored/staked/weighted to the ground. If you find goalposts that are not anchored for games, let the club know immediately.

Dear Parents, Coaches, Managers:
The TPSC is responsible for providing referees for all of our Competitive Division home games. Failure to do so will result in forfeiting the match. For obvious reasons, it is important that we train as many people as possible to become certified referees!

Primary Responsibility of Assistant Referee

From: Alfred Kleinaitis
Manager of Referee Development and Education
United States Soccer Federation
Subject: Priority of Assistant Referee Responsibilities

In a recent professional exhibition match, a group of referees, instructors, and assessors was discussing an incident in which the assistant referee was faced with a conflict in priorities – whether to hang back and observe the goalkeeper with the ball in case the goalkeeper went outside the penalty area with the ball still in his hands (a handling offense) or to move up field to get in position for assisting with offside in case there was a quick counterattack after the goalkeeper released the ball. The conversation was vigorous, but the matter should have been easily settled by reviewing the relative importance of the two possible violations.

A similar conflict in priorities can arise when a team is attacking along the touchline and the assistant referee must choose between looking up the touch line to signal if the ball leaves the field and looking across the field to monitor whether an attacker moves into an offside position. Dividing attention this way is not impossible, but both responsibilities will suffer. The single most important responsibility for the assistant referee is making timely and accurate offside decisions. All other duties outlined in Law 6 are secondary.

Offside decisions are often “game critical” regardless of their specific result. A decision for offside is just as likely to be challenged as a decision against an offside violation. Whether the issue is offside position or involvement in active play, if a goal is called back, allowed, or interrupted as a result, the decision will be controversial. It must therefore be supported by the best fitness, mechanics, communications, and concentration that the assistant referee can bring to bear.

If there is not much difference between where the assistant referee must focus to handle each different duty then clearly both duties should be attempted. As one duty increasingly becomes a distraction for the other, the assistant referee should attempt to adjust positioning to reduce the conflict. Where the distraction is too great, the only solution is to focus on offside, leaving to other members of the officiating team the responsibility of covering to the best of their abilities the less critical conflicting duty.

Among the topics which must be covered in the officiating team’s pregame discussion is the issue of what the assistant referee should do to resolve a conflict between offside and such other responsibilities as determining if the ball has left the field, which team has possession, and the occurrence of violations which do not involve violence.

March 24, 2009