Advice to New Referees               Offside Rules

Referees Corner

Hello world

For BUSA's House Rules (slight variations to FIFA's standards to accommodate various young age groups) visit the BUSA House Rules page.


BUSA uses United States Soccer Federation (USSF) certified referees and club referees for officiating recreational soccer matches.  Referees will be compensated based on type of game assigned, not their individual referee certification.  To officiate matches a referee has to be either a current USSF or BUSA Club referee for that calendar year and attend at least 1 pre-season BUSA referee meeting. You must be at least 12 years old to become a referee.


USSF Referee

If you would like to become a USSF certified referee you must attend one of the physical referee courses (Grassroots) listed on the LSA website.

The cost for the training and annual recertification is $50 and often there is a $30 fee for the training venue.  These fees are not reimbursed by BUSA.

USSF certification allows you to be placed on the statewide referee list and allows you to officiate games anywhere in the state and at youth tournaments.  This is done by “referee assignors” who have access to local/regional current referee lists.

If you wish to re-certify as a USSF referee you need to complete the online course also listed on the LSA website. If your certification has expired and you would like to transition to a club referee you must attend the club referee re-certification training at BUSA for that year; outlined below.


Club Referees

BUSA club referees are trained using the same instruction material as official USSF referee training, however, the classroom training will be conducted online and then supplemented by an in-person training session at our fields (usually 3-4 hours). Club referees will not be registered with the state referee association and will not be able to officiate games outside of BUSA.

Club Referees must complete the online training, the in-person training, and attend 1 of the preseason referee meetings to be assigned matches. There is no fee to become a club referee.

If you wish to sign up for the BUSA Club Referee Program, you can do so by following the instructions below...


Recertification for Club referees must be completed every year to officiate matches for the following year.  To recertify a referee must complete at least the 5 following modules in the online training portal; Concussions, Law 5, Law 11, Law 12, Law 13. (link above).  Once complete, e-mail the 5 completion certificates (can be condensed on a single file) to BUSA.


Pre-season Referee Meeting

All referees must attend at least one of these meeting before each season; we usually have two per season.  It lasts approximately 1 hour and is designed to allow you to meet the BUSA scheduler, learn any new updates to the LOTG, and discuss the specific BUSA and age modified rules.  This also allows an opportunity for newer referee to meet the more experienced ones.  This meeting will serve as the initial scheduling conference so if you have specific days you know you are going to be out of town or unavailable please be prepared to give those dates with the scheduler.


Referee Assignment Procedures 

Referees will be assigned matches by the BUSA scheduler.  Good communication is necessary between the referees and the scheduler to determine availability, personal confidence level, and acknowledgment of assignments. The decision for “who refs which game(s)” is not made using a concrete formula; it is extremely subjective due to the numerous variables involved in these decisions. Some of the variables are: officiating competence, experience, personal confidence, time conflicts, other referee ability, punctuality, travel requirements, age, individual professionalism, and known recalcitrance in players or coaches.  Just because a referee is older or more experienced doesn’t mean he/she will get “better” assignments. The key to receiving your preferred assignments is to officiate games well, be on time, be in the correct uniform, be willing to learn and improve, work well with other referees, acknowledge your assignments promptly, and to talk with the scheduler routinely so he/she understands your preferences and knows your availability.  BUSA will try to accommodate your preferences as much as possible, but realize it is not always possible.


Referee Duties and Responsibilities

  • Purchase a uniform (yellow ref Jersey, black shorts, black socks, whistle, cards, and a watch)
  • Arrive for game assignment no less than 15 minutes before published game start. Refs not at the game within 10 minutes of the start time may lose their assignment.
  • Fair and courteous treatment of all participants and spectators
  • Communicate with the BUSA scheduler routinely and identify unavailability dates