Referee Information


Thank you for your interest in refereeing!

Region 45 needs over 200 volunteer referees every season to ensure that our 1900-plus kids have a rewarding experience playing soccer. If you have not already done so, please consider signing up today!

All of our officials at AYSO soccer games are volunteers from the community – people like you and me. True to the all-volunteer approach of AYSO, we do not use any paid referees.


We referee because:
  • It helps Los Altos and Mountain View kids learn and play soccer safely!
  • It’s not hard to learn how and experience is not necessary!
  • Training and mentoring are at hand to help you learn the rules easily.
  • It is a great way to help kids learn ethics, values, and sportsmanship
  • It’s great for exercise and building self-esteem and self-discipline!
  • There is no better vantage point to be involved in the game!
  • We have fun!

The returning referees are the backbone of the referee organization. Your experience and dedication are greatly appreciated. We hope that all the wonderful people who were referees for us last year will volunteer again this season.

Region 45 is especially looking to the parents of our younger 8-and-under (8U) and 10-and-under (10U) division players to volunteer to referee. The time commitment is minimal because the majority of the games you referee will be those in which your own child is playing.

Players 12 years and older and older siblings are welcome to referee also. This is a great community service activity to earn high school service hours and to list on college applications!

Refereeing and Game Procedures, by Division

Referees are used for all divisions beginning with 7U (7-and-under) but each division uses referees to a different extent.   The different referee procedures for each division are explained below. Please note that there is no difference between the game rules for boys versus girls within any division.

6-and-Under (6U)

No formal matches.  No formal referee process but referees may be provided if desired.

7-and-Under (7U) Division and 8-and-Under-8 (8U) Division Refereeing

Referees normally start in the 7U or 8U divisions. One official is used per match.

  • Each 7U and 8U team is required to provide a trained referee for the team’s “home” games.
  • Referees must have taken one four-hour training clinic to be certified as AYSO “8U Officials”.
  • Games are worked by one referee only, as center ref. This referee is provided by the home team.
  • On game days, the 7U and 8U teams play a 5v5 game.
  • Matches are two 20-minute halves with a 5-minute half-time break.
  • Fields are approximately half the full regulation field size.
  • 7U Goals are portable hockey-size nets with no goal keeper.
  • 8U Goals are larger but not full-sized with no goal keeper.
  • No offside enforced.
  • Standings are not kept and scores are not recorded in 7U and 8U divisions. In the AYSO spirit, the fun
    is in playing the game!
  • Referees however must still collect game cards from each coach prior to the match, record quarters played and goals scored by each player, and enter that information into BlueSombrero after the match. This information is key to helping us monitor if one team is having consistent blowouts and to help us form balanced teams in future seasons.
  • For easy-to-read 7U/8U guidelines, see 8U Guidelines.

10-and-Under (10U) Division Refereeing

Three officials are used at each match – a referee (center) and two assistant referees (linesmen).

  • Each team must provide a trained Regional Referee for every game.  The team referees also work selected other games as a “neutral” referee (games that do not involve their child) as center referee.  These assignments are done by the referee team captains and are generally for the match immediately preceding or following their own child’s match.  If a team cannot supply their assistant referee (linesman) for a game, it is the responsibility of the team to arrange for an alternate referee.
  • In the 10U division, refereeing requires somewhat more skill and training.  Referees for the 10U division take one day-long training clinic (also offered as three evening clinics) to be certified as AYSO “Regional Referees”.
  • 10U teams play 7v7 games.
  • Matches are two 25-minute halves, with a 5-minute half-time break.
  • Law 11 (the offside law) is introduced at this level.
  • The center referee is responsible for collecting the game cards from each coach prior to the match, recording quarters played and goals scored by each player, and entering that information into BlueSombrero after the match.

12-and-Under (12U) and 14-and-Under (14U) Division Refereeing

Three officials are used at each match – a referee (center) and two assistant referees (linesmen).

  • Each team should have at least one parent who has completed the AYSO “Regional Referee” training to help as a member of the U12/U14 referee pool.
  • In 12U and 14U divisions, players become much more skillful. Refereeing requires increased skill and a complete three-person neutral referee team at every match.
  • The 12U teams play 9v9 matches. 14U teams play 11v11 matches.
  • Fields are full-size but will vary according to the site used.
  • Goals are full-size.
  • 12U matches are two 30-minute halves with a 5-minute half-time break.  14U matches are two 35-minute halves with a 5-minute half-time break.
  • For 12U and 14U divisions, referees are expected to have earned AYSO Intermediate or Advanced referee badges, or have comparable experience. The center referee is responsible for collecting the game cards from each coach prior to the match, recording quarters played and goals scored by each player, and entering that information into BlueSombrero after the match.
  • Region 45 organizes referees for 12U and 14U into four referee teams that rotate on a weekly basis from field to field. Referees typically officiate at two matches each day. The referees are scheduled by a Referee Scheduler Volunteer and special requests for times are honored.

16-and-Under (16U) and 19-and-Under (19U)

Three officials are used to officiate each match – a referee (center) and two assistant referees (linesmen).

  • Matches are played on Sunday.
  • Matches are area-wide combining Area 2A and Area 2J, not just Region 45.
  • Matches are 11v11.
  • Fields and goals are full-size. Exact field dimensions will vary according to the individual site used.
  • Three referees are on the field: a center ref plus two assistants.
  • 16U matches are two 40-minute halves with a 5-minute half-time break.  19U matches are two 45-minute halves with a 5-minute half-time break.
  • 16U/19U referee coordinator schedules three neutral referees for each match, from the pool of trained Area 2A volunteer referees.
  • No team referees.

Entering Game Results in BlueSombrero

Please refer to the following guide to entering match results into BlueSombrero.

AYSO Region 45 BlueSombrero Referee Handbook (Document missing; TO BE UPDATED ASAP)


Weekly Referee and Coach Pizza Get-Together

Every week we host a casual get together where people can ask questions of our experienced referees or coaches or participate in some fun dialogue about our games. This weekly “Talk it Out” session, over pizza and drinks, is held from 7:00 to 8:30 PM on Wednesday nights each week during the season. These sessions are held at Mountain Mike’s Pizza, located in the Blossom Valley Shopping Center, at the corner of Cuesta Drive and Miramonte Avenue in Mountain View.

Because of occasional conflicts with the availability of the meeting room, the day/date and any special topics planned are announced on the Region 45 referee and coach mailing lists early each week.  Be sure to join the referee mailing list (please see the instructions under the Referee Mailing List and Contacts section) and watch for the weekly announcements.

Referee Mailing List and Contact Info

To stay informed about refereeing in Region 45, please join the Region 45 Referee email list.

You can unsubscribe at any time, and the addresses on our mailing list are not shared outside the region.

If you have questions about becoming a referee or refereeing in general, please use
this form.


Refereeing Mentoring and Assessment

Feeling lost on the pitch?   Want some help to improve your performance as a referee?   Need a formal assessment to advance? Need to do some mentoring for service hours for advancement?   See our Referee Mentoring and Assessment page.