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Announcements (Current & Archived)

   2016 Pilot Cup 5/26/2016  

The Pilot Cup

Greetings fellow referees,
We can use your help this year at the Pilot Cup Soccer Tournament. It is a 6 day long (May 31st- June 5th) tournament involving elementary school kids from Newport Beach, Corona del Mar, Costa Mesa and Huntington Beach. There are approximately 320 games being played, we need lots of help. There are all levels of play
G4 & B4 divisions - 3rd and 4th grade girls and boys divisions, 8-10 years old, similar to U10 and U11 in AYSO
G6 & B6 divisions - 5th and 6th grade girls and boys divisions, 11-13 years old, similar to U12 and U13 in AYSO
Each division has varying levels of play - Gold (some club players, Extra players and rec players) Silver (some Extra players, mostly rec players and some new players) Bronze (rec players and some new players)
During the week, games start as early as 3:30pm with the last games of the day under the lights with a 7:30pm start. Saturday's games start at 9:00am with the last games of the day starting at 3:15pm.
If you are available and interested, please contact me and I can add you to the referee list, you will then be able to self assign through Schedules etc. when the schedule is posted, (our referee list is separate from Area Q's Matchtrak list).
Let me know if you have any questions and thank you,
Jeff Grant
Referee Administrator

   2014 Harvest Cup Thank You's 10/21/2014 
Thank You for Your Harvest Cup Service!!! 
The 34th Annual Harvest Cup concluded Sunday evening. Once again North and South Irvine provided referee coverage for this city tournament. While coverage was thin at times, I believe that we were able to get an official on every game.  I know that many of you signed up to do multiple games and stayed past your schedule to take on additional assignments. Our region and the Harvest Cup thank you.  Without your service, this tournament would not take place. I would like to acknowledge those North Irvine referees who helped out during the tournament.  I realize that some who stepped up at game time may be missing from this list. Feel free to let me know who I may have missed.

Doug Birozy Tony Nhu
Gary Bye Tim Rychel
Mark Chaikovsky Arman Sassani
Oleg Chaikovsky Todd Schaus
Bo Cosic Chad Shahin
Ogi Cosic Jeff Sparks
Kami Esfahani Paul Stradling
John Firth Todd Taylor
Linda Hayden Eric Wang
Mike Miller Tom Whitehair
Kevin Moniz Chuan Yu
Mehrdad Motamedi Craig Howard

I would also like to thank the following referees from other cities who helped out as well:
Justin McBride
Vince Rodriguez  
Lance Yurada

  Referee Reminders 9/30/2014 

It is always a good idea to remind ourselves of some issues to pay attention to during the season. Here are several issues to keep in mind.

"Take a Knee"
Referees should not be giving this command to players. We hear this phrase most often at younger levels when the referee has stopped play to deal with an injury.  When a referee is stopping play to deal with an injury, he needs to deal with two issues.  One, he wants to be sure that play has stopped.  The best way to do this is to secure the ball after whistling the ball out of play.  If the referee has an A/R nearby, the A/R may assist the referee in securing the ball. Sometimes, the referee may ask a player to hold onto the ball.  Secondly, and more importantly, the referee needs to deal with the injured player.

The "take a knee" phrase was probably devised as an easy way to encourage young players to stop playing.  If the coach wishes to tell his team to take a knee, that is his prerogative. But, the referee should not be asking the players to take a knee.

Referee Coaching
As referees in the younger divisions, we often need to help educate the players.  We need to be careful not to cross over the line into the coach's role.  One example is that of a throw in.  It is perfectly acceptable to remind the player taking the throw in of the mandatory mechanics of the throw in under the Laws of the Game.  Such a reminder might be to keep the feet down and on or behind the touch line.  Another might be to throw the ball from behind and over the thrower's head. These instruction should be given equally to both teams if they are given. An example of something the referee should not get involved with is choosing which member of the team will take the throw in. That is the players' and/or the coach's decision.

We may make sure that player's are correctly positioned per the Laws of the Game for a restart such as a kick off, but we should not position players for a tactical reasons.

Player Inspections
Please be thorough in your player inspections. We need to be vigilant in looking for jewelery. Also, be on the lookout for players putting the socks on first, then the shin guards, and then folding the socks down over the shin guards.  Shin guards need to be put on under the game socks so that they are completely covered.

Touching Players
Put simply, referees should not touch players. The one time at a match where some touching may occur is after the game and after the team handshake where players may approach the referees for a handshake or a high five.  Other than that time, there is no reason for touching players. While this may seem harsh, it is better to be conservative in these situations.

If there is some equipment question during the player inspection or during the game, the referee should refrain from touching the equipment in question.  If the item needs to be examined then ask the player or the coach to remove the item so it can be inspected.  If there needs to be an adjustment to the player's uniform or gear, then a coach, a parent, or a teammate may help that player make the adjustment.  The referee should not do the adjusting.

  Referee Welcome Back Night 9/5/2014  

Our referee welcome back night will be held at Friday, September 5th at Harvard Park Community Center. The meeting will begin at 6 pm.

  Referee Training at 10/6 Galaxy Game 9/27/2013  

Please join us in a referee training session hosted by the L.A. Galaxy organization and learn to have more fun in your games.

The training session will include discussion of key referee topics, video clip analysis with decision making training, and specific tips that help referees at all levels deliver good refereeing.

After the referee training session, enjoy an MLS professional game between the L.A. Galaxy vs. Chivas USA, an exciting MLS rivalry!

Below are the details for this event and how to purchase your tickets.  A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the AYSO Hugo Bustamante Playership Grant, which helps ensure that every child gets the chance to play soccer.

Event Information

WHAT               Referee training for all referees and an MLS professional game (L.A. Galaxy vs. Chivas U.S.A.)

WHEN              Sunday October 6 --  Training from 11:30 to 1:15 p.m. --  Game at 2:00 p.m.       

WHERE            StubHub Center, L.A. Galaxy’s home

WHO                Tom Bobadilla, former FIFA AR, USSF Referee Committee, National Instructor/Assessor; AYSO National Administrator  

TOPIC              Become a better referee and always have fun!  -- Interactive session for all referees with discussion, video analysis, etc.

TICKET            Includes referee training session, L.A. Galaxy souvenir, L.A. Galaxy game

PRICES            Ranging from $18 to $68.50

                          Season Ticket Holders can attend the session – Please contact Eugene Wu at (310) 630-2241 or

CONTACT        Eugene Wu

  Heat 9/7/2013  

Heat Cramps

When a body loses too much water and salt through sweat, muscles tend to cramp (particularly in the abdomen and legs). Players suffering from these painful "heat cramps" should:
        Rest in a shady spot.
        Sip one glass of cool water every 15 minutes until the pain relents.
        If the player's parents are on hand, have them help by:
            Massaging the affected muscles. 
            Applying cool, wet cloths to help relax the muscles.

Heat Exhaustion

Players with cool, moist, or flushed skin, heavy sweating, headache, nausea, dizziness, or muscle cramps may be experiencing heat exhaustion. This condition occurs when, because of high humidity or restrictive clothing, sweat is not properly evaporated and the body cannot cool down. To assist a player experiencing heat exhaustion

    Have the player lie down in a shady spot and elevate his or her feet.
    Remove the child's shoes, shin guards, and socks.
    Apply cold packs to the armpit and scalp areas.
    Have the player drink water or an electrolyte solution.
    Dampen the player's skin with cool cloths.
    Fan the player to help evaporate excess sweat.
    If the player's parents are on hand, have them:
        Remove the player's shirt.
        Apply cold packs to the groin area.

Heat Stroke

When a body completely loses the ability to cool itself, the internal temperature continues to rise resulting in heat stroke. If a player's temperature rises too quickly, brain damage and/or death may result. Players suffering from heat stroke may have hot, dry skin -- those with fair complexions may appear red, while darker-skinned individuals may appear gray. Victims may also experience a very rapid pulse and extremely high body temperature. In some cases, victims of heat stroke may seem confused, unresponsive, or even suffer from seizures. Recovery from heatstroke depends on the amount of time it takes to return the body temperature to normal, so immediate medical attention is imperative.

If you suspect that a player is suffering from heat stroke

    Call 911 immediately.
    Follow the recommended treatment for heat exhaustion. 
    DO NOT attempt to give any liquids.
    Contact the player's parents.

Professional soccer players lose seven and a half pounds of sweat during a game. In order to avoid serious heat-induced conditions, players must drink enough fluids to replace that sweat. Every player should carry his or her own sports bottle to practice, and coaches need to stop for drink breaks every 15 minutes during the summer. Symptoms of dehydration may include

    Dry lips and tongue.
    Sunken eyes.
    Dizziness or a loss of energy.

  Extra U-9 Play Off Rules 11/9/2012  

*Important Information for Extra U9 Play-Off Games Beginning 11/10/2012:*

Please check the U9 game schedule to determine if you have a pool or
playoff game before you leave for the field. Pool games can end with a tied
score while all playoff games require a winner.

If you are scheduled for a playoff game, then please read and print the
Area 11Q Playoff Game guidelines (below).

If you have any questions, then please call your Regional Referee
Administrator or the Area Referee Administrator, Linda Hayden, at (949)

13 Playoff Games
13.1 Game duration shall be as listed below unless specified otherwise in
the program rules.

13.1.1 U10: Two 25 minute halves
13.1.2 U12 and older: Two 30 minute halves

13.3 Playoff pool games may end in a tie, unless noted otherwise.

13.4 In elimination or medal round games, ties will be decided with two
full five (5) minute extra time periods to determine a winner. Sudden
victory or “golden goal” will not be played.

13.4.1 Teams playing short in regulation time as a result of a send-off(s)
shall continue to do so in overtime.
13.4.2 The teams shall change ends of the field after the completion of the
first overtime period. The second overtime period begins immediately after
the end of the first extra time period.

13.5 Should a tie remain after the completion of extra time, the winner
shall be determined by the taking of kicks from the penalty mark in
accordance with the Laws of the Game. (PLEASE review the LOTG procedures)
ONLY the players on the field at the end of the second overtime may
participate in the taking of Kicks From The Mark.

13.6 As deemed by the referee, area director or program director, if there
is not sufficient time for the overtime periods (due to darkness or
delaying the start of the next game) the game will be decided by the taking
of kicks from the penalty mark.

  Touchline Atmosphere 10/31/2012  

The season is starting to wind down.  The playoffs are approaching.  In the U-9 through U-14 divisions teams will be making an extra effort to secure the best standing possibleThis could lead to increased tension on the touch lines among the parents and the spectators.  As referees, we need to be even more vigilant to keep the game safe, fun and fair for the players.

Please remember that spectator cheering is limited to cheering that is positive and encouraging.  It may NOT include coaching.  Coaching is limited to the two coaches named on the line up card.  Those coaches may coach in a manner that is Positive, Instructional, and Encouraging.  In the U-9 divisions and older, the coaches must remain within ten yards of the half way line and be at least one yard off of the touchline.  A pre-game reminder to the coach as to his responsibility for his sideline's behavior is a good idea.

The spectators and coaches of a team may not make any comments directed at the players of the opposing team.  The only exception to this is a compliment for a good play.  Any other comment is not allowed.  This includes comments like: "no pushing" or "no elbows", etc.

In summary, please be attentive to the touchlines.  If you are an A/R, please help the referee control the touchline on which you are stationed.  Please react quickly to any situation that may arise.  Let's keep the game safe, fun, and fair for our players.

   2012 Harvest Cup Thank You's 10/23/2012 

I would like to thank the referees who volunteered for Harvest Cup games this year. Without their help, there would be no tournament. Thanks to these referees who either signed up or were spotted on the fields. I apologize if I have missed anyone.

  • Doug Birozy
  • Gary Bye
  • Ken Cook
  • Dave Cooper
  • Kami Esfahani
  • Brian Foster
  • Samuel James
  • Mike Morrison
  • Tim Rychel
  • Sarah Stewart
  • Noah Wellikson
  • Jack Brine
  • Oleg Chaikovsky
  • Brittany Cooper
  • Alonza Cruse
  • John Firth
  • Anil Hiteshi
  • Rob McAuley
  • Mehrdad Motamedi
  • Jeff Sparks
  • Don Terres
  • Tom Whitehair

  2012 Harvest Cup 10/16/2012  

The Harvest Cup schedule is now available.

Do NOT sign up to referee your own child's game.  It would be best if your child does not attend either school that is playing.  (That being said, if you are going to attend a
Harvest Cup game, please bring your referee gear in case you are needed to help out.)

The Harvest Cup is a single elimination tournament, which means that the loser of every game is knocked out.  This can lead to some very intense games.  There will also be a wide range of playing abilities, especially in the first or second rounds.  On one end, there will be players who have never played an organized soccer game in their lives.  On the other end, there will be very skilled players from elite club teams.   Expect later rounds of the elementary games to approach the level of a U-13 Extra game.  The middle school games could approach the level of a U-16 game.

There will also be a wide spectrum of spectators, with a wide range of soccer knowledge, and a  wide range of sensibilities when it comes to cheering.  It is very important to remind the coaches before the game of their responsibility to control their team's touch line.  Also remind them to keep their spectators between  the penalty areas  and 3 yards from the touch lines.

Please read the Harvest Cup rules BEFORE signing up:

If you have any trouble viewing or signing up for games, please contact me at

Harvest Cup games are under G-11, B-11, G-13 and B-13 on October 19th and 21st:

  A/R Positioning 10/8/2012  

Please remember the correct positioning for an A/R.  In general, the A/R should be in line with whichever of the following three positions is CLOSEST to the goal line that the A/R is responsible for:

- the second to last defender
- the ball
- the half way line

For more complete details, read the Interpretation of the Laws of the Game and Guidelines for Referees beginning at page 81.

  U-7 & U-8 Reminders 10/5/2012  

Here are some reminders for those doing U-7 and U-8 games.

U-8 GK Punts:  In U-8 there seems to be a misconception that goalkeepers are not allowed to punt the ball.  This is not true.  Goalkeepers who have controlled the ball while it is in play may use a punt as a method of releasing the ball.  Throwing the ball is another method. 
U-8 Goal Kick restarts (which occur after the ball has gone out of play over the goal line, last touched by an attacking player, but not scoring a goal) are taken anywhere in the penalty area as a free kick from the ground.

Kick Off:  When restarting the game with a Kick Off, we need to be sure that each team is on their own side of the field and that the defenders are outside of the center circle.  Please take the time to make sure that all players are properly positioned before whistling for the restart.

Throw ins:  During the first half of the season, we allow a retake for an improper throw in.  Please use this option to help teach the players to make proper throw ins.  If a player is already on the field before taking the throw, please remind them to move back to the touch line before taking the throw.

  Coaches 10/3/2012  

We will discuss the issue of the coach and assistant coach (or two co-coaches.)  This issue is an important one.  Coaches will have been currently registered and Safe Haven trained.  This has been done for the safely of the players.  For a match to be played, a team must have at least one coach, but not more than two.  A team might have more than two coaches at practices, but not on game day.  As referees, we need to be diligent in knowing who these individuals are.  In Extra, U-16 and U-19 games it is easier to identify the coaches, because all coaches have to have AYSO ID cards.  In rec, there are no ID cards.  That is why it is a good idea for us to identify the coaches before the game starts, and before any situations arise.  The ideal time for this would be in conjunction with the team safety inspection and check in.  When you are handed the lineup card, confirm that two coaches are listed.  If it is a match with ID cards, the names should match the IDs.  If the lineup card does not list a second coach, then ask the coach if there is an assistant coach.  Either note the assistant’s name, or note the fact that there is no assistant.  Hopefully, both the referee and his assistants will be present at the team check in, so that the referee crew is familiar with the identities of the coaches.

Having armed themselves with the identities of the coaches, you might ask how a referee or an A/R will use this information during a match.  In an ideal match, where there are no questions about coaching or the behavior of the coaches, you might not need the information at all.  In many matches, however, it will enable the referee or his A/R’s to identify coaching which is being done by non-coaches, or to identify coaches who are coaching from outside of their technical area.  If coaching is being done by someone who is not one of the two coaches, usually a parent, then the referee crew needs to stop that from happening.  If one of the referee crew notices that one of the coaches is coaching from outside of their technical area, then they need to remind the coach to stay within the technical area.  This is defined as within ten yards of the half way line in U-9 and above, and between the penalty areas in U-7 and U-8.

There is another situation where the identities of the coach and his assistant are important.  Hopefully, this situation will rarely occur, but it does.   It involves coaches who “fail to conduct themselves in a responsible manner.”    The referee “may, at his discretion, expel them from the field of play…” (L.O.T.G. Law 5)  If a coach is expelled, then only his properly identified assistant (or co-coach) may assume the coaching duties.  If both coaches have been expelled, or a coach has been expelled who has no assistant coach or co-coach, then the game must be terminated.  Even though this may seem like a harsh outcome for the players, it is done for their safety.

To put it briefly, know who the coaches are in your games!

  Jewelry 9/24/2012  

Once again, we need to discuss the issue of jewelry.   Even though  the word may be spelled in different ways, we should be uniform in how we deal with it on the soccer field.  Ironically, there really has not been any change in the Laws of the Game or our Regional rules on this issue in the past few years.

2012/2013 Laws of the Game,  Law 4, page 21:

A player must not use equipment or wear anything that is dangerous to himself or another player (including any kind of jewellery).

2012/2013 Laws of the Game,  page 68 (Interpretation & Guidance to the Referee):

All items of jewellery (necklaces, rings, bracelets, earrings, leather band, rubber bands, etc.) are strictly forbidden and must be removed.  Using tape to cover jewellery is not acceptable.

A.Y.S.O. Region 213 Guidelines:
13. Proper Dress
No jewelry of any kind (including rings, chains, any kind of bracelet, or earrings) may be worn at games, practices, and scrimmages.  Earrings must be removed – placing tape over them is not acceptable.
Please follow the Law and regional rule.  No matter what the excuse, do not allow players to play if they are wearing pierced earrings or any other type of jewelry.  Do not allow the player to play if they tape over their earrings.  We are responsible for the safety of the game.  This is a safety issue.  Also, by allowing the player to play, you have now created the expectation that the player will be able to play the next game with taped earrings.   This is unfair to the next referee who has a match with that team  and who has to deal with the bad precedent that has been set.    We need to be consistent in our application of the Law.

The ONLY exception to a bracelet being worn is a medical alert bracelet that is taped in a safe manner, with the important information remaining visible.

The prohibition against rubber bands and/or a leather band applies to bands worn as jewelry, typically around the wrist.  Soft bands such as hair ties may be used to hold a player's hair.  Hair pins, hair clips, barrettes and other hard objects may not be used in the hair.

 Goal Celebrations 

The following is from the 2012/2013 Laws of the Game, page 120, the interpretation and guidelines for referees section:

"Celebration of a goal

While it is permissible for a player to demonstrate his joy when a goal has been scored, the celebration must not be excessive.

Reasonable celebrations are allowed, but the practice of  choreographed celebrations is not to be encouraged when it results in excessive time-wasting and referees are instructed to intervene in  such cases.

A player must be cautioned if:
    • in the opinion of the referee, he makes gestures which are provocative, derisory or inflammatory
    • he climbs on to a perimeter fence to celebrate a goal being scored
    • he removes his shirt or covers his head with his shirt
    • he covers his head or face with a mask or other similar item

Leaving the field of play to celebrate a goal is not a cautionable offence in itself but it is essential that players return to the field of play as soon as possible.

Referees are expected to act in a preventative manner and to exercise common sense in dealing with the celebration of a goal."

This is more of an issue in older level games.  It is important to heed the last sentence and use common sense, and to be quick to prevent  any celebration from getting out of hand, or becoming demeaning in  nature.