BLACKSHIRT PROGRAM OVERVIEW
All of the Rec. League games (2nd grade through 12th grade) need referees to run the game so that the coaches can focus on coaching their young players. The WSA believes that this is a wonderful opportunity for our Rec. and Travel players to get involved, gain experience, and make money too! These "Blackshirt" referees are not USSF certified, but they create a professional feel for the games. They do the equipment checks, control the clock, make the out-of-bounds and foul calls. They also encourage and teach our younger players both by example and with instruction. Training is offered before and during each season by our dedicated adult referee mentors.
Blackshirt referees must be entering sixth grade or higher to work in the WSA league. Adults are also welcome to referee as a Blackshirt.
HOW TO SIGN UP
REGISTER AS A REFEREE on the WSA Site: www.westportsoccer.org > Referees > Youth Referee Registration. Once you have registered, your assignor will send you more info on requesting games and getting paid.
GAME ASSIGNMENT PROCESS
Games are assigned by request. Click HERE for more info.
- WSA League referee black T-shirt that can be purchased at the Athletic Shoe Factory on 1560 Post Rd East in Westport.
- Black shorts (we recommend with pockets)
- Black soccer socks (to the knee)
- Dark sneakers or any cleats
- Flag set (yellow/red),
- Whistle (we recommend buying 2 just in case one get lost)
- WRIST watch with timer/chronometer or count-down function. NO smart phones as timers. No devices dangling around the neck.
- Red/Yellow cards for those working as center referee for 5th grade or higher
- Score cards for those working 5th grade or higher
LAWS OF THE (REC) GAME
All of the standard Laws of the Game apply with the following exceptions:
• Shortened field and game time (guideline only)
2nd Grade - 4 x 10 minutes
3rd/4th Grade - 2 x 25 minutes
5th/6th Grade - 2 x 30 minutes
7th/9th Grade - 2 x 40 minutes
• NO SLIDE TACKLES for 2-6 and should be strongly discouraged for 7-9 as well. Any player who slide tackles should be verbally cautioned, even in 7-9 th grade play, in addition to the foul called for younger players. Any repeat offender should be benched for the remainder of the quarter. No coach or parent should complain about this as this is about the only play that has the potential to cause serious injury.
• No direct kicks or penalty kicks for Grades 2.
• No offside for Grades 2 and liberal offside calls for 3rd and 4th Grade (only if blatant and leads to a goal).
** Special Note Regarding the 2nd Grade Games:
This is our most important age group. If the kids have fun in 2nd grade playing soccer they will stay with the WSA through middle school. There is only one referee assigned to a 2nd grade game.
Remember, the 2nd grade games have a few special rules:
1) 4 x 10 minutes
2) No Coaches on the field
3) Substitutions at anytime (just like hockey)
4) No goalkeeper
5) No offside
6) No penalty kicks
The object is for the players to get used to stopping for the whistle and TO HAVE FUN!
DEALING WITH KIDS
When you are on the field, you take on the responsibility of being the referee in charge of the game. As you know from playing or watching soccer games, there are good refs and not-so-good refs - you should try to act like one of the good refs you have seen. It's OK to smile and be nice, but you are there to make sure that the game is fair and safe. You should also do an equipment check including jewelry (no one may play without shin guards). Anything around the neck, arms must come off. A player must not use equipment or wear anything that is dangerous to himself or another player (including any kind of jewelry). All items of jewelry (necklaces, rings, bracelets, earrings, leather bands. rubber bands. etc.) are strictly forbidden and must be removed. Using tape to cover earrings or other jewelry is not permitted.
Do it the same way they start the Travel games. When you call a foul, explain what the player did wrong. For indirect kicks, including goal and corner kicks, be sure to place the ball at the proper spot and provide guidance to the players as to what should happen next. For throw-ins, use your own discretion about teaching the kids how to do it, and how many retries you allow. As the season progresses, you may decide to award the ball to the other team if there are too many poor re-tries.
DEALING WITH PARENTS & COACHES
At the beginning of each game you should introduce yourself to both coaches and confirm the length of the game. The more professional you before you start the game, the less hassle you will get during the game.
All coaches and parents have been cautioned about harassing the refs. However, sometimes they forget. Dealing with difficult parents is a fact of life in all sports. WSA does not condone inappropriate behavior by any coaches or parents, but you are the referee, and sometimes you will make an unpopular call, and even an occasional error. In general, you have the following options when dealing with difficult adults: First, ignore them. Second, make your call again louder: "That's a trip by No. 10 blue! White ball!" Third, if you think it is appropriate, go with your ref partner and talk with the coach during a break between quarters. Explain what you called and why. If she still disagrees, just say "That's the way I saw it. That's the call." and walk away. You are allowed to make mistakes, and you may tell the coach if you wish to acknowledge the error, but you can't change the call once the match has been restarted.
If a coach or parent is still abusive, you should appeal to the opposing coach for assistance. Also, if there is an older referee around, you can ask for their guidance. Last, but most important, let the Directors of Referees know immediately following the game. If possible, provide the name of the coach or at least the team name, field where the game was and age group. The Director will contact the coach and/or the specific Division
Commissioner and resolve the issue. Note: The Director also likes to hear about positive experiences and good coaches.
GETTING CERTIFIED BY THE USSF TO BECOME A YELLOWSHIRT REFEREE
Any player who will be at least age 13 by June 30 of the year they are certified may take the official Level 8 Referee Certification course to obtain a USSF Referee badge. This badge allows referees to work Travel games. This is an excellent badge to have and will allow you to work (make good money) anywhere. The courses currently consist of taking an online course/test, and an In-Class and Field session. Check to see when the next courses are scheduled (usually in Jan - March) at the CT State Referee Program website: www.ctreferee.net
updated 08/2017 - kwg