Website Manager

American Youth Soccer Organization Providing world class youth soccer programs that enrich children's lives.

Cedar Springs, MI & Surrounding Areas


Keeping The Game Safe, Fair And Fun

Why should you become an AYSO Referee?  We need you.  We can't have games without referees. More importantly, it's rewarding and working with kids is great fun!
The referee's job is to be the official in charge of the game. The ref is the independent arbiter and manager of the game.   Their authority extends to everyone at the field, including players, substitutes, team officials, spectators, and even assistant referees.
The referee's No. 1 concern is to keep the game as safe as possible for the players. While there is risk in all sports, the referee is responsible for minimizing such risks from field conditions, equipment, spectators, and the players.
The referee is responsible for enforcing the Laws of the Game in such a way as to keep the game safe, fair and fun for everyone: the players, the coaches, the spectators and themselves. The referee interferes with the game as little as possible, avoiding making calls for doubtful and trifling offenses. Referees only make calls for offenses they are sure occurred.
We want our kids to continue to play, and they keep playing as long as it is fun. Referees learn that fun soccer varies from age group to age group of players.


1. Act as the timekeeper and keep record of the match

2. Keep track of the game score as required by the game level

3. Manage substitutions with the help of the assistant referees

4. Complete and submit a game report

5. Stop play when a player is or may be injured

6. Restart play when it has been stopped


Referees Code

Always remember that the game is for the players. Player safety and fair play come first.

Study and learn the Laws of the Game and understand the "spirit" of the Laws. Help fellow referees do the same.

Encourage and enforce the AYSO philosophies of "Everyone Plays," "Positive Coaching" and "Good Sportsmanship."

Respect other referees' decisions, and do not publicly criticize another official.

Wear the proper uniform and keep it in good condition.

Maintain good physical condition so you can keep up with the action.

Stay calm when confronted with emotional reactions from players, coaches and parents.

Honor accepted game assignments. In an emergency, find a replacement.

Support good sportsmanship with a kind word to players, coaches and parents of both teams when deserved.

Always be fair and impartial, avoiding conflicts of interest. Decisions based on personal bias are dishonest and unacceptable.

Thank you, Referees!

We applaud all of our volunteer referees!


If you have any questions, please contact our Referee Administrator, Anna Nozkowski, at [email protected] or at (616) 255-1962.

AYSO Referee Certification Levels

There are the six certification levels for AYSO referees. Here is a brief description of the requirements for each. Contact your Regional Referee Administrator (RRA) for more details:

U-8 Official
(minimum age 10)
Complete the U-8 Official Course and pass the U-8 Official Exam.

Assistant Referee
(minimum age 12)
Complete the Assistant Referee Course and pass the Assistant Referee Exam.

Regional Referee
(minimum age 12)
Complete the Regional Referee Course and pass the Regional Referee Exam.

There is an online version and an in-person option for Regional Certification.

Intermediate Referee
(minimum age 14)
Complete 25 games as referee with at least five in U-12 games, complete the Intermediate Referee Course, pass the Intermediate Referee Exam and be (observed) mentored in a U-12 game.

Advanced Referee
(minimum age 16)
Complete 50 games as referee with at least 10 in U-14 and five as an assistant referee (in U-14), complete the Advanced Referee Course, pass the Advanced Referee Exam, pass one assessment as referee and one as assistant referee in a U-14 match, pass the AYSO Physical Fitness Test.

National Referee
(minimum age 18)
Complete 100 games as referee with at least 30 in U-16 and U-19 games and 25 as Assistant Referee with at least 10 in U-19, complete the National Referee Course, pass the National Referee Exam, pass two assessments as referee in U-16 or U-19 matches and one as assistant referee in a U-19 match, complete the AYSO Physical Fitness Test.


As many of you are aware, there are a number of law changes referees must know to successfully perform their duties this Fall 2019 season.  These changes are captured in the below document:
summary of law changes for the fall 2019 season.docx  

There is also a power point presentation of this information, which provides videos to help visualize some of the more complex law changes.  This power point presentation can be accessed at this link:


Volunteer Application
Every volunteer (coach, referee, board member, team parent, etc.) must submit a Volunteer Application each year through the AYSO Blue Sombrero system.  The application is delivered to AYSO National Headquarters for an annual background check, which screens for volunteers’ suitability to work with our participants.  For the 2019/20 soccer year, these background checks will be performed by a contracted 3rd party vendor, Verified Volunteers. In order to complete the background screenings, volunteers must set up an account within the Verified Volunteers system. A link to setup this account will be received by the volunteer via an email from Verified Volunteers. Please do not ignore this email.  It is only after setting up the account with Verified Volunteers and authorizing the background screening will the background check take place.  Once the results of the background check are received by National and by Region 902, the volunteer will be evaluated for the volunteer positions selected.  

Training Requirements
In addition to the annual Volunteer Application and Background Check, there are certain training requirements that must be completed by all volunteers. 

1) Safe Haven 
All volunteers in Region 902 must complete the AYSO Safe Haven course before they are allowed to participate in any Region 902 activities.  This course can be completed online through AYSO's learning platform, AYSOU, under the "Online Courses" tab.  
All volunteers are required to complete this prior to receiving team contact information and prior to holding team practice, so please complete the course at your earliest convenience.

2) CDC Concussion Awareness
All coaches/referees are required to complete this online course ANNUALLY.  The Concussion Awareness training can be completed online through the AYSOU platform.  Once you have successfully completed the course, your certification record will be updated.

To access the online courses, please follow the below steps:

  1. Log into your Blue Sombrero account from the Region 902 home page by clicking the Login button
  2. Click the Home tab (left)
  3. Click the AYSOU tab and click Login (no password should be required)
  4. Click Online Courses and choose your desired courses.

National Partners

Our Sponsors

Contact Us

Cedar Springs AYSO Region 902

13440 Ritchie Avenue, PO Box 667
Cedar Springs, Michigan 49319

Email Us: [email protected]
Phone : 616-822-3533
Copyright © 2020 Region 902  |  Privacy Statement |  Terms Of Use |  License Agreement |  Children's Privacy Policy  Login