Referee Information

Referee General Information

NOTE: Starting the 2017-2018 playing season that the 8 lower mainland districts have amalgamated, therefore, you will be scheduled to officiate Gold teams that come from as far East as Chilliwack. 

Vancouver Youth Soccer Association (VYSA) is always on the lookout for new game officials. Officiating soccer can be a very rewarding experience (yes, even on a cold, wet Vancouver winter day). Contact the VYSA Referee-in-Chief, MARC BOWLEY.

All youth referees are certified through attendance at a referee clinic. There are a number of levels in youth soccer:

  • Small Sided Level
  • Entry Level
  • District Level


The governing body of soccer for British Columbia is BC Soccer. There is a complete section for referees and includes links to Referee Development, Clinics, FIFA Referee links and more.


Every volunteer, aged 19 & over, must have on file the results of a Vulnerable Sector Check, completed within the last 36 months.
They must also register with BC Soccer and take a refresher course. As per BC Soccer Rule 17: No person shall officiate as a referee in any competition under the sanction of the Association who is not on the official list, except in unforeseen circumstances."


From time to time coaches want to give feedback about a referee's performance, both positive and critical. Team officials are encouraged to fill out these reports for games or issues they wish to draw to the attention of the referee-in-chief.

These reports are used by the Referee-in-Chief to help game officials improve their officiating or give praise where praise is due.


Report your games on the Vancouver Referee Game Report page – preferably not later than the end of each weekend.

It is especially important to complete your season's end reports so that you can be paid in a timely fashion. Cup games and girls games scheduled in March through May will be paid through an extra cheque/statement mailing at the end of all of these games.


Please note that the BCCGSL will levy a $500.00 fine to districts for failure of referees to properly understand the (girls’) rules resulting in an un-played game or improper game procedures. See section 4 of the guide for an example.

The following are some rules that you must be aware of for a successful season. For additional information, please familiarize yourself with the boys and girls manuals.

  1. Retreat Line
  2. A retreat line is now required for U11 - U13 games. Please see this BC Soccer U13 Retreat Line Guidelines for further details.

  3. Assistant Referees
  4. Assistant referees are required for all BCCSL Boys' U15 League Cup Games and on a best effort basis for all U15 boys and girls league games as well as for BCC (Girls') Soccer League Championship home games.

    The home club is responsible for providing the assistant referees. Please note if they are not present in your game report.

  5. Fields, Times, Uniforms
  6. Call the field conditions numbers on page 5 of the BCCSL (Boys) Guide after 1pm on Fridays to determine if your game is on a grass or an all-weather field. If your assigned game is scheduled on an all-weather field, do not let teams convince you to go to the grass field under any circumstances.

    Do your best to start games on time. If the 9am game starts late, then all subsequent games will be late. The rule is that as soon as each team has at least seven players, the game can be started.

    As players must be in the proper uniforms, so should the game officials. Set a good example.

    It is not part of your job, nor does the District want you, to contact team officials about the game that you have been assigned ot officiate.

  7. NEW 17/18: Exception to the Duration of the Game
  8. In the case of a game starting later than scheduled the halves may only be reduced if agreed between the referee and the two teams before the start of the match and is in accordance with competition rules. There must be sufficient time to play two (2) equal halves. Team lists must be signed indicating agreement by the team officials and referee.

  9. BC Soccer Photo ID Cards
  10. As of October 1 of the playing season, players and team officials without validated BC Soccer Photo ID cards will not be eligible to play, coach or manage. Exceptions will require written permission from the District Discipline Chair or, when specific to registration, the District Registrar. This must be done in advance of the game.

    BCCGSL (Girls) – if a team fails to produce their BC Soccer Photo ID cards the game is to proceed but will considered to have been played as "under protest" and will be reviewed by the Board.

    BCCSL (Boys) Teams that are unable to provide the referee with all of their team’s BCSA photo ID’s or the above mentioned documentation prior to the start of a scheduled game will default the game, with the points going to the non-offending team. This decision will be made by the League, not the referee.

    With the agreement of both teams, the game may proceed as a “friendly”. The referee will include this information in his game report. Team officials should be aware that any cautions, ejections, expulsions or misconduct resulting from this “friendly” are subject to normal discipline procedures.

    Hand-deliver all Photo ID cards for ejected, BCCSL (Boys') games, regardless of the district they come from to Jackie Larson, 788 East 30 Avenue, Vancouver, by the Monday evening following the game latest. Do not mail them. Jackie can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 604-879-9948, if you have any questions or concerns.

    Photo ID cards for any BCCGSL (Girls) players/team officials ejected in a Vancouver game, regardless of the district they come from will go to Mark Monro, by Monday evenings latest, at 2736 W. 1st Avenue. His contact information is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 604-349-7738.

    Please note that photo ID cards that you have taken for players who you have red carded or team officials that you have ejected become your responsibility to make reasonable security arrangements against risk of unauthorized access until you are able to deliver them to the appropriate District Discipline Rep.

    Social Media: Information regarding the sending off of players or team officials should not be shared as it is confidential. Privacy: BC Soccer takes privacy and social media very seriously and if inappropriate behavior is proven, sanctions range from formal warnings to suspensions from all soccer related activities.

  11. Team List Procedures
  12. Two copies of the team list and the BC Soccer Photo ID cards must be given to the referee before the game. The referee or assistant referees must check all players against the team list and the Photo ID cars. All players' full names and jersey numbers must be on the team list. Turn the cards over to make sure that they are all for this team. It is not good enough to have the Photo ID cards given to you, you must also check them!

    Sign one copy of the team list and give it to the opposing team. Keep the other copy in case there is a protest and as a paper record.

    Keep the Photo ID cards until the end of the game at which time you will keep the card of any expelled player/team official.

    Boys: Where field configuration permits, team officials and their players must stand on one side of the field, while spectators stand on the opposite side of the field. Where the field configuration does not permit this, spectators must not stand behind the technical area.

  13. Pre-Game Handshake
  14. The pre-game handshake will be organized by the team officials or team captains. The BCCSL (Boys) Board suggests that the end-of-match handshake should only be done if both teams are still respectful of each other at that time.

  15. Suspended Individuals
  16. If it is brought to your attention that a player is suspended, ask the team official to have the player stay back at least 15 metres (50 feet) from the side-lines to avoid further problems.

  17. Hands off Please
  18. If your are trying to get a player's attention, do not put your hands on them to do so. For example, in the case of a player or team official that you have had to expel, speak directly to them and say that they are not allowed to be involved in the handshake and they must go to the side-lines. If the player/team official does not comply, do not get involved any further but note this in your discipline report. If a player has chosen to go into the handshake, approach the team official to request that they get the player out of the line. Do not get into a confrontational situation.

    Please show respect to teams, players or other officials. Set an example by being courteous, respectful but firm.

  19. Filling out your Paperwork
  20. BCCSL (Boys): It is not necessary to fill out a BC Soccer game report if there was no misconduct to report.

    Enter your cautions and ejections on the BC Soccer Discipline website (add link here), by no later than Sunday night. Please double-check the spelling of the player's/team official's name and make sure the first and last names are in proper order. Also include the team name and the division section in which they play (Gold 1, Silver 2, Bronze 3, Girls Division 1, 2, 3, etc.).

    Do not put details of yellows or reds in the body of your VYSA game report. Simply answer ‘yes’ under Any Misconducts and then go onto the BC Soccer Discipline site and report the incidents

  21. Ejections (Red Card)
  22. These reports must be explicit. As your are not at the discipline hearing, your report is all that the discipline committee has to go by. If it was a fight and a player was struck by another, was it with an open palm or a closed fist? Did the other player actually hit the opposing player? How many times? Was it an attempt to strike or was contact actually made? How many times? Did the opposing player retaliate? Who was the instigator?

    If it was a fight that involves a player from each team, you will need to refer to the opposing player's involvement. Who started it? If a player came from the side-line, the discipline committee needs to know.

    Be explicit and objective. Do not use terms like: "In my opinion", "In my view" or things like "I feel one game should be sufficient" or "Throw the book at them". The Discipline Committee has guidelines and you should not indicate to the player or team official how many games you think the player will or should be suspended for.

    If it was abusive language, who was it directed at? No one in particular? At a specific person? To you, as the referee? What was said? You don't have to use the F-word, but the discipline committee does have to know what was said, as in the player "called me a F--- A----" and told me "I needed glasses".

    Remember, you cannot card spectators, but you must report their misconduct and/or the team officials' lack of assisting you in controlling their team's fans. Report this under, "Fails to Behave in a Responsible Manner".