Referee Guide

Referee Guide

The CMFSC Referee Guide | All Resources in one place.

The Referee Development Program at CMFSC is set-up to offer a structured support network to aid new and existing referees in our club improve their officiating. Today’s successful referee places a strong emphasis on fitness training and FIFA laws knowledge. They are always looking for ways to improve their performance both on and off the field of play. This is the approach we will encourage our referees to strive for at CMFSC.

The below topics have been assembled based on the questions we receive. Please ensure you review the information and follow-up with an email if you have further questions:

Games are normally posted on Sunday by CMFSC's Field Scheduler, Michelle Zorzenone. Once logged on, go to‚"availability" and select the dates and times that you are available. Then, go to "games" and click "all unassigned games" to request the games that you would like to referee. You will have until Tuesday at noon to request games as CMFSC's Head Referee, Pete Dragon, assigns U12 SEL - U18 games and Minis Scheduler, Andrea Brizuela, assigns U8 - U12 House games at that time.

Instructional Video:

Referee clinics are generally held at the beginning of each season (almost every Friday in September and October). Clinic dates are posted on the website here

All discipline reporting for BCCSL will go through the BC Soccer Discipline site https://bcsoccer.net/discipline-system

Referees are reminded to file their misconduct reports within 24 hrs after the match.

Different game ages and divisions require referees with certain experience and "abilities". To be able to request these specific games, referees must gain more experience, go through mentorships, and attend clinics offered by CFMSC. 

Q: Why didn't I receive a game this weekend, even when I requested multiple games?

A: Unfortunately, sometimes there are multiple requests for the same games, especially at popular venues like Towncentre and Mundy Park and at popular times (10am-2pm). We encourage referees to request as many games as possible, even if they were to overlap, to increase the chances of being assigned games. There will always be vacant games after the first round of assignments have been posted which gives everyone an opportunity to referee more games, if interested.

If you encounter an incident with a coach, parent or player, for Divisional games, write the incident in full detail in your game report. If an incident occurs in a Minis game, contact Andrea Brizuela or Peter Dragan directly.

Payments are made on the following month, between the 5th-10th days through electronic funds transfer (directly deposited into your bank account). If you have not set up your account details, please do so here.

1) Check game details the night before your assignments

2) For small-sided games (u08-u12), arrive at least 20 minutes prior to kickoff

3) For divisional games (u13-u18), arrive at least 30 minutes prior to kickoff

4) Based on venue, parking, and poor weather, some games might require an earlier arrival

5) Referees must wear/bring the following:

  • cleats (preferably black)
  • black socks (up-to-knee length)
  • tucked-in jerseys (yellow and black)
  • flags
  • pealess whistle (Fox40 recommended)
  • hand watch (not a stopwatch)
  • 6) Badges must be worn on the left side of jerseys and are clearly visible (double sided tape or Velcro work best)

    7) On cold days, jackets and thermal layers are permitted to be worn underneath the jerseys

    8) Team checks are to be conducted as soon as possible to ensure that kickoff occurs according to schedule:

  • introduction to coaches
  • acquiring team lists, player cards, and any permits(call-up players)
  • player equipment inspection(cleats, jewelry, etc)
  • field inspection(net checks, potholes, lines, penalty marks, corner flags, etc)
  • AR pre-game briefing(when applicable)
  • warm-up and stretch(after the previous duties have been completed)
  • If you are a new referee, feel free to print out this thread and bring it to your games so that you don't forget anything! 

Our Referee Development Staff structure programs that will offer support through field side mentoring, field training, and educational sessions. The corner stone of the program is the mentoring team assembled to offer support to grassroots referees at CMFSC. The interaction of mentor to official is critical for positive development in refereeing. All club referees will have access to field training and education clinics to help reinforce correct applications and game knowledge. To learn about the current referee mentors, click here

Rules for the U08 - U10, U11 - U12 House TCYSA League can be found here
Rules for the U11 - U12 Divisionals, U13 - U18 BCCSL can be found here

Retreat Line: The retreat line is used from U08 - U13 with different variations. Please make sure you understand the differences between the age groups.

U8 - U10
When a team has a goal kick or the goalkeeper has ball in his/her hands, opposing team must retreat to half and cannot pursue the ball until:

  • The ball is received by a teammate OR,
  • The ball travels over the retreat line OR,
  • The ball leaves the field of play

Encroachment of Retreat Line
If the defending team encroaches across the retreat line before an opposition player touches the ball then the referee blows the play stopped and issues a re-take of the goal kick.

If the opposing team repeatedly infringes the retreat line, an indirect free kick shall be awarded from the place where the offence occurred for not respecting the restart.

U11 - U12
When a team has a goal kick, opposing team must retreat to 1/3 (offside) line and cannot pursue the ball until:
  • The ball is received by a teammate OR,
  • The ball travels over the retreat line OR,
  • The ball leaves the field of play

Encroachment of Retreat Line
If the defending team encroaches across the retreat line before an opposition player touches the ball, then the referee blows the play stopped and issues a re-take of the goal kick.

If the opposing team repeatedly infringes the retreat line, an indirect free kick shall be awarded from the place where the offence occurred for not respecting the restart.

U13 

BC Soccer provides the full retreat line rules to be used for U13 here

Resources and Links for CMFSC Referees

Below you'll find various links relating to Clinics, BCSA Login & Annual Registration. This page is updated frequently so be sure to check back often.

BC Soccer Referee Info & Other Links


British Columbia Soccer Association

All Referees, new and returning, must register with the British Columbia Soccer Association on an annual basis, April 1 through March 31 each year.

  • All new referees are only able to register if they have attended and passed an Entry Level Referee Clinic.
  • All returning referees are only able to re-register if they have attended an annual Referee Refresher Clinic.

BCSA Referee Login

Referee Clinics

Referee Annual Registration


Other Links

British Columbia Soccer Referees Association (optional membership)

Canadian Soccer Association - Referee Centre

FIFA Laws of the Game

Soccer Rules, Question and Answer site


CMFSC Officials Kit Program

Soccer Express has put together a referee kit for our CMF referees with outstanding pricing on the items. CMFSC would like to acknowledge the co-operation from Soccer Express to make this work for all our young officials. How to order: Purchase Referee Gear from the CMFSC Club Partner Page on Soccerx.com.