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AYSO 114 Long Beach

Referee Mentoring

Referee Mentoring Program

Region 114 has referee mentors who will work with new and existing referees to provide positive feedback to improve their refereeing skills and confidence.  The program is intended for new and existing Basic (Regional) Referees who want to improve their refereeing skills, along with Intermediate or Advanced Referee Candidates who are working toward their Intermediate or Advanced Certifications.


Referee “Hotline” for Questions

While we don’t have a 24-hr toll-free hotline, we do encourage all referees to feel free to ask questions!  Feel free to email the Referee Mentoring Coordinator (Brett Poirier) at [email protected] or ask a more senior referee you happen to see walking to their next game!  I have always found it helpful to send an email with a question from a game I just did on a Saturday to get feedback on a particular situation I encountered.  There will be zero judgement…every referee has made mistakes and discussing your experience with someone knowledgeable to understand the correct procedure or get advice is how we learn and enjoy refereeing more! 

Why use a mentor?

For new and existing Basic (Regional) Referees, a mentor can give you support during those first few games early in the season! They also help to reinforce your good practices and provide friendly feedback for areas that could use improvement throughout the season. And, a mentor provides an experienced referee to directly ask all the questions that invariably come up after a game (as opposed to trying to look things up later in the Laws or the class books or online).  That being said, I highly encourage reviewing the various documents and video links below to make you a better and more confident referee!

For Intermediate Referee Candidates, a mentor provides constructive criticism to help you prepare for your observation as well as a sounding board for questions about the nuances of play and refereeing. An experienced mentor can help you take your game to the next level. For Advanced Referee Candidates mentoring helps with your preparation for assessment.

In-game mentoring options (your choice):

1.       Stand with you side by side (whether you are center or AR) to advise (but we won’t make calls)
2.       Watch your match from sidelines and then after the game discuss your strengths and a few suggested areas for improvement
3.       Referee the same game as one of your Assistant Referees (ARs)
4.       Watch your match from sidelines and communicate with you during the game via earpiece radio to answer your questions and provide feedback

How to request a mentor

  • Use MatchTrak to sign up for a game at least a week prior to the game.
  • Put a check in the checkbox to request a mentor.
  • Before the game, a member of the mentor team will sign up in the Online Referee Scheduler to mentor you (in some cases the mentor may sign up to AR the game).  Their name will show in MatchTrak
  • Ideally the mentor will contact you prior to the weekend
  • Allow an extra fifteen minutes after the game for discussion and feedback from your mentor

It is up to you if you like your mentor and want to ask for their email or phone number.  Personality is one of the factors in becoming a mentor, but if you don’t happen to “click” with your mentor, have any negative experience, or desire a different mentor, please email the mentoring coordinator.  Requesting a mentor for subsequent games does not necessarily guarantee the same previous mentor can make it.  Assigning mentors can be a challenge as most mentors are obligated to referee older division matches which can introduce scheduling conflicts.

How to become a mentor

If you are interested in becoming a referee mentor, please review the AYSO Referee Mentor Handbook and reach out to me or the RRA so we can discuss expectations and skills needed.  If you're a good fit then we can enable you to sign up as a mentor in Matchtrak.  There's no obligation or quota, we'll take all the help we can get to make sure that new referees feel supported and have a good experience.


Getting close to 25 games under your belt? I wholeheartedly recommend taking the Intermediate Referee certification class.  My personal experience was that I thought I would never be able to list off all the various types of offenses or understand types of cautions or sendoffs, but knowledge is power and I found that I felt more comfortable refereeing as a result.  You will not be pressured to only ref higher-level games such as U12, but you may find it more exciting to referee as the kids are more skilled.  We will certainly encourage you, but everyone’s referee journey is different and it is up to each individual to manage theirs.  Feel free to contact me or the RRA to express interest or ask any questions.  We can ensure you get the five games of U12 experience before the course and help find you a course.

Referee Resources

Good "old-fashioned" book

a0.      6x8" paperback of IFAB's Laws of the Game available from The Referee Store


a1.     AYSO Referee Guideline (provided at Regional class, formerly "AYSO Guidance for Referees, Coaches, Other Volunteers and Parents")
a2.     AYSO Youth Referee Manual
a3.     Laws of the Game Summary Sheet ***MOST USEFUL SINGLE SHEET***
a4.     Match Walkthrough for New Referees & ARs
a5.     Game Card Instructions
b.       IFAB Laws of the Game 22/23
c.       IFAB Practical Guidelines for Match Officials (helpful position/offside diagrams)
d.       20/21/22 Law changes relevant to AYSO
e.       Advice for New Referees
f.        10 tips for player dissent
g.       10 tips for coach dissent
h.       Ask, tell, dismiss
i.        Tips on Boeing a Great AR
j.       Sample Referee's Pre-Game Instructions
k.      Ref Wallet Cheat Sheets for Pre-Game Chat & Penalty Kicks
l.       FIFA Assistant Referee slides
m.    Laws of the Game Simplified (with cartoons; great for young refs and players)
n.     Offside Made Easy (with cartoons; great for young refs and players)
o.     AYSO Referee Pocket Guide Tri-fold
p.     USSF Guide to Procedures (2013, no longer updated but good info on cooperation, positioning)
q.     USSF Cautionable and Sending-Off Offenses summary


a.       IFAB Law Clarifications 2021/22 (excellent videos on handball; Acrobat)
b.       Lineup card instructions for referees (YouTube, 06:44)
c.       Build out Line (PDI) 2019 update (YouTube, 07:59)
d.       Everything MatchTrak (YouTube, playlist)
e.       PRO's Inside Video Review for MLS (YouTube, playlist)
f.        Advice to New Referees (YouTube, 23:10)
g.       Advice to New Referees: Being the Referee (YouTube. 03:54)
h.       Referee Signals (YouTube, 07:12)
i.        Advice to New Referees: Being an Assistant Referee (YouTube, 03:56)
j.        Assistant Referee Signals (YouTube, 10:24)
k.       Assistant Referee Positioning (YouTube, 14:53)
l.        Law 11: Offside (YouTube, 05:17)
m.      Law 12: Fouls and Misconduct (YouTube, 25:01)

Phone Apps         

 IFAB Laws of the Game App
    2021-22 IFAB Laws of the Game - Apple
    2021-22 IFAB Laws of the Game - Android


a.       IFAB quiz questions (Twitter)

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AYSO Region 114

Heartwell Park 
Long Beach, California 90808

Email Us: [email protected]
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