Referee FAQ

Here you can find answers to questions that are asked all the time.Starting and Calling a Game - Weather and Other Issues

Q. What situations require me to cancel a game because of weather or other factors?

As discussed in section 1.2.13 of the House League Playing Rules, unless the Club has formally cancelled a game due to bad weather, field closure or other reasons, coaches and their teams must show up at the field. As long as a game is still scheduled, the referee shall have the sole authority to cancel the game, immediately prior to game kick-off, due to unsuitable field or weather conditions. Outdoor games will normally proceed even if it is raining, but there are some situations where the game needs to be cancelled or abandoned, and it is the referee’s responsibility to do that.

Thunder and Lightning

The Club’s policy on thunder and lightning can be found in section 1.2.13 of the House League Playing Rules. Make sure you are familiar with it.

Safety of the Players

If the field conditions are such that the safety of the players is in jeopardy, the referee should cancel or abandon the game. Dangerous field conditions include, but are not limited to, pot holes, exposed sprinkler heads, and large puddles and patches of mud that make footing treacherous. 

Damage to the Field

If the fields have become so wet and muddy that playing on them could cause damage to the fields, then the referee should cancel or abandon the game.

Considerations for Younger Players

Q. When are Kick-ins used instead of Throw-ins

Kick-ins are used in the U8-U10 divisions; the method is discussed in the House League Playing Rules section 3.6(e). Throw-ins are introduced for U11 or U12 divisions. For throw-ins in the first part of the season, if a player fails to throw the ball correctly, that player shall be permitted a second attempt. If the second attempt is unsuccessful, a throw-in shall be awarded to the opposing team. Referees should educate the players and explain what they did wrong.

Q. What are the goal-kick rules for U8s?

The Pre-Mini Soccer rules for U8 goal-kicks are discussed in section 3.6(h) of the House League Playing Rules.  They may be a bit complex for 8 year-olds so have patience and let them retake until correct. Referees should educate the players and explain what they did wrong.


Q. When and how do I get paid?

The Club will mail cheques approximately once a month for all house league games (youth and adult) that you have done, provided the game reports have been completed.   All game sheets must be submitted to the Club Office located in the Mount Joy Community Centre in order for payment for a game to be generated.  To ensure that there is no delay in you receiving the cheques, you should make sure that your mailing address is up to date and complete (including postal code) on your online profile. If you referee any rep games or all-star exhibition games, you will be paid in cash at the field by the team managers.

Q. Will I get paid for games that are cancelled or abandoned, and if so, how much?

If the Town or Club cancels a game and the Club notifies the referees at least two hours before the start of the game, referees will not be paid because they do not have to go to the field. (All cancellations will be announced on the Club’s website, and the Club will also send e-mails to all referees who are scheduled to referee that day.  If a game has not been cancelled in advance, or if a game has been cancelled but the Club notifies the referees less than two hours before the start of the game, then referees will be paid 50% of the normal fee if they go to the field and cancel the game before it starts. If a referee must declare a game to be abandoned AFTER kick-off, the referee will be paid the full fee for the game.


Q. Where will we get the paper copy of the game sheet?

The coach of the home team is supposed to provide it. If he/she doesn't have one, try the coach of the visiting team. It's always a good idea to bring a blank game sheet to the game, just in case. You can download a blank game sheet from the HL Coach Resources page (via the Coaches page) on the Club's website.

Q. What are the reporting requirements for yellow and red cards and any other incidents that occurred during a game?
  • If a referee shows a player a yellow card during or after a game, a “Caution Summary Report” must be completed and submitted to the appropriate league with the game sheets (i.e., the Club office for house league games and the YSA for rep games).
  • If a referee shows a player a red card during or after a game, a “Dismissal Report” must be completed and submitted to the appropriate league with the game sheets.
  • If an incident occurs at a game (e.g., a brawl, sending off of a team official, etc.), a “Special Incident Report” must be completed and submitted with the game sheets to the appropriate league with the game sheets.
  • If a referee is assaulted at a game, a “Referee Assault Form” must be completed and submitted with the game sheets to the appropriate league and the YRSA and OSA.
All of these forms can be found on the Club’s Referee Reports page. Forms that are to be submitted to the Club office can be dropped off at the office or sent by e-mail to

Competitive (Rep) Games - Special Considerations

Q. Is there anything special I need to know about refereeing rep (competitive) games?

The Club is responsible for assigning referees for games in the YRSL youth league. Assignments are managed through the YRSA’s RAS scheduling system. You must become familiar with the rules for this league, which can be found on the YRSL Youth website. You should also be aware that referees are required to send the game sheets to the YRSA. This can be done by regular mail, fax (905-660-9832), or as a scanned attachment in an e-mail to YRSL. You must show your OSA registration number on the game sheet. Additional information can be found in the Policy Manual for Refereeing in the YRSA, available on the YRSA Referee web page.

Referee Qualification Levels

Q. What are the Referee Certification and Qualification Levels?

Formal certification levels are earned by taking Ontario Soccer Association approved courses and passing the test at the end of the course. All MSC referees must have completed at least the OSA Mini-Soccer or Entry Level course. Click here for more details on the OSA’s certification levels.

Q. How can I get my Qualification or Certification Level upgraded?

Your Qualification Level is assigned by the Club based on your experience and skill level, as well as your OSA certification level and age. If you feel that you are ready to upgrade your Qualification rating, contact the Head Referee, Jerry Kooymans, for an evaluation. Even though the letter you receive from the OSA after you register might indicate that you are eligible to referee games at a higher level, the Club’s approach is to gradually increase the level of your assignments when we are comfortable that you are ready for the next level. Having said that, we might occasionally ask you to officiate at a game for which you are not normally qualified if we are having difficulty finding someone to take a game. If you are comfortable taking on these games, they will be good opportunities for you to show that you are ready to move up to the next level, as long as they are still within the OSA's guidelines.

Click here to learn more about upgrading your OSA classification level.

Miscellaneous Questions

Q. Is there a map that will help me locate my field?

There is a field map on the Club’s website. The fields are listed in alphabetical order. Just click on the field name and a balloon will pop up next to the marker identifying the field location. Use the zoom tool to zoom in. There are two scroll bars – one on the right side of your screen, and another one in the middle of your screen that scrolls down the list of fields.