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 Orange County Adult Soccer League Referees

Training and Certification

Orange County Adult Soccer League will only employ what it considers "really good referees".  Here is what we mean.  A really good referee is knowledgeable, fit, experienced, and has good game management skills.  When possible, OCASL will use certified referees, but this is not sufficient, in our minds.

The certification process sets a fairly low standard for knowledge (75% on a multiple choice test + 7 & 7 rules + 4 D's).  Unless a certified referee has been assessed (the vast majority are not), then certification says nothing about fitness, experience, or game management skills.  That said, certified referees have shown that they are committed to learning how to be good referees, and the pool of certified referees contains a great many really good ones.

So, an OCASL referee is probably certified, but not necessarily. 

We will choose referees from those that we have personally worked with, or observed, or trained.  All OCASL referees will be trained to understand the small number of non-FIFA rules we have adopted, and to understand the flavor of our "competitive but not aggressive" league.  Referees will be observed and assessed by the league on a regular basis.  OCASL will only keep those referees who live up to our standards.

Helping your Referee

#1 - Never criticize a referee's call (or missed call), and never incite others to do so.  Understand that one beauty of soccer is that the ideal game keeps flowing, that we don't spend time worrying about instant replay, we're there to play.  Think of it as a strength of the game that there aren't 6 referees like in baseball, or 7 like in American football.

Every player in OCASL is expected to play in a non-aggressive manner.  This alone will help the referee call a good game.  Assistant referees will help the center referee call offside, and out of bounds (the real term is "into touch"), so just "play to the whistle".  The referee's call is final and not subject to dispute or negotiation.  Help the referee if s/he asks, but otherwise, enjoy your game and let him/her call the fouls.

For your edification, a ball is out of bounds if it has completely crossed the plane of the line.  So a ball that is touching the side line is still playable.

As for offside, the simplified rule is this: A player is in an offside position if he or she is closer to the opponent's goal line than both the ball and the second to last defender.  If a player is in an offside position at the moment a ball is played by her teammate to her, then offside has occurred.  There is no offside directly from goal kicks, corner kicks, or throw-ins. 

So, to keep yourself onside means to keep yourself in an onside position until your teammate plays the ball.  If you find yourself in an offside position, simply put your head down and walk back to an onside position, and the referee will recognize this and not call you offside.

If you have a problem with a referee

Please don't hesitate to contact us - info@ocasl.org.  Chances are good that we have an observer at the game.  If not, we will investigate and report back to you in a timely manner.  You have every right to expect really good referees and we are committed to supplying them.