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AYSO uses the same philosophies as we do with the recreation players around positive coaching and development.  Our referees are in development and leaning the game just as the players.  To incentivize participation,  AYSO Region 1612 pays referees.  Referees are as critical to soccer as players and coaches. In AYSO, the game can’t be played if there aren’t enough referees. AYSO Referees will learn the rules, develop their own techniques for managing players, coaches and fans, and gain an appreciation for how important the role of the referee is to a fun, fair and safe soccer experience. They often find it very rewarding to expand their knowledge and experience through AYSO’s advanced training and certification process. AYSO’s referee training is considered some of the best in the U.S. and includes both in-person courses in your community and online opportunities. Soccer knowledge is a plus, but is certainly not required. The AYSO referee training will give you all you need to know to have a terrific experience on the field.


Vlad Rabinovich
Regional Referee Administrator
📧 [email protected]

Referee Mailing List

How To Become a Referee

Referee Sign-up Steps

Step 1  –  Volunteer Application

Step 2  –  Referee Pre-requisite Courses

  • AYSO's Safe Haven (~ 30 mins)
  • CDC: Concussion Awareness (~ 1 hour - required for referees 12 years old and older)

Step 3  –  Regional Referee Training

  • Part 1: Take the Regional Referee Training Online Course (and pass the online exam). Notify the Regional Referee Administrator of the course completion.


  • Part 2: Attend an in-person Regional Referee Online Companion Course. Once the course is announced you can sign-up at

Step 4  –  Signup for Game Assignments

Sign-up for the Please use the following link to join AYSO Region 1612 assignment site:
To join AYSO Region 1612, you should use authorization code TAG14OE4 when prompted.

Then, under 'Personal > My Availability' menu option set your availability for each game day.

AYSO Atlanta Region Rules

Please, be flexible and remember that our job is to keep the game Safe, Fair and Fun.

Work with our coaches if certain exceptions need to be made: 

  • In extreme heat, if both coaches agree the referee can shorten the halves by up to 5 minutes each. 
  • In the event one or both teams are short players and both coaches agree, sides can be smaller.

Here is a brief summary of some key points:

  • There will not be official Quarters.  A substitution break will be announced by the ref when the ball is out of play closest to halfway through the 1st Half, and halfway through the 2nd Half.  The clock will continue to run during these breaks.  This means coaches will need to have their subs ready, have a quick water grab by the players remaining on the field, and then get the game re-started.  This is not intended to be a coaching break—2 minutes, max.  To recap, substitutions only at:  halfway through the 1st Half, Halftime, halfway through the 2nd Half.
  • Injured players that need to come off the field can be substituted for immediately but won’t be able to return until the next substitution break / half. 
  • No intentional headers in any Division. 
    • Infraction results in: Indirect Free Kick to the opposing team.
  • Build-out lines will be enforced for 10U & older.
  • GK punts are OK in Upper Division Girls & Upper Division Boys only.
  • For divisions with GKs (10U & older), penalty kicks will be enforced for direct free kick fouls inside the penalty area.
  • For 10U & older, offside Law will be enforced. Video: applying the build-out line in 10U matches

Are you aware of 2019-2020 season's law changes?

The following summarizes the main Law changes for 2019/20 with an explanation for the changes (in alphabetical order).
A full list of changes can be found here.

Selected IFAB Law Changes 2019-20
1. The coin toss (Law 8)
— Team winning the toss chooses: Take the kick-off OR which goal to attack.

2. Disciplinary action against team officials (Laws 5 and 12) — Team officials (i.e., coaches) may be warned, shown a yellow card for a caution, or shown a red card for a sending-off. If offending team official cannot be identified, the senior coach receives the sanction. See Law 12 for lists of possible offenses.

3. Dropped ball (Law 8) — The ball is dropped to a SINGLE player in all cases. All other players from both teams must be at least 4.5 yards away. Who is ball dropped to and where?
 IF, when play was stopped, the ball was INSIDE the penalty area or was LAST TOUCHED in the penalty area, drop the ball to the defending team goalkeeper.
 OTHERWISE, drop the ball TO ONE PLAYER of the team that last touched the ball. Location: at the point of the last touch by a player, outside agent, or match official.

4. Ball hits a match official (Law 9) — Play is restarted with a dropped ball if the ball touches a match official, stays on the field, AND one of the following happens: a promising attack starts OR the ball goes directly into the goal OR team possession changes.

5. Handling the ball (“handball offence”) (Law 12—read for more details) — It is an offence if a player:
 Deliberately touches the ball with their hand/arm (no change).
• Gains possession/control of the ball after it has touched their hand/arm—accidentally or deliberately—AND THEN scores in the opponent’s goal OR creates a goal-scoring opportunity.
 Scores in the opponent’s goal directly from their hand/arm, even if accidental.

6. Goalkeeper handling change (Law 12) — On a throw-in or deliberate kick from a player to their goalkeeper, if the goalkeeper clearly kicks or attempts to kick the ball BUT the ‘clearance’ fails, the goalkeeper then can handle the ball.

7. No attackers in wall of 3 or more defenders (Law 13) — If three or more defenders form a wall for the taking of a free kick, then all attackers must be at least one yard from the wall until the ball is in play. Restart for the offence: Indirect free kick for the defending team.

8. Penalty kick modification (Law 14) — The goalkeeper must keep ONE FOOT on or above the line until the ball is kicked.

9. Defensive free kicks within a team’s own penalty area and goal kicks (Laws 13 and 16) — The ball is in play when it is kicked and clearly moves. The ball does not have to leave the penalty area to be in play.

PDI changes in 9-10U, National Rules & Regulations, June 2019
• On a goal kick, opponents may cross the build-out line when the ball is in play: when it is kicked and clearly moves. If opponents cross before the ball is in play and interfere, retake the goal kick.

• On goalkeeper possession, if opponents cross the build-out line before the ball is released and interfere, an indirect free kick is awarded to goalkeeper’s team at the build-out line

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AYSO Atlanta Region 1612

500 Englewood Ave SE 
Atlanta, Georgia 30315

Email Us: [email protected]
Phone : 404-536-3209
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