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AYSO Region 1447 Albuquerque - Westside - Rio Rancho


Referee Hideout

Training Information

The first priority for the Referee is to keep the game as safe as possible for the players.  While there is risk in all sports, the referee is responsible for minimizing such risks from field conditions, equipment, spectators, and the players.

The Referee is responsible for enforcing the Laws of the Game in such a way as to keep the game Safe, Fair & Fun.  The referee is expected to interfere with the game as little as possible, avoiding making calls for doubtful and trifling offenses.

Refereeing in AYSO is a challenging and rewarding volunteer experience. Here is an opportunity for you to join the kids on the pitch as they learn to love the “Beautiful Game”. You’ll have a great time and get some exercise too!

AYSO refereeing is available for youth and adult volunteers. Kids as young as 12 years old are permitted to officiate matches in the U10 division. As the kids enter high school, they have opportunities to manage more challenging matches and even earn High School Community Service credits as AYSO referees. Refereeing in AYSO is a terrific way to help kids learn responsibility, build self-confidence, and possibly even begin to build a career. Just as there are professional soccer players who started out as kids in AYSO, there are also professional soccer referees who started out as kids in AYSO.

Training and Certification

One of the most important features of the AYSO National Referee Program is the AYSO Referee Certification and Training Program. 

All AYSO referees are required to be certified and trained. 

Referee certification is obtained by attending AYSO’s Safe Haven.

Referee training is available in six different training courses:

8U Official, Assistant Referee
Regional Referee
Intermediate Referee
Advanced Referee and National Referee

There is also an online Regional Referee Course, which coupled with an in-person Companion Course, completes the training for the Regional Referee

AYSO referee training is designed to provide education for referees and prospective referees that will enable them to officiate AYSO soccer matches in accordance with the Laws of the Game and the AYSO National Rules & Regulations. It is the intent of the AYSO National Referee Program to provide practical, incremental referee training that will ensure consistency throughout AYSO.

With the exception of training for the 8U Official, referee designations and training are not directly associated with any specific age group. The AYSO 8U Official may officiate only AYSO players under the age of 8. Completion of one of the additional AYSO referee courses is required to officiate at any other level of AYSO play.

To effectively officiate higher-level matches, a referee must have experience, physical conditioning and mental preparation along with appropriate training. Training in AYSO is a continuing process. Referees are encouraged to take additional courses and to participate in continuous education whether or not they desire to upgrade to a higher level.

Every referee must have a sound foundation in the Laws of the Game as a prerequisite to being certified as a referee. At all levels of the training program, referee candidates are tested on their knowledge of the Laws. At each referee certification level, there are requirements in addition to training (including the law exams). It is the responsibility of the individual referee to ensure that he/she meets all other requirements.

The training program has been organized as a series of short courses intended to provide training supplemental to the previous courses. In addition, modular elements of the courses may be presented individually as part of continuing education that may not necessarily result in upgrade. All referee training courses are open to anyone who wishes to attend.

Though there are no prerequisites for attending any referee training course, certification upgrade requires each requisite level of course completion. Referees who attend training for upgrade must maintain their individual training record and obtain appropriate signatures for training completed. When all of the elements of an upgrade are complete, the paperwork is submitted to the National Office. Cross-certification between certain AYSO and United States Soccer Federation (USSF) referee certification levels is available upon application.


AYSO Referee Certification Requirements 8U OFFICIAL

Age: 10 or older
Complete 8U Official Course
Test: Take 8U Official Exam


Age: 12 or older
Complete Assistant Referee Course or be a 8U Official and complete 8U to Assistant Referee Upgrade Course
Test: Take Assistant Referee Exam


Age: 12 or older
Complete Regional Referee Course or be a 8U Official and complete 8U to Regional Referee Upgrade Course or be an Assistant Referee and complete AR to Regional Referee Upgrade Course
Test: Score 75% or higher on the Regional Referee Exam


Age: 14 or older
25 as referee with at least 5 in 12U matches
Prerequisite: Certification as Regional Referee
Training: Complete Intermediate Referee Course
Test: Score 90% or higher on the Intermediate Referee Exam
Observation: One observation as a referee in a 12U match is required
Verification: Area (or Section) Referee Administrator or Area (or Section) Director of Assessment


Age: 16 or older
: 50 as referee with at least 10 in 14U matches and 5 as assistant referee in 14U matches
Prerequisite: Certification as Intermediate Referee
Training: Complete Advanced Referee Course Test: Score 90% or higher on the Advanced Referee Exam
: One as a referee in a 14U match and one as assistant referee in a 14U match
Fitness Test: Complete the AYSO Physical Fitness Test for the Advanced level
Verification: Area (or Section) Referee Administrator or Area (or Section) Director of Assessment


Age: 18 or older.
Matches: 100 as referee with at least 30 in 16U and 18U matches, of which at least 15 must be in 18U matches if available, and 25 as assistant referee with at least 10 in 18U matches, if available
Prerequisite: Certification as Advanced Referee
Training: Complete National Referee Course. It is strongly recommended that the candidate complete at least 80 matches as referee before attending the National Referee Course
Test: Score 90% or higher on the National Referee Exam
Assessment: Two as a referee in 16U or 18U matches with at least one in 18U, if available, and one as assistant referee in a 18U match, if available
Experience: A minimum of one year of experience as an AYSO Advanced Referee
Fitness Test: Complete the AYSO Physical Fitness Test for the National level
Verification: Section Referee Administrator or Section Director of Assessment

If you are going to be an 8U referee, you take the 8U referee class. If you are going to be a referee for 10U and above you attend the Regional Referee class. There are NO referees at 6U. If you have additional questions please contact the Assistant Referee Administrator or the Referee Administrator.

All volunteers must fill out a volunteer form. Log into the account you set up on this website to register your child and click "Volunteer" on the left side and complete the application. 

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Contact Us

AYSO Region 1447 Albuquerque West & Rio Rancho

PO BOX 66085 
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87193

Email Us: [email protected]
Phone : 505-926-1447
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