WSA REC LEAGUE "BLACKSHIRT" REFEREE PROGRAM
WSA Referee Assignor, Kathleen Galley at
WSA Referee Director: Robby Casey, Robertcasey250@gmail.com (203-918-2240)
BLACKSHIRT PROGRAM OVERVIEW
Westport Soccer offers a non-certified referee "Blackshirt" program to individuals in 6th grade or higher. Blackshirts only work REC games 2nd - 8th grade (and must be at 2 years older than the players they officiate). "Blackshirt" referees create a professional feel for the games. They do the equipment checks, control the clock, make the out-of-bounds and foul calls. They also encourage and teach our younger players both by example and with instruction. The Blackshirt program is an introductory step toward becoming a USSF certified referee. By age 13 or older, an individual is eligible to become a certified USSF "yellowshirt" referee (go to: https://ctreferee.net for more information on certification).
BLACKSHIRT TRAINING: Pre-season training is offered in April and Sept. Training is also offered on the job with our dedicated adult referee mentors.
BLACKSHIRT AGE REQUIREMENT: Blackshirt referees must be entering sixth grade or higher.
(If you are age 13 or older you can become a USSF certificated referee: https://ctreferee.net)
HOW TO SIGN UP, CLICK HERE
if the link above doesn't work, you can go to www.westportsoccer.org > Referees > Youth Referee Registration. Once you have registered, your assignor will send you more info on requesting games and getting paid.
Once you are registered on the WSA site as a referee, your referee assignor will send you an invitation to activate a referee account on assignr.com where you can view and request games. Please contact, Kathleen Galley, email@example.com for site access. Spring games are April - June. Fall games are Sept - Nov.
WSA pays referees via online direct deposit Chase QuickPay/Zelle. You need to have an adult account (no custodial accounts) with a partner bank. If your bank does not partner with CQP/Zelle, please consider opening a Chase account or an account with a bank on their partner list.
Please enroll here: https://www.chase.com/personal/quickpay/login-quickpay
- WSA League referee black T-shirt that can be purchased at the ASF Sports & Outdoor on 1560 Post Rd East in Westport.
- Black shorts (we recommend with pockets)
- Black soccer socks (to the knee)
- Dark sneakers or any cleats
- Flag set (yellow/red),
- Whistle (we recommend buying 2 just in case one get lost)
- WRIST watch with timer/chronometer or count-down function. NO smart phones as timers. No devices dangling around the neck.
- Red/Yellow cards for those working as center referee for 5th grade or higher
- Score cards for those working 5th grade or higher
LAWS OF THE (REC) GAME
All of the standard Laws of the Game apply with the following exceptions:
• Shortened field and game time (guideline only)
2nd Grade - 4 x 15 minutes (5v5)
3rd/4th Grade - 2 x 25 minutes (7v7)
5th/6th Grade - 2 x 30 minutes (9v9)
7th/9th Grade - 2 x 40 minutes (11v11)
• NO SLIDE TACKLES for 2-6th grade and should be strongly discouraged for 7/8th as well. Any player who slide tackles should be verbally cautioned, even in 7-9 th grade play, in addition to the foul called for younger players. Any repeat offender should be benched for the remainder of the quarter. No coach or parent should complain about this as this is about the only play that has the potential to cause serious injury.
• No direct kicks or penalty kicks for Grades 2.
• No offside for Grades 2 and liberal offside calls for 3rd and 4th Grade (only if blatant and leads to a goal).
** Special Note Regarding the 2nd Grade Games:
This is our most important age group. If the kids have fun in 2nd grade playing soccer they will stay with the WSA through middle school. There is only one referee assigned to a 2nd grade game.
Remember, the 2nd grade games have a few special rules:
1) 4 x 12 minutes with 2-3 minute breaks each quarter
2) No Coaches on the field
3) Substitutions at anytime (just like hockey)
4) No goalkeeper
5) No offside
6) No penalty kicks
The object is for the players to get used to stopping for the whistle and TO HAVE FUN!
DEALING WITH KIDS
When you are on the field, you take on the responsibility of being the referee in charge of the game. As you know from playing or watching soccer games, there are good refs and not-so-good refs - you should try to act like one of the good refs you have seen. It's OK to smile and be nice, but you are there to make sure that the game is fair and safe. You should also do an equipment check including jewelry (no one may play without shin guards). Anything around the neck, arms must come off. A player must not use equipment or wear anything that is dangerous to himself or another player (including any kind of jewelry). All items of jewelry (necklaces, rings, bracelets, earrings, leather bands. rubber bands. etc.) are strictly forbidden and must be removed. Using tape to cover earrings or other jewelry is not permitted.
Do it the same way they start the Travel games. When you call a foul, explain what the player did wrong. For indirect kicks, including goal and corner kicks, be sure to place the ball at the proper spot and provide guidance to the players as to what should happen next. For throw-ins, use your own discretion about teaching the kids how to do it, and how many retries you allow. As the season progresses, you may decide to award the ball to the other team if there are too many poor re-tries.
DEALING WITH PARENTS & COACHES
At the beginning of each game you should introduce yourself to both coaches and confirm the length of the game. The more professional you before you start the game, the less hassle you will get during the game.
All coaches and parents have been cautioned about harassing the refs. However, sometimes they forget. Dealing with difficult parents is a fact of life in all sports. WSA does not condone inappropriate behavior by any coaches or parents, but you are the referee, and sometimes you will make an unpopular call, and even an occasional error. In general, you have the following options when dealing with difficult adults: First, ignore them. Second, make your call again louder: "That's a trip by No. 10 blue! White ball!" Third, if you think it is appropriate, go with your ref partner and talk with the coach during a break between quarters. Explain what you called and why. If she still disagrees, just say "That's the way I saw it. That's the call." and walk away. You are allowed to make mistakes, and you may tell the coach if you wish to acknowledge the error, but you can't change the call once the match has been restarted.
If a coach or parent is still abusive, you should appeal to the opposing coach for assistance. Also, if there is an older referee around, you can ask for their guidance. Last, but most important, let the Directors of Referees know immediately following the game. If possible, provide the name of the coach or at least the team name, field where the game was and age group. The Director will contact the coach and/or the specific Division
Commissioner and resolve the issue. Note: The Director also likes to hear about positive experiences and good coaches.
HOW TO BECOME A USSF "YELLOWSHIRT" REFEREE: GO TO: HTTPS://CTREFEREE.NET
Any player who will be at least age 13 at the time of certification testing can become a USSF "Yellowshirt" referee. This certification/badge allows referees to work Travel and Premier level games. This is an excellent badge to have and will allow you to make good money anywhere in the US. The courses currently consist of an online test and in-class/field session.
updated 01/2020 - kwg