Required Knowledge for Officials

Knowing Your Job and Mastering the Laws of the Game

Required Knowledge and Duties of the Officials

This page represents the material reviewed during the officials' training session and is required knowledge of all officials that work for the Walker Recreation Department.

Referee Training Manual

The training manuals and the meeting material found on this website may be subject to change before the season starts to accommodate organizational changes with the program, such as: substitution rules; the number of players allowed on the field for each team in each age group; and time controls. Visit the Substitutions, Time Controls and Other Rules page on the website for the most current information.

ALL REFEREES ARE REQUIRED TO ATTEND THE OFFICIALS MEETING EACH YEAR, in order to ensure that every official is aware of these changes! Contact the recreation department immediately if you are forced to miss this very important meeting. We are always happy to work with you one-on-one if you have any problems or need additional instruction.

MUST-READ Information

Referees are required to fully understand the information found on this page and in the Rules of the Game. If you have any questions, please don't be shy about contacting us either by phone, email, or before taking to the field on game day.

What to Bring on Game Day

On the morning of game day, an assessment of the weather should be made and you should equip yourself accordingly:

  • Bring a change of socks and/or shoes, especially if the grass is wet from rain or dew
  • Wear weatherproof footwear if appropriate, such as duck boots or hiking boots
  • Buy a Fox whistle; this brand protects your hearing by projecting the sound out and away from you, which allows you to use the whistle with adequate loudness (new officials will be provided one in their first season)
  • Bring a watch or a stopwatch to keep time; a model with a countdown timer is optional and highly recommended, but a model with an audible alarm is required of all officials
  • Engage a layered system of clothing on cool mornings: light gloves, tear-away or warm-up pants over shorts, a windbreaker or warm-up jacket, and a hat capable of covering your ears are all a good idea and can be removed as the day progresses and the temperatures rise
  • Bring a coin for the coin toss (mandatory!)

In the event of visible lightning and thunderstorms, a severe thunderstorm warning, a tornado watch or a tornado warning, the games will be canceled. Notification will be by telephone, as well as posted on the website ( Also, listen to WOOD AM-1300 or WLHT-95.7 FM after 7am for cancellation notices.

Getting Started in the Morning

Try to arrive at least 15 minutes before the scheduled start of your first game. You'll need to sign-in and get any last-minute instructions from the field supervisor, which may include field and personnel reassignments, so do not report directly to your field of play. You will also need to check out with the field supervisor at the end of the day and sign out before leaving the park.

The goal nets will already be positioned when you arrive in the morning. However, the corner marker flags will need to be placed and you'll need to pick up a game ball from the field supervisor before going to your field.

Special note: Fields 4 and 5 (5-6 and 7-8 year old fields) feature under-sized goal nets which aren't weighted very well. If they are not staked in properly, they can blow over in the wind or when the net gets pulled by bored goalkeepers during practices and games. Please check the nets to make sure they remain fast when pulled upon! Visually examine the stakes to make sure they're down all the way. If they are not, send somebody to contact the field supervisor to correct the problem.

Referee Responsibilities

Besides having the best seat in the house, the referee does have to work. It's an important job. In general, the following tasks are the responsibility of the referees:

  • Equipment Inspections
  • Start of Play (the Kick-Off)
  • Timekeeping
  • Enforcing the Laws of the Game (LOTG)
  • Restart of Play by Throw-In
  • Restart of Play by Goal Kick
  • Restart of Play by Corner Kick
  • Restart of Play by Dropped Ball
  • Restart of Play by Free Kick
  • Substitutions

Each responsibility is described in detail on the Rules of the Game page.

The Rules of the Game

Next, you should visit the Rules of the Game page to be sure you thoroughly understand the specific responsibilities outlined above. You can't call a fair soccer game for players at any age level without understanding these rules.