Essex County Youth Soccer Association

Doing Your Games

General Preparation

Do you remember all of the Laws of the Game? Anything not clear? Take the opportunity to review the laws each week to make sure you know them cold. You're going to be expected to make decisions quickly and accurately during a match, so be prepared! 80% may have been a good enough passing grade to get your badge, but 100% will make your games go more smoothly!

When you make your decisions, you also need to tell people. Know the proper mechanics to signal throw-ins, corner kicks, goal kicks, kick-offs, fouls, offside, substitutions, etc. etc.

Know the grade-specific exceptions to the Laws of the Game as they apply to ECYSA games. Aspects of the game that may differ from grade group to grade group include:

  • Length of halves
  • Size of the ball
  • Number of players on the pitch
  • When substitutions may be made
  • Penalty kicks - yes or no
  • Offside - yes or no

ECYSA rules are posted on our web site's home page.

Before Leaving Your House

  • Are the games still on? Check your email and the web site for any last minute schedule changes, field closures, or weather-related postponements.
  • Do you know where you are going? Know the address of each field you need to travel to before getting into your car. Your on-line schedule has hyperlinks to the field locations.
  • Have you checked the weather? You are going to be out in the elements, so you need to be prepared.
  • Water - always bring water to stay hydrated.

Do you have all your stuff? We highly recommend that you get a referee bag to hold the various items you will need each week. Click here for suggestions on what to pack in your referee bag.

Arriving at the FIeld

  • You should be in uniform when you arrive at the field.
  • Introduce yourself to the coaches for both teams.
  • Place your referee bag and anything else you brought with you about 3 yards off the field at the halfway line on the players' side of the field. 
  • Inspect the field to make sure it is safe to play on.
  • Make sure the goals are properly situated on the goal line, and are secured (e.g. with weighted sandbags) so that they cannot fall over.
  • Get two game balls and the game card (which should already be filled out!) from the home team coach.
  • Deal with similar uniform colors by having the home team change jerseys or wear pinnies.
  • Start the check-in process by 15 minutes before game time to help ensure an on-time start to the game. 
    • All coaches must have a current season ECYSA coach ID card with a color picture of them on it and a valid Mass Youth Soccer Association coach's pass (coaches do not need to be listed on the team roster). 
    • Hold onto the rosters and game card on your clipboard for the duration of the match. Coaches keep their ECYSA coach ID card and MYSA coach's pass.
  • Start the game on time!

Remember, it's the home team's responsibility to deal with any field safety issues and securing the goals. If they cannot, then the game must be abandoned! 

End of the Game

  • Observe the handshake line to ready to deal with any misconduct.
  • Return the game ball(s) to the home team coach.
  • Write the final score on the game card. Be sure to verify the score with each coach. Allow coaches to take a picture of the game card. If you caution or eject someone, or if there is a significant injury, you need to record the name(s) of the players/coaches involved on the game card as well (you will need that information for your game report).
  • Return the team roster to each team. Keep the game card for yourself.

Returning Home

You must log onto the web site and fill out a game report, both to make the score official in the standings, and for you to get paid. Take the time to do it immediately after you get home. Be sure to include in that report, in addition to the score, information on any injuries sustained during the match, player cautions or ejections, coach or spectator misconduct, or issues with the field.

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