Referee FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions by Referees

Q: How soon before the match should I arrive?

A: 30 minutes.

Q: I am going to be late.  What should I do?

A: Please don’t be late.  Leave your home in time to arrive 30 minutes early.  Having said that, please notify your refereeing team via email or text message.  If you do not know your crew’s contact information, please contact [email protected], [email protected] and [email protected].

Q: I am at the field but the other referee(s) have not yet shown up.  What is the protocol?

A: If it is 15 minutes prior to kick off, please inform [email protected], [email protected] and [email protected].  You can call us as well as you should have our cell numbers.

Q: I am ill and cannot perform the game.   What should I do?

A: Please give us as much notice as possible to replace you in this situation.  It is incredibly difficult and stressful to replace referees on the day of the match.  We understand that emergencies can happen, but for all situations that are not unforeseen emergencies, please give us as much advance notice as possible.

Q: How much of the game must be played to be considered complete in the event of a stoppage due to external factors (weather, etc.)?

Two-thirds of the match must be completed for the score to stand.  60 minutes on a 90-minute game and 40 minutes on a 60-minute game.

Q: If we have a weather delay due to thunder as per Ontario Soccer policy, how long must we wait before the game is abandoned?

A: For a 90-minute game, if it’s impossible to play two-thirds (60 minutes) total game time  before the end of the field booking, the game is abandoned.  We ask you to do your best to get the game completed if possible.  For example: On a 9pm game, they will usually leave the lights on an extra 10 minutes past 11pm.

Q: What happens if the lights go out?

A: Please contact Louie or Sultan if the lights go out erroneously.  They can be turned back on within 15 minutes.

Q: What are game fees?

A: 2018 game fees are $60/$30/$30 (Referee/Assistant Referee 1/Assistant Referee 2).  For Summer Indoor, the fee is $35.

Q: What is the method of payment? 

A: All game fees are paid via Email Transfer (Interac eTransfer) on the 15th of the next month.  (Example:  June games are paid by July 15th)

Q: Does Grand River Soccer need my banking information or a void cheque in order to be paid?

A: No, e-Transfers are done completely via email.  Once you receive the notification in your inbox, you can follow the process to deposit into your bank.  Many banking institutions allow you to set up automatic deposit for eTransfers.  You will need to contact your bank about this.

Q: Do I need to claim referee fees as taxable income?

A: In all areas of life, you should claim your earnings and your expenses with Canada Revenue.  Keep in mind that you can also claim your expenses, such as referee uniforms and other equipment.

Q: How do I receive games?

A: GRSC uses RefCentre ( to assign games

  1. Sign into
  2. Update your Availability monthly or as soon as you know your schedule (Games > Availability)
  3. Update your Leagues once per year (Preferences > Leagues) and be sure “Grand River Soccer League” is selected
  4. Update your Divisions once per year (Preferences > Divisions) and be sure all of the divisions under Grand River Soccer League are set to “Ref or AR” or “AR Only” (the second option is for referees aged 14-18)
  5. Update your fields once per year (Preferences > Fields).  This is crucial for Level 4, 5, and 6 referees.  Each of these cities and fields should be selected as “Preferred”
    1. Level 6: You need to select all of the following cities: Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Elmira, Wilmot
    2. Level 4 and 5:  You need to select each field we use.  Under Cambridge, select Aurora Lodge, Bill Struck Field, ComDev Soccer Park Full Field, Galt Collegiate Institute, Rogers Field, Oriental Sports Club, Portuguese Club Cambridge.  Under Elmira, select Lions Park 1 – Elmira.  Under Kitchener, select Budd Park 1, Budd Park 2, Centennial Park Kitchener, Woodside Park #1, Woodside Park #2, Portuguese Club Kitchener.  Under Waterloo, select Bridgeport 1, Bridgeport 2, RIM Park 7, RIM Park 8, RIM Park 9, RIM Park 10, Westmount #1, Westmount #2.  Under Wilmot, select Wilmot Rec Complex 1.

Q: Can’t you just override the system so I don’t have to keep my availability, etc. up to date?

A: Yes…however, it takes 3 seconds to assign a referee to a game if the referee’s preferences and availability are set accurately.  It takes 5-10 minutes to assign a referee to each game if their preferences and availability are not up-to-date.  Since we are assigning 32 games (96 assignments) every week while co-ordinating back-to-back assignments, it’s very inefficient to assign you to games if you do not keep your RefCentre profile accurate.

Q: If I decline a game, does that mean I can no longer accept games in that spot?

A: Correct.  Referees should not be declining games unless there are extenuating or changing circumstances.  Please contact the assignor in this situation.  All of the assignors in the area are working together to help each other out and make sure all games are covered with an appropriately assigned referee.

Q: What brand of referee uniform should I wear?

A: The South West district association has asked that everyone purchase the 2018 Adidas kit in three colours (black, yellow, red) and we support that request, so that uniform is the preference.  However, if you are unable to acquire that kit at this time due to availability or cost, we do not mind if you wear the Avanti kit, or a previous Adidas kit.  Your goal should be to acquire the 2018 Adidas kit using some of your referee earnings.

Q: Where is the field?

A: All of the maps are in RefCentre.  When you click your game in the schedule, the map is at the bottom of the screen.  If a map is missing, contact your assignor.

Q: Can all of my assigned games be with another referee?

A: GRSC attempts to accommodate “referee teams” for purposes of transportation (example: family members in the same household).  Other assignors may not be able to do this for various reasons.  Even for GRSC, sometimes it just doesn’t work out.

Q: Can all of my assigned games be at the same field?

A: GRSC attempts to minimize travel for all match officials, particularly youth match officials, and university-student match officials.  This is not always possible.   Having said that, most of the fields we use are near the expressway or the 401 (meaning sometimes it’s easier to get to the Elmira field than Woodside or Westmount!).   As well, most of the games we assign are double-headers, so you get more refereeing money for your trip, minimizing your expenses.

Q: What do I do with the gamesheet after the game?

A: Fill it out with goalscorers and cards, and referee signatures.  Break apart the three carbon copies.  Give one copy to the home team, one copy to the away team, and the referee keeps the white copy.  Scan and send the white copy to the email address on the gamesheet.  Also, sign into RefCentre to enter the score, yellow cards, and red cards.  There is no requirement for additional paperwork for Cautions and Dismissals.

Q: Do I need to update RefCentre after the game?

A: Yes, the referee (not the assistant referees) needs to sign into RefCentre to complete the game report.  RefCentre will prompt you to do this upon signing in.

Q: I would like to advance as a referee.  What steps do I take?

A: There are many things you can do to help prepare yourself for the next level.

  • Run the fitness tests each spring when they are made available on RefCentre.
  • Ask the district for an assessment.  I believe they are (possibly) still free-of-charge for Level 6 and below.  Accept feedback with an open mind.
  • Keep your RefCenter up to date.
  • Don’t decline games.
  • Never no-show.  Never be late (always show up first).
  • Ask your assignors for more challenging assignments.
  • Find a mentor.
  • Don’t slack on the laws of the game.  Know them and apply them.
  • Spend more time training than you do refereeing (education, cardio, weights).
  • Fitness is the key component of an upgrading match official…that’s just the landscape right now.  Other factors can be taught, but your fitness requires your dedication and discipline.
  • Manage your relationships (with other referees, assignors, administrators, coaches, players, etc.)
  • Attend district or club education and training sessions.
  • Follow the Ontario Soccer website, particularly the section on how to upgrade.