Certification

WSSL Certification Courses for Referees & Assistant Referees

Prior to every season and often in between seasons, WSSL offers a series of certification courses for parents and young people who wish to become referees and assistant referees. This is the beginning of your training, not the end. Participating in and completing the certification process is a requirement in order to take the pitch as a referee. All referees and assistant referees must take Safe Haven and must take the age appropriate level of certification training for the kids' games they are officiating.

  • Safe Haven -- all referees and assistant referees
  • Concussion Awareness - all referee sand assistant referees
  • U8 Official Referee Course for referees in U6, U7 and U8
  • Regional Referee Course for referees in U9 and older (U8 Official, Safe Haven and Concussion Awareness are Prerequisites)

Safe Haven and Concussion Awareness can be taken at any time online at aysou.org.

Safe Haven and Concussion Awareness for All Volunteers

To ensure the safety of both children and volunteers, each coach is required to take two short online training sessions called Safe Haven and CDC Concussion Awareness. Safe Haven focuses on safety and appropriate behavior with children as well as first aid and other on-field issues. Safe Haven also gives volunteers the highest degree of protection available under the law. A background check is also required for each adult referee volunteer and a US social security number is required. 

We ask that every volunteer take the in person Safe Haven and Concussion Awareness courses at least once during their WSSL volunteer career. Referees should renew their familiarity with the Safe Haven and Concussion Awareness materials each year.

All Referees & Assistant Referees Must Be Registered

All referees and assistant referees must be registered with AYSO national. This is done by updating your adult profile on your WSSL in-league account. After logging in, click on Player and Volunteer Registration from the top menus. That will take you to your family profile page. Update the adult profile for the volunteer and check the volunteer box for Referee.

Referee and assistant referee backgrounds are checked by Sterling Volunteers, a vendor hired by AYSO national, to ensure the safety of our children. Your information will not be shared with any third party. 

If you are having trouble with your volunteer registration, please contact our Child and Volunteer Protection Advocate at cvpa@wssl.org.

Referee Q&A Sessions 

WSSL is committed to providing referees with opportunities to discuss their experiences on the pitch and to learn from each other. Sessions take place on weekday evenings during the season. See WSSL's Calendar for details. 

Referee Q&A sessions often cover interesting topics beyond general questions. Sometimes they review footage from a recent professional match and discuss the calls made and sometimes they discuss particular popular topics such as the offside rule or restarts. Participants find the sessions particularly helpful to on-field practice.

Beyond Regional Referee Certification

While the Regional Referee certification qualifies you to officiate in any West Side core game, there are opportunities to advance beyond the Regional level.

We typically offer the AYSO Intermediate Referee course once each year. This course reinforces the knowledge of the Laws of the Game, prepares officials for games with middle-school and high-school age players, and explores more of the subtleties of officiating.

As part of AYSO Area 3/A, we occasionally host the AYSO Advanced Referee course. This course is offered as candidates are identified throughout Area 3/A.