Referee Rules & Regulations

Thank you for your interest in referee position at the International Soccer Club in Mississauga.

Referee Support Policy

Any person judged by the ISC Discipline Board to be guilty of abusive conduct towards a game official during any ISC game will be reprimanded in writing. A second conviction will result in all playing members of the immediate family in question being de-registered from the ISC. The ISC Discipline Board may decide to start the de-registration process after the 1st offense. This policy applies to all attendees at any ISC games.


  1. When a game official feels that they are being abused by either coach or fan, the official will be allowed to suspend the game. If the abuse is physical, the game official will inform the coaches that the game has been abandoned and then proceed to step a.
  2. The official will then verbally advise both coaches that the game has been stopped due to the abuse and inform both coaches as to the source of the abuse. If the source is one of the coaches, the official will advise the coach that the next occurrence of a similar nature will result in an abandonment of the game and that a report to the ISC Discipline Board will be sent in for review. If the source is a fan, the appropriate coach must advise the fan that the next occurrence of a similar nature will result in an abandonment of the game. Further, a report to the ISC Discipline Board will be sent in for review. If the person is not associated with either team, both coaches are asked to speak to the person and ask the individual to leave.
  3. Once the prescribed action in step 2 has been completed, the game will restart with a dropped ball between the two teams at the location where the play was stopped.
  4. If the abuse continues, the official will be allowed to stop the game and advise the coaches that the game has been abandoned and that a special incidence report will be forwarded to the ISC Discipline Board. The official must clearly indicate on the game sheet that the game was abandoned due to abuse.
    1. The game official must contact their referee to verbally report the incident within 24 hours.
    2. A special incidence report, with the assistance of the referee must then be forwarded to the ISC within 48 hours.
    3. The ISC Discipline Board will then review and deal with the report as per their guidelines.
    4. If the game was abandoned due to the conduct of a fan not associated with either team, the Executive will determine the status of the game.
  5. If the game continues without any further incident, the game official is advised to inform their referee coordinator that the game was temporarily suspended due to abuse towards a game official. Further, a note should be made on the game sheet.

Referee Advisory

Once you have accepted/selected a game, it is your responsibility to get all the information and copy it onto your calendar. This game is yours! Make sure you know where the field is and how you are getting there! Should you find out you cannot fulfill your game YOU MUST Do the Following:

  1. CALL referees from the list until you find a replacement. Call the referee coordinator as well; they may have someone standing by who can be assigned to do the game for you. The system will not allow game cancellation.
  2. CALL the coordinator when you find a replacement and give him the details. If for some reason you did not make it to your game please inform the referee coordinator. It is better to let us know, than have us phone you to inquire. If you arrive late and a parent is refereeing, speak to the coaches and step in. If you arrive at a field and there are now two referees. Compare your information. Likely one of you is either on the wrong date or at the wrong field

Arrival at the Field

You must arrive at least 30 minutes prior to kick-off, to perform your pre-game duties:

  • Inspect the field for safety
  • Inspect that the net frame is secured to the ground and is rigid, and ensure that the mesh is attached properly to the posts, crossbar, and the ground.
  • Meet the coaches, verify the length of halves and substitutions
  • Verify that the game ball is suitable
  • Obtain and inspect that the game sheets are completed properly. (names of coach and players must be legible and it must be signed and dated with the game #)
  • Inspect players equipment is acceptable.
  • Ensure that players are not wearing any type of jewelry (no more taping, and no studs, no watches and no hard casts) [eye glasses are allowed as long as they are safe and secured]
  • Obtain instructions form the referee if you are an assistant.

No Shows

A no show will go on your record and will result in loss of bonuses and removal from the list of ISC referee list. If you have 3 no shows without a valid reason you will be removed from the ISC list for one year.

Game Sheets & Report Forms

Game sheets must be filled out properly. Getting the score properly is very important. Cautions and dismissals must be reported on proper forms, extra forms will be available at the club. Special Incidents Reports are for reporting any improper behavior by anyone other than players. However players may also be reported on these forms if an incident occurs after they have been dismissed or for incidents that occur before or after the game.

If a game is abandoned for whatever reason please report the score at the time the game was terminated and how much time was played. Make sure you report the reason for abandoning the game. If the game was abandoned due to interference by spectators, a coach or a player a special incident report must be submitted as well.


Hot Summer Days

Common sense must be applied when game is conducted in excessive heat. The referee must bring lots of water to drink. Also, the referee shall allocate time during the game for players to drink, even allowing a water break in each half for all players. If a player is not feeling well, allow a substitution at any stoppage, you can consider this as an injury. You may even consult with the coaches about reducing the lengths of the game especially if one team does not have any substitutes.


If you notice lightning or if you suspect it is in the area, stop the game. Speak to the coaches and get everyone to safety. Decide if you going to wait and see if it clears, but if it doesn’t look good, just abandoned the game. Report the score and time played on the game sheet. You must submit the game sheet even if the game did not start so that you can be compensated.

Assistant Referees

If you are assigned as an assistant referee, you have an important job to do and duties to perform. You must also be there at least 30 minutes prior to KO. The referee should be giving you instructions, otherwise you should be asking for them. Your duties include, being at all times in a position to judge offside. If you watch the game instead of your correct position you will find yourself getting out of position often. This is embarrassing for you and the referee.

If the player is an offside position when the ball is played forward by a team-mate wait until he gets involved with the play before raising the flag. Remember a player can’t be in an offside position if he/she is behind the ball or in his own half. Advise the referee of fouls or serious incidents he/she may not have seen. Eye contact with the referee is important so that you both are signalling for the same restart.


When meeting with the coaches it is important that they understand the proper procedure for substitutions. Some adult coaches will try to take advantage of the youth referee and make substitutions whenever they like. Please remind them of the following procedure:

  • Substitutions are allowed with the referee’s permission at a goal kick, team’s own throw in, after a goal is scored, for an injured player, and at half time.
  • At anyone of the above stoppages the referee must be informed that a substitution is requested
  • The referee must grant the permission to go ahead
  • Players must leave the field at half way line
  • As each player leaves then a substitute may enter the field also at the half way line

Please do not allow players to enter the field without permission or prior a player he/she replacing has left. If a coach makes a substitution without permission, politely remind them of the procedure and if they repeat the offence, you should start cautioning players for entering the field of play without permission. *A goalkeeper can change places with any other player at any stoppage provided the referee is notified. This would include the penalty shot.

Time Lost

You should play the full length of a half and add for time lost through substitutions, injuries, ball lost, and discipline. On average it is between 2 or 3 minutes per half. If a team is deliberately trying to waste time in the second half, by delaying a restart to gain an unfair advantage when winning by a goal or two, you should warn the first offending player then caution the next. Other methods used to cheat and waste time would be a coach making a substitution at every stoppage. Make it clear that you will stop your watch when this happens and this may put a stop to it. IT IS NOT NECESSARY TO ADD TIME WHEN A TEAM IS LOSING BY A LOT OF GOALS. MAKE SURE YOU ARE USING A DIGITAL STOPWATCH

Troublesome Players, Coaches or Parents

At times you will encounter players, coaches or parents who are troublemakers. They may challenge your decisions and even verbally intimidate opponents. When this occurs be sure to take them aside at a stoppage, talk to them and instruct them that such behavior is not acceptable and if they persist, they will be cautioned. If you end up cautioning them, advise them that further problems would result in a sending off. Please Refer to Referee Support Policy for details.

Please make sure you recognize the different tangents of unsporting behavior. Sometimes just awarding a free kick is not enough. Try and judge what should be a warning, a caution, or a dismissal as each game is different. When a game is becoming rough you must use one or all three of the above measures to help regain control of the game.