1. Is it safe?
First priority is safety! Anchor goals, remove field hazards. Corner flags safe? Never play in thunder and lightning. Control foul play. Treat all injuries as serious.
2. Know the rules.
Read and re-read the book. Be comfortable with the Laws, and be ready for the odd situations.
3. Referee Uniform.
Show respect for the players and the game by arriving in the complete uniform.
4. Do I have my equipment?
Watch, whistle, pencil, paper, coins, water, jacket.
5. Field inspection.
Check goals, nets, corner flags (cones), proper lines, holes, rocks, sticks, glass. Check field even if another game has been played before yours.
6. Player safety check.
Shin guards. Proper soccer cleats. No jewelry, wristlets/bands, metal hair clips or casts!
7. Start on time.
Check teams and pass cards early enough to get started on time. If the previous game has not finished, check teams in and have coin toss to the side of the field.
8. Pre-game speech.
Ask if they have questions. Tell about anything unusual (like which lines you are using) and tell them enjoy the game. Never threaten “if you do this, I’ll do that”….
9. Strong signals.
Let everyone know what you call! Loud whistle, strong arm signals, clear voice.
10. Control the game.
Bring play under control early. Players will be testing to see what you let them get away with early and escalate from there. Set tge precedence for how the game will be called. Blow the whistle and be confident with your calls.
11. File Game report.
Don’t put it off! File reports the same day.