SABR Referee Game Duties & Responsibilities

Being ON TIME, BEING PREPARED and LOOKING PROFESSIONAL are three of the most important factors in gaining respect of both the coaches and players.


If you are assigned a game, you need plan to be at least 20-30 minutes early so that you can make sure the field is in a safe condition to play (e.g., goals anchored, no hazards on the field, etc.), plus this will allow you to start on time. Other referees have been asked to report tardiness of the referees, and if it turns out you are frequently late, you may not be permitted to referee.

If a referee does not show up, then please follow these procedures:

  1. Try to contact either Mr. Brian Behrmann (SABR Youth Soccer) or Mr. Lou Hecht (SABR Team Boca) who can try to check on that referee’s whereabouts. Leave a message or continue to try and reach him. It is important not only for that game, but also that referee may have subsequent games that we will need to try and cover. If there are referees from a previous game still at your field, you might ask them to stick around for a bit to see if they might be needed to help.
  1. If you cannot contact Mr. Behrmann or Mr. Hecht or if he does not have a substitute available, you should see if there is another licensed referee in the area who can act as a linesman. You need to confirm the person’s status as a referee.
  1. Unless that referee just finished a game at the same level, you should still try to contact Mr. Behrmann or Mr. Hecht before having that person step in. We want to make sure our referees are experienced enough to cover the level you are asking them to fill in on. If you cannot reach them, you will need to make that decision yourself. Any such tardiness should be reported to Mr. Behrmann or Mr. Hecht (see Contacts).
  1. If you cannot find a suitable linesman (in recreational games only), then you can use a “club linesman” if the coaches agree. The “club linesman” can only indicate if the ball has gone out of play, so you will need to be very observant of potential offside violations. Be sure that the “club linesman” knows that the entire ball must cross the touch line or goal line to be considered “out”. A club linesman may NOT be paid. Be sure to notify Mr. Behrmann.
  1. If the scheduled linesman shows up after the game has started, they make take over for the “club linesman” with the referee’s permission. Any such tardiness needs to be reported to Mr. Behrmann.


If you are a head referee, you need to make sure you have a working whistle, digital watch or stop watch, game report and pen or pencil, and your red and yellow cards. If you are a linesman, you need to bring your flag and your equipment for head referee in the event you need to step in if the head referee does not show.


Make sure you are wearing the proper Referee uniform including yellow shirt, black shorts, long black socks and black shoes. For travel games you will also need all the other approved colors (red, black, and green). Be sure your shirt is tucked in for the entire duration of the game. Remember that we need to set an example for the coaches and players – if we don’t tuck ours in, then how can we expect them to tuck theirs in.

Time Management

Time management of the soccer game is the responsibility of the referee, not the coaches, not the players and not the administrators. SABR works very hard to schedule as many games as possible to optimize the limited number of soccer fields, thus it is extremely important that you keep the games on time. Delays due to injury, weather or other reason you deem appropriate can be made up by adding time at the end of the game at your discretion, so long as it does not interfere with the start of the next game