How do we get games?

Here are some tips to getting games:

  • Be proactive and contact your local assignor(s) and let them know you want to referee. You can find a list of assignors here: https://www.michiganrefs.org/referees/get-games/ under “2022 Michigan Certified Assignors.”
  • Also, we have a page on this. Check this page out.
  • Enter your availability in Game Officials. Under “My Availability” you should enter times when you are available to work games (Green) and times when you are not available (red). If you do not enter availability (gray) Game Officials will assume that you are not available.
  • Block only partial days if you can only work in the afternoon or morning, etc.
  • Check your email daily – all assignors use email to communicate
  • If you enter your cell phone number into Game Officials, you can receive texts from Game Officials about new game assignments, changed game details and/or game cancellations.
  • Learn how to use the software the assignor uses (Game Officials and/or Arbiter) and all of the features including block/updating availability, team attaching, travel limits, preferences, etc. You can find tips on how to use Game Officials here: https://www.michiganrefs.org/referees/get-games/
  • Enter notes into Game Officials about what you can and cannot do (i.e., I do not have a car and need to coordinate rides to games).
  • (Over)communicate with assignors so you can develop a relationship with them as they can help you reach your goals as a referee.

How far do we have to drive?

As stated above, all the systems allow you to set a travel limit. Understand those systems calculate mileage from your zip code, not actual distance, so set your limit 10-15 miles higher. Most assignors try to keep you as close to home as possible.  If you change addresses, please (1) change your address in Game Officials and (2) make sure to contact State Administrator  @ sra@michiganrefs.org about your changed address as the travel ZIP needs to be updated by him – travel ZIP cannot be updated by the referee themselves.

How do we get more challenging games?

Usually, your assignor will give you younger age groups and Assistant Referee positions to start. Over time, your assignor will give you Center Referee positions. If you wish to receive more challenging assignments, reach out to your assignor. You can also request to have a Referee Mentor observe you and give you feedback. 

How do I request a Referee Mentor? 

From the Michiganrefs.org home page (the MRC website), click “request a referee mentor”. Here is the link to the form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScYy–FvX7bVHkMfqM457gA3P5YU4i757G-UT93jJG6w-io2Q/viewform 

How do I find out who my assignor is?

On the Michiganrefs.org website, click “current referees” and click “get games”. Here is the link: https://www.michiganrefs.org/referees/get-games/. At the bottom, you will find a list of current assignors for the state.

Where do we buy jerseys? What color jerseys to buy first? Do we need both long sleeves and short sleeves?

The website with the official uniforms is officialsports.com. You should buy a yellow jersey first and then green.  As you gain more experience, you will want to consider buying the remaining colors in this order:  red, blue, black.  You should buy short sleeve jerseys because you can wear a plain black long sleeve shirt underneath. Eventually, you should buy long sleeve jerseys as well.

Who do we contact if we want more games?

The best way to get more games is to contact your local assignor as indicated above.

The other good way to get games is to attend tournaments.  If you are willing to travel to other areas of the state, please contact your assignor who can place you in contact with other assignors.

What do I do if I play for a team and I am assigned to the same team, but a different age group?

Before accepting the game, contact your assignor. Explain the situation and ask if they still want you to accept the game. If you do work any games for the same club you play for, NEVER wear any club / team apparel (warm ups, hoodies, shorts, etc) with the club name or logo on it. To assist the assignor, you can enter your conflict information on GameOfficials. Go to My Preferences > Game / Team Conflicts – to add the team as a conflict.

What happens when we get injured during the game?

If YOU get injured in a game, stop the game and decide if you can continue. If you cannot, decide if the game can continue with just the rest of the referee crew. If you cannot continue the game, explain to the coaches what happened, contact your assignor ASAP. If you are at a complex with many fields, see if other referees are available. USSF or the MRC will not be responsible for any expenses related to your injury.

What should we do when a player gets injured?

If a player gets injured, stop the game as soon as possible and call the coach or medical staff onto the field to help their player. If the player does not return to the game or you suspect a serious injury, contact your assignor and put all the details in a game report.

What should we do when a parent, a coach, or a player abuses/assaults me?

First and foremost, get someplace safe. If it is during a game, stop the game, get your crew and gear, and get someplace safe. If you don’t have a safe place, go to another field where there are adults or teams who can help you. Do not hesitate to call 911 on your phone. Contact your assignor as soon as possible and they will help make sure it gets reported to the league, clubs and Referee Committee.

How long does my certification last? When do I need to recertify?

Certifications are good from Jan 1 – December 31 each calendar year. You must recertify every year. Look for emails in late Fall (Sep – Oct) with instructions for how to certify for next year.

There are a small number of people who took their first class after July 1st of any given year whose first certification will not expire until December of the following year (example: first certification class is August 2022; they will receive a 2023 badge and be certified until December 2023).

What resources exist to assist in my education about officiating soccer and the Laws of the Game?

The Michigan Referee Committee (MRC) has put together over the last few years a number of videos and blog posts on various topics.  Many of these items take less than four minutes to review.

Blog postings:  mrcreftips.blogspot.com

YouTube videos:  Michigan Soccer Referee Committee – YouTube

MRC Twitter:  @MichiganReferee

MRC Newsletter: https://www.michiganrefs.org/newsletter/

Also, you should download the IFAB app which has the complete Laws of the Game. You can use this to read up on laws that you are not as familiar with and you can use the search feature to look up a specific law.