Referee Outdoor Soccer Rules and Information

Table of Contents


1. REFEREE REGISTRATION - for new referees 


3. REFEREE REGISTRATION - for returning Youth/District Referees 







1. REFEREE REGISTRATION - for new referees 

We are always looking for referees and your interest is welcome.  All potential referees, over the age of 12 on or before March 31st of this year, should complete the attached referee Application form and submit to  The Head Referee will be in touch with you regarding an interview during the months of February and March.  We are generally looking to train 25-35 new referees each year.


Please contact the Head Referee for any questions you may have.

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NOTE: This is a fillable PDF which means you can complete it, save the file (whatever you like) and email to the OTFC Head Referee.  If for some reason it will not save, then please print the document and drop it off at the OTFC Office.

Background and Course Information:

With the Canadian Soccer Association raising the minimum age of Entry Level Referees to 14 years of age, effective in 2009, a gap was created for the hundreds of 12 and 13 year old Ontario Soccer (OS) referees. For this reason, the OS Referee Department developed in 2009 a Small Sided (Mini) Soccer Referee Course for 12 and 13 year olds.

The same formula will be used for 2019 and for those who want to be SMALL SIDED GAMES Referees. You will be required to take this one day course. (You must turn 12 by March 31, 2019 to be eligible). The date for the Small Sided Game course is May 11, 2019.

Returning SMALL SIDED GAMES Referees (those who refereed last year and will not be 14 years of age by March 31, 2019) are not required to take the one day course again.

These referees are required to notify the head referee of their intention to return as a small sided game referee and must also pay the annual registration fee to Ontario Soccer.

If you do not notify the head referee by February 14th of your intent to return, it will be assumed that you are not returning. New referee appointments are determined with returning referees confirmed, so it's important to have an accurate count.

If you were a SMALL SIDED GAMES referee last season, and will turn 14 years of age on or before March 31st of this year, you will be required to take the CSA ENTRY LEVEL two day course to continue refereeing this season. Courses are designed by the Canadian Soccer Association with the aim of providing a more uniform approach in teaching the Laws of the Game, leading to a greater degree of uniformity in the understanding and application of the Laws. Participants are required to pre-register for the course and complete a pre-course workbook, in-class workbook, and pass (80% and higher) an examination at the conclusion of the course. Those who pass the written examination will be certified as CSA District Referees (if over the age of 16) or Youth Referees (if under the age of 16). You must turn 14 by March 31 of this year, to take this course which takes 2 days to complete. The dates for the Entry Level course are April 13-14, 2019.

Please note: all course dates are tentative until approved by the Ontario Soccer Association.  You must attend the course IN ITS ENTIRETY. If you are unable to attend the entire course, please do not apply. No exceptions will be made. 

We are always looking for MATURE Adults to become Referees, so please apply if you are interested.  

If you would like to referee this season then please email a completed  application to the CUSC Head Referee at

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3. REFEREE REGISTRATION - for returning Youth/District Referees (previously passed the Entry Level Referee Clinic):

Please visit the following OS link for updated changes for this Season. 

As per previous years, the renewal for your OSA license will be available on Ref Centre via your personal account in February. The instructions and Q&A's are posted on the OSA website.

License renewal fees for this season are as follows:

Referee Level Annual Registration Fee
National $--
Provincial $--
Regional $--
District 18 years and over $--
District Youth Referee 16-17 yrs (as of March 1, 2015) $--
Youth Referee 14-15 yrs $--
Small Side Games 12-13 yrs Included in Course Fee

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Referee Job Descriptions and Responsibilities

Each match is controlled by a referee who has full authority to enforce the Laws of the Game in connection with the match to which she/he has been appointed.

  • Conduct yourself in a professional manner, including showing up 30 minutes in advance of the game in full uniform (shirt tucked in, no hat or sunglasses, and all necessary equipment to officiate the game); 

  • Ensure that the playing field is safe for play and does not have any dangerous materials on it (i.e. large rocks, pieces of glass);

  • Satisfy all the requirements of the Ottawa TFC Soccer Club, including the completion and submission of all administrative or disciplinary forms to OTFC and to the OCSL if required; 

  • Ensure that you officiate all assigned matches or make arrangements to have another equally qualified referee to officiate;

  • Make sure that corner flags are placed properly;

  • Ensure that all players are wearing shin-guards and are not wearing any jewellery;

  • Introduce yourself to the Coaches; for house league games, ask each team to supply a linesman;

  • Perform the coin toss with the captains. Winner chooses the end to defend and the loser kicks off;

  • Start the game on time;

  • Have the coaches sign the game sheet at the end of the game;

  • Complete and submit any disciplinary reports to the Head Referee within 48 hours or the EODSA/OCSL for Competitive games.

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All referees are expected to dress in conformity to OS requirements. Currently, OS requires referees to have the following uniform:

  • Shirt: Black (or equivalent) referee shirt;

  • Shorts: Black shorts with no white trim. Shorts should be not be baggy or otherwise below the knee;

  • Socks: Black;

  • Shoes: Black in colour with no flashy trim and in good condition.

In addition, referees are not permitted to wear hats, sunglasses (unless prescription), or bandanas.

  • Referees equipment should be kept in a kit or a sport bag and should include the following items:

    • Whistles (preferably a Fox 40 or other pea-less whistle);

    • Watch with a stop-time function (have a second cheap one in case the first malfunctions);

    • Pencil and a pen (pencil for passport, pen for the game sheet);

    • Red and Yellow card;

    • Small game pad to keep track of developments on the field;

    • Alternate jersey is yellow and then blue (in case one team wears a predominantly black jersey);

    • Assistant Referee flags.

Shirts of different colours may be worn provided that the colour is different than either team and/or the goaltender. New referees should have a black shirt at a minimum.

Note: The ERSL mandates all Referees assigned to their games have a Black Shirt and a Yellow Shirt. All Officials should be dressed in matching shirts, and therefore it is important to take both shirts to the field at all times.

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Summer Season

Winter Season
Age Group Referee A/R Age Group Referee A/R
U8 $20 N/A U5-U12 Futsal $23 N/A
U9 $25 N/A U13-U17 Futsal $28 N/A
U10 $25 N/A Adult Futsal $30 N/A
U11 $30 N/A Adult Dome $30 N/A
U12 $30 N/A      
U13-U15 $40 $23      
U16-U18 $45 $25      
Adult 11 v 11 $50 $28      
Adult Co-Ed $30 N/A      
U18 7v7 $30 N/A      


Please NOTE:

If you received game assignments via the "Power Up Assignment System" you will be paid by "CUSC" (operating as OTFC).

All assignments via "REF CENTER", for centre referees jobs will be paid for by the ERSL.
If you have any questions regarding pay or assignments for ERSL games "REF CENTER", you must contact them directly as OTFC has nothing to do with their payments.

Remember questions/concerns should be forwarded by cell or email to the OTFC Head Referee.

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The laws of the game are provided by FIFA (Federation Internationale de Football Association). They are described in the booklet Laws of the Game which will be handed out to all new Ontario Soccer Entry Level course attendants, or mailed to all existing District Referees who register on time.

These laws are the rules of all matches unless otherwise stated.

For a pdf version of these laws please click here: 

FIFA - Laws of the game (2018-2019)

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8. CUSC Outdoor Soccer rules:

For detailed rules on all OTFC soccer programs, please visit the OTFC outdoor rules page