Reading Room

The Reading Room is a compilation of articles from a variety of sources of interest to BRYC Referees.    Current topics:
FPYC Schedule
How To Self Assign In Game Officials
Highlights of the 2019 Changes To The Laws Of The Game
Goal Kick - How The New LOTG Apply
How To Submit A Game Report in Game Officials
A Tragic Accident
Blind Ref

How To Self Assign In Game Officials


Is this your first season as a referee?  AR positions only.  No centers.  No ODSL games.  No U8s.
All positions on ODSL games require at least one season of experience at the same age on non-ODSL games.
Do not self-assign three centers in a row unless all the AR positions are covered.
Avoid taking the second game of the day if the first game of the day is uncovered.
No one may work for more than 5 hours without a break.  Rare exceptions for a few adults.
Do not take U16/U19 games until you have comfortably officiated U14 games.
Do not take a center until you have comfortably officiated that age as an AR.

Contact me if you take a U8 game for the first time.  The U8s are special to me, which is one reason they pay so well, but they are also different, and I want to chat with you first about them.

Send me an email if you find no games available, or you want to work together as a family.

Check our handbook at for additional information.


If you read nothing else, read this:

-       You must be logged in to Group 1389.
-       You can’t self-assign if you have blocked availability on that date.
-       You must set a date range in the self-assign filters.

Use Google Chrome.  Other browsers cause unexpected results.
Log in to Game Officials and click “Change Identity.”
Click on “Switch” next to Group 1389-RefSoccer.Net.
If asked for a USSF ID, enter: 0000-0000-0000-0000
Click Personal Info > My Availability.  Make sure the dates you want to self-assign are not blocked.  You cannot see self-assignable games on days with a block.

Click Personal Info > Self-Assign.
Click the “+” to open Game Filters.
Ensure “All” is showing after each of the seven filters at the top of the form.
Click “Custom Dates” and put in a range of dates you want to view.
Click “Reload.”
Click the position (Referee or AR) for the game you want.

WARNING: There is no “ARE YOU SURE?” button.  Once you click on the position, the game is yours.  If you experience an OOPS moment, send me an email and I can correct it.

Note that there is a limit on the number of games you may self-assign in a day.  You can come back tomorrow for more.

When done, click My Games to ensure your assignments posted correctly.


Highlights Of The 2019 Changes To The LOTG

JD's 14 highlights of changes to the Laws of the Game:

1.  Coin toss: Winner chooses kickoff or side to attack.  Loser chooses side if winner takes kickoff.

2.  Showing cards to coaches and other team officials (something we already do) is now included in the Laws.

3.  Substitutes must usually leave the field at the nearest boundary line.  Still have to enter at the halfway line.  The pinni-exchange method of substituting is obsolete. Substitutes still have to wait to enter the field until the substituted player is off.  Should result in shorter stoppages for subs.  However.... most youth leagues are igmoring this guidance, so we will igmore it too.

4.  On free kicks coming out of the penalty area, including goal kicks, the ball is in play when it is kicked and clearly moves.  While opponents must still retreat outside the penalty area (or build-out line) there is no longer a requirement to wait for the ball to cross any line before touching it.  This means players can rush the ball as soon as it is kicked.  Should result in fewer retakes, especially for our U8s and U9s.

5.  Deliberate handling is now called 'handball,' which is what most spectators yell at us already.  Still has to be deliberate to be called, though we have a unique definition of what we mean by 'deliberate.'  Failure to make a split-second to get your arm out of the way is still not a violation.

6.  Goalkeepers only have to keep one foot on the goal line on a penalty kick.  They may not touch the goal post or crossarm until the kick is taken.

7.  Dropped balls in the penalty area go to the goalkeeper.  No contesting for it.

8.  Dropped balls outside the penalty area go to one player of the team that last touched it.  No contesting for it - stay at least 4.5 yards back.  

9.  If the ball hits the referee and enters the goal, or team possession changes, or a promising attack starts, we will blow the whistle, then restart with a dropped ball.

10.  Attackers are not allowed within one yard of a defensive wall of three or more players.

11.  Goalkeepers cannot score by throwing the ball into their opponents' goal.

12.  Goalkeepers who fail at clearing the ball may then pick it up, inside the penalty area of course.

13.  If a team takes a quick restart before the referee has time to show a card, the referee may let play continue and show a card at the next stoppage.

14.  Stoppages for verbal offenses, whether a card is shown or not, are restarted with an indirect free kick, not a PK or direct kick.

ODSL and NCSL provide good summaries of the LOTG changes:
ODSL Summary
NCSL Summary

Here is a link to a document created by US Soccer to briefly (in 42 slides) explain the Law changes:

This document is intended for our returning referees who already understand the Laws, but I expect there will be a learning curve similar to our implementation of build-out lines two years ago.

Here is a link to the complete 246 pages of the Laws of the Game:

AFTER you have read these documents, please send me any questions and I will do what I can to research answers for you.

Goal Kick - How The New LOTG Applies

Let’s not make this too complicated.  To clarify,

For all ages where we provide referees (U8 to U19),
On any kick “coming out” of the penalty area (goal kick, indirect free kick, direct free kick),
The defending (kicking) team may kick when ready unless the referee directs the kicker to wait (substitution, injury, etc.).
The opposing team must retreat behind the line (build-out line, penalty area line, depending on the age),
AND be ten yards from the ball.
If the kicker chooses not to wait, it is not an infraction for the opposing team to be too close.
The ball is in play (and may be challenged) as soon as it is kicked and moved.

The referee will not tell the kicker to wait until the opposing team has fully retreated, but the kicker may choose to wait.  If the opposing team is slow to retreat, the referee may:

Do nothing.
Encourage them with words to move along.
Blow the whistle, move them back, and restart with a whistle.  Rare.
Show a yellow card if this behavior continues.  Extremely rare.

The good news is that all those multiple re-do’s when the kicker could not kick the ball far enough to cross the line have now been eliminated.


May I.....?

May I play with earrings if they are taped?
But they are taped really, really well.
Doesn't matter.
And I have gauze and cotton on both sides.
Still doesn't matter.
And a doctor's note...

How To Submit A Game Report In Game Officials

Log in to Game Officials and Change Identity to Group 1389.
Select the correct date at the top of the page.
Click on the Game Number.
Enter the score.
For U8 games, enter the score as 1-1.
Answer the three questions. In most cases, answer NO to all three questions.
If you answer YES, please include summary notes.
Include in summary notes: cards shown, serious injuries, anything else assignor should know.
For lengthy explanations, serious incidents, or injuries, please send the details to the assignor via email.
Click Save.

No game report = No pay for referee.  (ARs are still paid).
Game reports must be submitted within 24 hours of the game.
Referee submits game reports.  Assistant Referees only submit game reports when specifically requested by their assignor.
NEVER send a game report or other post-game comments to a coach, club administrator, or league official.

ODSL games require game reports in both Game Officials and at

A Tragic Accident

Dangers of Unsecured Soccer Goals

The death last week of a six-year-old goalie was a sad reminder of the dangers posed by unsecured soccer goals.
Zachary Tran was at practice last Wednesday with his suburban Chicago soccer team when...

Blind Ref

This photo was snapped at the Herndon All-Star Tournament in November 2004.  The owner of this car is a very well-respected referee from Richmond.  Everyone loves referees who don't take themselves too seriously.

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Washingtoin Spirit

Washingtoin Spirit