General Rules

Click Here for a printable handout of the 2023 RULES AT A GLANCE & FIELD MAPS

Welcome to PYSC dear Refs!

Greetings from Fevri Pazari – Club Head Referee

Eligibility: Thank you for applying to ref for PYSC. This is thanks to the fact that you are a registered referee in good standing with OSA, be it new or returning ref. Those of you who became referees for the first time this year are automatically registered with OSA, and are not required to attend any refreshing clinics. Starting the following year, you will need to renew your membership and attend the mandatory refreshing clinic, just like everybody else.

Expectations: As a referee, if you want to be in the PYSC list you have to apply. Your expectations from the club should be reasonable: remember we don’t charge any fees to you so we don’t owe anything to anyone. Your services are kindly appreciated. You will get as many games as possible, based on the number of the games, number of the referees, your availability and qualifications. We try to be as fair as possible. We expect you to be very professional, keep up-to-date with FIFA and our club’s rules and regulations, and try to keep a reasonable fitness level, be presentable and punctual, show respect for your colleagues; be communicative with the coaches, players and spectators.

Schedule: Our season starts in early or mid May ( this year in mid July) and ends in mid or late August ( this year first week of Sept.). The games take place every day from Monday to Thursday at 6:15 p.m with some exceptions.  Festival and Tournament will be on a Saturday or Sunday or both depending on the schedule, number of teams and availability of fields (details of schedule will always be posted on the web). From time to time there may be some schedule modifications of time and/or location of our games. Check the schedule!

Your Responsibilities: Your duty starts the moment you accept the game. You should make a note to remind yourself of the assignment: date, time, location, division, teams, or just print out the email that I sent you when I assigned you the game. You are required to be on the field 15 minutes prior to the game. Once you are there, you must check the field conditions, the weather conditions and the players’ equipment to be in compliance with the laws of the game. Besides the official black referee’s shirt, bring a spare yellow and/or red referee’s shirt with you, as required by the rules in Ontario, in case you need to switch colour if there is a conflict with the colour of the teams you are refereeing. Also, make sure that players are not wearing anything that is not part of the player’s equipment. Please, make exceptions when it comes to health related, e.g., medical bracelet, and religion related reasons.
Calling up player: ONLY for U13 and up. Each coach who can not field a full team, even though they have the required minimum number of players, can call up players who are members of the club from one age division lower, e.g., if the team is U18, the coach can call up only U13 players. The coach must notify the ref before using a call up player. Once the coach has the full team he/she can not field this player anymore, not even as a substitute player. During the playoffs, there will be no call up players.

Mandatory trading: MANDATORY SHARING PLAYERS RULE for U13/U18 ONLY divisions was introduced to avoid forfeited games. Only on these full field divisions in order for us to avoid games being forfeited as of 2016 the club has introduced the MANDATORY SHARING PLAYERS RULE to allow the opponent to have the minimum required number of players which is 7. So, if one U13 or U18 team has only 6 players but the opponent has 9 then the opponent MUST lend the other team a player so they can have the minimum 7 required to play. The games then is sanctioned, the ref stays and final score after the game stands- Please note that during Playoffs although trading players to avoid forfeiting games is allowed is not mandatory.

Playing equal number of players on the field: Only for U4-U7 age groups, if one of the teams have the minimum number of players (3) but not the maximum (4) then the team with more players is required to play one player short to allow the teams playing equal numbers on the field, so 3 players versus 3 players all the time. The only reason for this exception is the fact that in this age group we do not use Goalkeepers so the player need to be equal to allow some decorum and fairness on the field.

Playing balanced number of players on the field: For U8 to U18 divisions the teams can only field one more player than the opponent. So, for example if a U14 team shows up with 7 players only but the other team has full 11, the team with full roster will still be able to field only 8 player ( only one more than the opponent). This is done to avoid lopsided games. Anytime a new player shows up for the team with fewer players, the coach of the opponent team can add another player on the field.

Grace time is only 10 minutes from the kick off time. So, if the game is scheduled to start at 6:15 p.m., but by 6:25 p.m. the teams still don’t have the minimum number of players even after using a call up player or sharing player with the opponent then the ref will “call” the game. If the coaches are able to have the minimum number of players before the 10 minute grace time is over, then they will be allowed to play. However, the ref’s watch has started at 6:15, no matter what.

Kickoff: For most of the games, the kick off time is 6:15 p.m. If you are on the field on time and you are ready, which means you have flipped the coin and you have spoken to the captains, you start the watch at exactly 6:15, regardless of the fact that the teams may not be ready yet. The teams may be ready only 7 minutes after 6:15. That is fine by us as referees but you must advise them that you are already 7 minutes into your first half of play. This means that they will have less play time for their first half.

Half Time: All U4-U8 games regardless of the length of the half times have a 20 minute break between halves. Many coaches, especially the youngest divisions, want to have their practice during this time. Therefore, make sure not to shorten the break time. The only exception is when both coaches ask you to shorten the break for different reasons, such as shortage of spare players, weather getting hotter, rain getting heavier, etc. In very hot days the ref may be asked by the teams for a water break. If that is the case, both coaches should agree that the break is in the middle of each half time and they must tell the ref before the game starts. During the water break the referee does not stop the watch. Half time for U9 is 10 minutes. Half time for U11 to U18 is 5 minutes.

Volunteer Assistant Referees: You may want to keep your linesman flags with you at all times, because some of the coaches or spectators might want to volunteer to help you run the line.

Slide Tackles: As of 2012 season, slide tackles are not allowed anymore. Infringement of the rule should be penalized with a indirect free kick (if there is no contact with the opponent) and in severe cases even yellow card if it meets the criteria of unsporting behavior.

Minimum Number of Players: If you start the game with the minimum number of players on the field and, later during the game, that team loses one of its players due to injury, red card ejection, etc., then you can NOT restart the game before that team is able to provide another player (call up player, trading player) to keep the minimum required number of the players on the field. Remember: you still have to report to the statistician. You will say that at this certain minute of the game I abandoned the game because one of the teams did not have the minimum number of the players on the field anymore. You indicate the team, the names and the final score up to the moment that you abandoned the game. At the same time, if you abandon the game due to an injury, you must fill out the blue form.

Cancelled Games: Unless the weather conditions are very severe and the games are announced to be cancelled, you must be on the field. Unfortunately, the recent years, the summers have been strange and we have had a very unpredictable weather. If in doubt you must follow the routine and check the website or the radio. If you do not hear anything about cancellations you MUST be on the field. If the weather conditions worsen by the time that you get on the field (storm, heavy rain, thunder, lightening), then you can make the decision on the field and you may decide to abandon the game due to the weather. If games were cancelled by the club and you were informed upfront then you will not get paid, however, you will still get paid for the game if you’re on the field and had to terminate the game on the spot. Remember that you still have to email the statistician and let him know.
Note: You do NOT have to fill out a Special Incident Report (Blue Form) for games cancelled due to the weather.

Abandoned Games: As mentioned above, if after the game has already started, you decide to terminate the game, due to weather conditions you do NOT need to fill out the special incident form. ONLY if the reason for abandoning the game was an accident or incidents on the field, you must complete the Special Incident Report (Blue Form) and explain the reasons why the game was terminated. This report should be sent to proper channels (please, refer to Article 16 – Referee Card Reporting). You must also email me and the statistician just to inform of the abandoned game.

Unruly Coaches: In case of a disagreement, do not confront the coaches. Record their behaviour in writing and inform the club in writing. At the same time, let me know about any incident. We will do anything to protect you. Usually, the coaches are compliant. Some of them are referees themselves. However, occasionally we deal with odd cases of disrespectful behaviour towards the official. At the end of the game, if you don’t feel comfortable to ask the coach about the MVP due to their behaviour, then don’t. If they come to you and give you the MVP, fine. If they talk about other issues that you don’t want to discuss, then feel free to walk away, as long as you are able to interpret this as a solution, not as an offensive gesture.

Festival, Tournament/ Playoffs: You will be informed by the head ref with specific rules for these events. For all other information, check the Referee’s Corner on our website.

Have a great season!

Fevri Pazari
Club Head Referee