East Region Soccer League

Match Official Handbook

Match Official Handbook

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This handbook will be updated on an ongoing basis.  If you believe there is information missing or incorrect information has been included in the handbook please contact admin@ersl.ca


What do I do with the game sheets I was given by each team?

Teams must provide you with a game sheet in order for a game to proceed.  If a game sheet generated from the system has not been provided they must provide an alternate form of game sheet which must include a listing of the game details, all player names and OS numbers, and all Team Officials and their OS numbers.

You must complete your section of the game sheet and follow all listed instructions.  Ensure you and your assistant match officials sign the game sheet at the conclusion of the game.

How many game sheets am I supposed to collect from each team before the game?

For U13-U18 games you must be provided with 3 copies of each team's game sheet. You must retain 1 copy of each team's game sheet, and a copy of each team's game sheet must be provided to each team. Information on each copy must match.  You must submit your retained copies to the ERSL following each game.

I sent in my game sheets to the ERSL can I throw my copies away?

You should retain copies of all of your game sheets until the conclusion of the season.  It is important that you store your copies safely and securely.  When it is time to dispose of them please ensure they are disposed of by shredding as they contain personal information.

What are the red card codes listed on the bottom of the ERSL game sheet?

The red card or dismissal codes listed on the bottom of the ERSL game sheet must be used when completing your game sheets to identify the nature of the dismissal.  This is required so that the dismissed player is made aware immediately following the game of the reason for their dismissal.  This is important so that the dismissed player has the opportunity to request an appeal of the card within their required 72 hours.

A Team Official has asked me to note a discrepancy in player eligibility on the game sheet, what do I do?

If a team official asks to note any discrepancy in player eligibility on the game sheet, including questions regarding a player identity, or failure of a player to produce the required identification, you must allow the team official to make this note on the game sheet. You should follow-up with a special incident report to clarify the reason for the notation, when the notation was made, and by whom.

Player Eligibility

A player has not presented a player card, or there is a question of their eligibility to play in the game, can the match official stop them from playing?

It is never the decision of the match official to allow or disallow a player from participating in a game on the question of eligibility.  The match official cannot stop a player from participating in a game, nor can they give permission to a player to participate in a game where there is a question of eligibility. 

The decision of player participation is always that of the Team Head Coach, and the player. You must make this message clear when you are confronted with a question of whether a player can participate in the game or not.  It is not up to the referee to determine player eligibility.   Questions of player eligibility must always be noted on the game sheet and detailed further in a Special Incident Report.  If a player participates in a game and is determined to have been ineligible the incident will be handled through the Discipline process and offending Coach, Player and Club may be subject to disciplinary action.

Where there is a question of player eligibility, the player concerned must sign and write his / her date of birth on the game sheet. 

ID Cards & Player Books

What do I do if there is a question about the validity of a player ID Card or Book?

If the validity of a player’s OS Registrant Book or OS ID Card or OS Team Roster Report is questioned, the Referee will retain said OS Registrant Book or OS ID Card or OS Team Roster Report and submit it to the League

Do I check player ID cards for eligibility?

Player ID Card checks are to be completed by Team Officials.  Your role is to facilitate the ID card check by calling for the check with sufficient time before kick-off.  Card checks are required for U3-U18 games.

Referee Payments

In order to receive payment for your assigned games you must complete all requirements of your assignment, including submission of your game sheets and all reports to the ERSL.  Once everything has been submitted and approved the game will be listed as "ready for payment" on your Refcentre account.

I submitted my game sheets but my game is not listed as approved on my Refcentre account?

Contact the ERSL directly and inquire as to why the game sheets may not have been approved.

How much will I get paid?

The EODSA Schedule of Referee Fees will be used for all ERSL games, regardless of the District the game is played in. Referee payment is the responsibility of the delegated District or the delegated Home Club - payment is made by the organization that is required to assign the official.

 What if the game is cancelled or abandoned?

The ERSL utilizes the EODSA Policy for Abandoned and Canceled games. The Club of any team who causes the abandonment or cancellation of a game will pay the referee fees for that game for all assigned referees, and any other applicable fees or fines as outlined in the ERSL Fees and Fines Schedule.

In the event that a game is abandoned before completion due to circumstances outside of the control of either team, including but not limited to inclement weather, the referee fees for the abandoned game will be split and paid 50% by each team’s Club.

My games have been approved for payment - when and by whom can I expect to be paid?

Payments are not made by the ERSL.  The organization that is tasked with paying you is dependent upon the level of your game assignment and whether or not you were a centre or assistant referee.  Please see below.

      • U13 to U18 Centre Referees
        Payment is made by the District Association in which the game is played (EODSA or SOSA)
      • U13 to U18 Assistant Referees
        Payment is made by the Home team's Club.  This is the team listed first on the game schedule.

Payments are typically made on a monthly basis.  Please contact the organizations as listed above directly for information regarding their payment process, method, and schedule.

Special Incident Reports

What do I need to write a Special Incident Report for?

A Special Incident Report (SIR) is to be used to report any incident that is not covered by a Caution Summary Report, Dismissal Report, or a Referee Assault Form (e.g. abandoned game, reporting misconduct by a Coach, outside interference by spectators etc.)  A separate form must be completed for each incident.  SIRs are to be submitted electronically through Refcentre. 

Something unusual happened at my game but I am not sure if I should fill out a Special Incident Report.

When in doubt, fill one out.

Special Incident Reports are your best means to bring any issues to the attention of the League.  Provide as much detail as possible when describing events or conversations.

Discipline Hearings

All hearings related to the conduct of match officials, or match official assault are within the jurisdiction of the District Association the match official belongs to and not the League.  You will only ever be required to attend an ERSL Discipline Hearing in the role of match official as a witness. 

When do I have to attend a Discipline Hearing as a witness?

You must attend all Discipline Hearings that you have been notified as required to attend by the League or District.  Failure to attend a hearing when required will result in disciplinary action.

In the event that the Match Official incorrectly identifies the person responsible for the reported misconduct and if the Club correctly identifies the offending party, then both parties together with the Match Official shall be required to attend the hearing for the Match Official to identify the correct person if so required by the Discipline Hearing Panel.

You may also be required to attend a Discipline Hearing if the ERSL Discipline committee deems it necessary based on the circumstances or information provided regarding the incidents.

I cannot attend a hearing as a witness on the date it has been scheduled; can I request a postponement?

Any party required to attend a hearing may request one (1) postponement of a hearing. The party must submit a written request which must be received by the Governing Organization no later than four (4) days prior to the date of that hearing, stating the reason for requesting the postponement.  Any Match Official required to attend does not have to pay the "Request For Postponement Fee” unless he/she is the accused. 

I have been required to attend a Hearing as a witness, can I claim any travel expenses?

The Match Official must attend a Discipline Hearing if required by the Discipline Hearing Panel. Any reasonable expenses incurred by the Match Official shall be reimbursed by the Governing Organization handling the case.

I have been required to attend a Hearing but would like to have someone attend with me for support, what can I do?

When required to attend a Discipline Hearing there are a number of other parties you are permitted to have attend with you:

Each party required to attend a Discipline Hearing is entitled to have a maximum of two observers in attendance at the Discipline Hearing. They may not act as a witness nor provide any testimony but may speak at the discretion of the Discipline Hearing Panel.

If you are under the age of 18, you are required to have an adviser present with you at the hearing. An adviser is a person 18 years of age or older who provides advice to any party required to attend a Discipline Hearing including the Panel and may not act as a witness nor provide any testimony at the Discipline Hearing. They may not question the competence of the Match Official(s) and may question a witness for clarification purposes only. 

Club, Local Referee Association or League Representative
Each Club / Local Referee Association or League is entitled to send a representative to a Discipline Hearing at which one of its Player(s), Team Official(s) or Administrators or Match Official(s) is required to attend and may serve as an adviser.

Each party required to attend a Discipline Hearing as well as the Governing Organization hearing the case, is entitled to bring witnesses. Witnesses must appear in person. Written reports by witnesses are not acceptable.

Match Day

How early do I need to show up before kick-off?

You are required to arrive at the field 30min before the scheduled kick-off to complete your field check, equipment check and to facilitate card check for both teams.

What am I required to do as part of Player Equipment Check?

The Match Official must ensure that players do not use equipment or wear anything that is dangerous, and that all players wear all articles of compulsory equipment.

The players must be inspected before the start of the match and substitutes before they enter the field of play. If a player is wearing or using unauthorized/dangerous equipment or jewelry the referee must order the player to:

      •  remove the item
        • leave the field of play at the next stoppage if the player is unable or unwilling to comply

A player who refuses to comply or wears the item again must be cautioned.

The compulsory equipment of a player comprises the following separate items:

•  a shirt with sleeves
• shorts
• socks – tape or any material applied or worn externally must be the same colour as that part of the sock it is applied to or covers
• shin guards – these must be made of a suitable material to provide reasonable protection and covered by the socks
• footwear

Goalkeepers may wear tracksuit bottoms.

Please refer to FIFA Law 4 for more information on equipment.

  Assignment Eligibility

What ERSL matches can I be assigned to?

A match official may only take part in a game for which his/her classification and/or grade permits. This is outlined in this Game Fee and Assigning Protocol and the CSA Pyramid of Officiating and Pyramid of Play charts.

      1. ​Youth Referees (14-15 yrs) - Prior to being appointed as a Referee for an ERSL match, each Youth Referee must have completed 10 appointments;
      2.  District Referees (16 yrs or older) - Prior to being appointed as a Referee for an ERSL match, each District Referee must have completed 5 appointments; and
      3. Assistant Referees -Prior to being appointed as an Assistant Referee for an ERSL match, each youth referee* must attend the ERSL Assistant Referee Training every other year.
        *A youth referee is a referee who has passed the entry level but is under 16 years of age - they are reclassified to a District referee automatically on their 16th birthday.
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