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American Youth Soccer Organization Providing world class youth soccer programs that enrich children's lives.


PHMSA Referee Training

If you are looking for a last minute referee course please fill out this form ( before Monday, October 3 at 7 pm. 

All games in the PHMSA program are refereed using volunteers. All teams MUST have at least one referee, and at 10U and above, ideally two referees. Referees must be certified to referee the level of matches that they officiate. Note that there is no requirement to referee the level at which your child plays. The more we can get new referees to officiate the younger matches, the more games involving older players will have a full crew of experienced referees. 

Registration for all courses is through AYSOU. The new platform will be accessed through the volunteer tab on your SportsConnect account. Please visit for more information on how to access AYSOU. 

All referees must have completed Safe Haven, SafeSport, CDC Concussion training, and Sudden Cardiac Arrest trainings and be registered volunteers for the current year. Those who volunteer more than 32 hours in a given year must also be fingerprinted in accordance with AB 506. Fingerprinting events will be held throughout the year. 

6U and below

There is no specific referee certification at this age group. The home team is responsible for providing someone to manage the game, and coaches are allowed to carry out this task.  

8U referees

Training to officiate 8U matches is all online through AYSOU and soon to be moved to ETrainU. As with 6U, the home team is responsible for providing the referee. Volunteers who complete their training will be given a referee shirt and a whistle. 

10U (Regional) referees

There are two ways to become trained to officiate 10U matches. Signups for both are through AYSOU. The first is a fully in-person course, which is recommended for those without prior soccer experience. The next is a hybrid course, where most of the instruction is online, but participants attend an in-person field session. This option is recommended for those with prior soccer experience, either as a coach or a player. Upon completion of the course, new referees are provided with a full referee uniform, including whistle, flags and match reporting wallet. 

Each team is expected to provide one Assistant Referee (AR) for games while the center referee should be unaffiliated with either team. Signing up for games occurs through 

Certified USSF referees may become cross certified at the AYSO Regional level after completing Safe Haven & Sudden Cardiac Arrest trainings and registering as a volunteer. Contact [email protected] for more information. 

12U & 14U referees

Referees wanting to officiate at higher levels must first become certified as Regional referees. Once they've become more experienced they can take the Intermediate (12U) and Advanced (14U) courses to be able to officiate matches at higher levels. All three referees at this age should be unaffiliated with either team. Signing up for games occurs through 


AYSO Support Resources!

Region Website-If you are getting red error messages when trying to submit your volunteer application on your login, please contact 866-258-3303, this is the Blue Sombrero support line.

VERY IMPORTANT:  EVERY user in a family should have their own unique email address.  99% of people having problems is because they used their own personal email addresses for their kids or spouses.  Duplicate EMAIL addresses will break everything.

Steps for becoming a referee:

First: REGISTER AS A VOLUNTEER - If you are already a registered volunteer skip to the next section.

Section 1 - Getting set up as an AYSO volunteer

  1. Login to AYSO281 Bluesombrero: and go to your account.
  2. Click on the volunteer button on the left.
  3. Click on “Find Volunteer Roles” in the top right.
  4. Select the Card that says referee.  Click Select so that the card flips over.
  5. Select to sign up a registered user and in the pop-up click on the user that you want to sign up for this position.  The card will flip over as selected.
    1. Some browsers (especially on phones) do not display properly here, when it happens click the arrow on the right to advance the cards and the referee card will show up at the very end.  
  6. Click on continue or pick show all available opportunities to sign up additional volunteers
  7.  Enter in your information, accept the various waivers, and consent forms at the bottom and hit continue.
  8. Having Problems?  SEE Special NOTE below on advice for youth and family accounts.


  1. Go to your volunteer page at and checkmark the box for Risk Status and then click on Renew & Update
  2. A window will pop up asking you to verify your information.  Verify and then click submit.
  3. Another pop-up will appear asking you to submit again. Click submit.
  4. Another popup will appear letting you know that you will receive an email to complete the background check process
  5. Open your email, you will have received an email from Sterling Volunteers, subject "Your requested copy of your completed background check for American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) is available" with a link specific to your registration.
  6. Click on the link and Complete fields to verify your information (email, date of birth, zip code)
  7. You will create an account entering a user name and password  
  8.  You will then complete the 4 Step process of completing your background check. You will be asked if you will be paying for your background check, select NO, our region will cover this fee.
  9. You will have completed your background check when you reach the Screen that says "Congrats, you’re on your way to becoming a volunteer."
  10. Your AYSO account will start by showing your registration as Pending and once clear it will change to Eligible  

SECTION 2 Part 1 - Mandatory California SafeSport (Adults only, not required for youth referees but highly recommended)

  1. Login to AYSO281 Bluesombrero: and go to your account.
  2. Click on the volunteer button on the left.
  3. Check the box next to Safe Sport then click Renew & Update
  4. Follow the instructions in the popup to complete safe sport training in the California SafeSport training site.
  5. Upload the certificate from the training into the popup on the website if your certification isn't automatically updating.

SECTION 2 Part 2 - Mandatory CA Fingerprinting (Livescan) Beginning January 1, 2022. (Adults only, not required for youth referees)

  1. Click here to visit Fingerprint Services.
  2. If you are willing to pay the fees yourself, click on the "Get fingerprinted at a live scan service center" and follow the signup process.
  3. If you would like AYSO to pay for it click on the "Get fingerprinted at an AYSO event" and follow the login process to find an AYSO event.

SECTION 3 - Becoming a referee.

ALL AYSO volunteers will need to complete Safe Haven, Cardiac Arrest, and CDC/Concussion Awareness in AYSOU.

All AYSO referees will need to complete either Option 1 - the 2 Part Online and in Person training class or Option 2 - the all day (8-hour) in person referee training course.

Option 1

  1. Login to your account at  Click on the volunteer button on the left-hand side of the screen.  Under your name there will be an AYSOU button, click that button to open the AYSOU system.
    1.  IF you do not see the AYSOU button under your name then you are in a family group that shows all your family names.  You are probably logged into a family member's account and are not logged into your account; the button only shows up for the person of the person who is logged into their own account.  Login to your account with your unique password and username and the button will show up.
    2.  If you are logged into your account and the button does not show up then your background check expired and you will need to redo your background check or you and a family member share the same email address for your accounts and you need to click on the button at the top of the screen that looks like 2 heads/people to change over to your profile.
  2. AYSOU TAB(Screen) - Click on the Training Library button on the left.
    1. Click View courses for SAFE HAVEN
      1. Enroll in and complete AYSO's Safe Haven - Online
      2. Enroll in and complete CDC Concussions awareness - Online
      3. Enroll in and complete Sudden Cardiac Arrest - Online
  3. Referee Training Part 1 of 2 - AYSOU - Click on the Training Library button on the left.
    1. Click View courses for Refereeing
      1. Enroll in and complete the "Regional Referee - Online + In-Person Companion Course (2 Part Bundle)" course.
  4. Referee Training Part 2 of 2 -AYSOU - Click on the Training Event Calendar button on the Left
    1. In the top part of the screen, type in Regional Referee, and a list of options will appear, pick the "Regional Referee - Online + In-Person Companion Course (2 Part Bundle)" option to help sort out classes.
    2. We prepend our courses with PHMSA and you can click any course date that says PHMSA - Regional Referee Online Companion to sign up for that date and time. Concord and MDSA also offer local courses. 
  5. Attend the 4 hours in-person Referee Companion course you registered for.

Option 2: All Day course attendance.

  1. Follow the same instructions as above, skip step 3, and in step 4 search for Regional Referee - Full In-Person Course.  Pick the PHMSA, Concord or MDSA Session for the date that you wish to attend and click Register.
  2. Attend the 8-hour in-person referee course that you just registered for.
If you have done everything above or are renewing the required certifications to be an AYSO volunteer you should have the following completed:
1.  Safe Haven - AYSOU
2.  Cardiac Arrest - AYSOU
3.  Concussion Awareness - AYSOU
4.  Regional Referee Training - AYSOU + 1/2 day class time or ALL day class
5.  SAFE Sport - in your volunteer profile.
6.  Volunteer Application/Background Check - in your volunteer profile.
7.  California Mandated Fingerprinting - AYSO - in your volunteer profile.

Livescan is required for all referees and coaches, you can setup your livescan appointment here: Livescan

Advice for youth referees and other volunteers.
  1. Additional Volunteer Users - users volunteering outside of the registration system will volunteer his/herself or add a new user to volunteer.  If the volunteer now becomes an additional user, he/she will want to log in to the email account that was used to register the person as an additional volunteer and accept the invite to create a Username/Password on Blue Sombrero to get them access to AYSOU.  
  2. AYSOU Certifications - Certifications will port over from the old AYSOU to the new one once the user volunteers, based on the system recognizing the volunteer ID.  If the certifications do not port over, there is a mismatch in the ID.  To ensure the best results DO NOT CREATE another account.  
  3. All volunteers must have their own account tied to their own unique email address.  A youth watching the videos on a parent's account or a spouse watching the videos and doing the courses on their spouses' account will not count and we cannot award credit after the fact.  

National Partners

Contact Us

Pleasant Hill/Martinez Soccer Association

52 Golf Club Rd Number 252 
Pleasant Hill, California 94523

Email Us: [email protected]
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