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Recreation Referee Program

Grade 9 Referee Program

The WHSA Recreation Soccer program offers the opportunity for teenagers to work as a Soccer Referee for recreation soccer games. Refereeing is often the first job for many kids and offers a great opportunity to gain work experience, confidence, and responsibility as well as earn money. All new referees must be at least 14 years old to register for and complete the NJ Referee Grade 9 course, at a minimum. This Grade 9 course lasts one day and is offered periodically over the course of the year with the majority of classes occurring in the winter. The course is periodically offered in Warren and throughout New Jersey [it is not run by WHSA.. Information and schedules for upcoming courses can be found at www.njrefs.com.

Upon successful completion of the Grade 9 course, the participant receives a patch that must be attached to the referee jersey (All referees must wear an official referee jersey, usually yellow, as well as black shorts/pants). Referee jerseys can be purchased at most soccer stores and on-line. Referees also need a set of flags, stop watch, note pad and red & yellow cards.

When evaluating candidates, the following criteria will be used in this order for game assignment priority:
1) Resident of WHRHS sending district
2) Play on a WHSA or equivalent travel team
3) # of years playing experience, and
4) played in the WHSA rec program

WHSA tries to give every new referee the opportunity to get on the field experience. The amount of experienced referees that have registered with WHSA will affect how many games each new referee will receive. Normally, it takes a new referee at least a year to work into a regular rotation. In addition, as experienced recreation referees move on to the Grade 8 travel referee program or decide to leave the recreation program, it opens up opportunities with new openings every year. New referees begin as trainees or shadow referee. As a shadow referee, new referees will be trained through either or both of these two assignments:

  • Follow a lead referee on the field during a recreation game and eventually the training referee will call half of a game under the leading referee’s oversight
  • Act as a linesman or assistant referee during a senior boy’s game, as a linesman they will be responsible to call out of bounds possession as well as offsides [only if assigned to a senior boy’s game].

The number of games/weeks of training will depend on both the game opportunities and the readiness of the new referee. New referees will primarily begin in the 2/3 grade division. WHSA board members will periodically attend recreation games to evaluate referee performance.

It is mandatory that the referee have an e-mail address and check their e-mail every day during the season since all correspondence and field assignments will be done through e-mail.

Referees can also contact neighboring soccer programs for referee opportunities.

Questions regarding the recreation referee program should be directed to [email protected]


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