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Cincinnati Hills SAY Soccer referees are expected to review and adhere to the "Points-of-Emphasis" document that lays out specific league policies and expectations.
Below is the text of the points-of-emphasis in addition to a PDF link (simply click on the title below) which you can download at your convenience.


1) Small-Sided Format:

  • Passers (U7) - 6v6 (Minimum number on team to play is 4 players)
  • Wings (U10) - 8v8 (Minimum number on team to play is 5 players)
  • Strikers (U12) - 8v8 (Minimum number on team to play is 5 players)
  • Kickers and above - 11v11 (Minimum number on team to play is 7 players)

2) Soccer Ball Sizes:

  • Passers size 3
  • Wings size 4
  • Strikers size 4
  • Kickers + size 5

3) Game Times and Structure:*

  • Passers (x4 quarters, 10 minutes each quarter, change sides every quarter)
  • Wings (x4 quarters, 12 minutes each quarter, change sides every quarter)
  • Strikers (x4 quarters, 15 minutes each quarter, change sides every quarter)
  • Kickers (x4 quarters, 15 minutes each quarter, change sides every quarter)
  • Minors and Seniors (x4 quarters, 20 minutes each quarter, change sides every quarter)
  • Each player is required to play half of the game (2 complete quarters).

 4) Roster Checks:

Coaches can ONLY request roster checks prior to the start of the game (kick-off). Referees may conduct roster checks at any point in the game…but not at the request of the coach. Your referee assignor will be instructing you to conduct roster checks periodically…to be conducted prior to kick-off.

  • Step 1: Politely ask the coach for his/her roster prior to kick-off and let the coach know that you have been instructed to conduct a roster check for this game by either the league or coach of the opposing team.
  • Step 2: Have the players line up on the sideline or an open area facing you.
  • Step 3: Have each player come forward and identify him/herself, their birth date, home address and telephone number.

If a player is not listed on the roster, the player is not permitted to play and the team will automatically forfeit the game. The game, however, will be played without the offending player as we do not want to penalize the other players. Please report this to your referee coordinator that same day.

Failure for a coach to show a roster automatically results in a game forfeit. Allow the game to play and report this to your referee coordinator that same day.

5) Shortening of Game Times by Coaches:

  • All games need to be played to their full allotted times.
  • Referees may shorten or cancel games within SAY policy or the Laws of the game at his/her discretion.

6) Lightning/Thunder Policy:

  • At either the sound of thunder OR sight of lighting, games will be immediately stopped and fields need to be cleared of all participants (coaches, players, referees and spectators).
  • Games may be restarted 30 minutes after the last sound of thunder or sight of lightning. Fields equipped with lightning detectors - wait until the detector has sounded.

7) Safety:

A referee’s single most important role is to ensure the safety of the players.
This is your #1 job. So call the trips and pushes with a strong whistle.
If you apply advantage, use the appropriate “play on” signal and shout out “play on” so player, spectators and coaches know you saw the foul and are choosing to allow the play continue based on advantage.
If necessary, talk to the player who fouled once play as stopped.

8) Appearance:

All referees must wear the appropriate uniform…this includes referee socks and black shoes. A sloppy appearance will not inspire confidence or respect from coaches and/or players. Shirts also need to be tucked in. This is a paid position and you need to dress appropriately.

9) Casts and Earrings:

Any player with a cast and/or any type of jewelry (earrings, rings, rubber bracelets, etc.) is not permitted to play. No exceptions. Knee braces, etc. (no metal showing) are allowed.

10) Coach Management:

A coach simply asking you a question about a call is not demonstrating dissent.  It is only considered “dissent” when a coach shows disrespect in tone and/or actions. If you are confronted with a dissenting coach, issue a verbal warning in a respectful manner. An appropriate response is “Sir, please refrain from questioning the referees in a disrespectful manner. Thank you”. DO NOT get into a back-and-forth argument. If the coach persistently questions your calls and/or demonstrates ongoing dissent after your verbal warning, then issue a caution (yellow card). If it continues, then you can issue a send off (red card).

11) Wings Level “Rules” Clarification:

Please note that pass-backs to the goalkeeper from players on his/her team are allowed at the Wings level.  In addition, a goalkeeper, having released the ball into play, may touch the ball again with his/her hands before it has been touched or played by another player.

12) Foul Language:

If a player drops the “f-bomb”, it is a straight send off (red card). If you issue a send off (red card), you are required to notify your referee coordinator immediately after the match. In addition, you need to submit a written summary report (via email) to your district referee coordinator and CHSS President at  

13) Common Sense:

In all instances, use common sense when managing game situations.  Don’t overreact to coach and spectator comments and keep your focus on the game itself and the safety/well-being of the players. If a player does get injured, you should allow both the coach and parent of the child to enter onto the field to attend to the injured player. In hot conditions, allow the kids to take longer quarter and half-time breaks…or even stop play for a quick water break if the players begin to look exhausted ie; getting red in the face, having a hard time breathing, excessive sweating, etc.

14) Additional Referee Expectations:

It is imperative that you show us to a game at least 20 minutes before game time. Check the field and goals for safety and make sure you line up the players for the pre-game a minimum of 5 minutes prior to the scheduled kick-off time.

If you accept a game, this is considered a contract with the league and you MUST show up. If you don’t show up (or show up late for a game), you will not be assigned additional games.