Somerville Youth Soccer League (SYSL) has be running an innovative and fun refereeing program where older SYSL players are refereeing U8 matches.  We have received a lot of positive feedbacks from coaches, referees and parents and therefore we are proud to continue this program.

The idea is that U8 players get experience of playing soccer with an impartial referee, and the referees get invaluable experience of managing the game, the players, and the coaches. They also get paid.

In reality much of the refereeing is really a form of coaching – so rather than blowing a whistle and simply saying the thrown in was bad, it is much more helpful to explain why the throw in was incorrect, and if necessary demonstrate the correct method.

Equally if a player gets the ball straight in the goal from an indirect kick, it is important to explain that the ball has to touch a player before entering the goal and hence it was not a goal, rather than just saying “no goal” and leaving the players and coaches confused.

We hope that the result is a process that is enjoyable for everyone – and the referees will go on to get certified so they can referee U10 matches. For more information on how to referee travel teams (U10 and older), go to this page.

Please send emails to  for more information or questions regarding this program.