Referee Information

Referee Information

Along with learning to play the game of soccer, another area to explore is refereeing the game, and we encourage many of our players to become certified.  Referee training, coordination and certification is coordinated by COYSA. Details regarding all aspects of being a COYSA referee can be found in the "referee" section of the Central Okanagan Youth Soccer website at

12 Great Reasons to become a Soccer Referee

1. Love of the game - Most officials start out as athletes or sports fans or both. We truly enjoy the intricacies of the sports we work. As an official, you won’t just be watching any more, you’ll be part of the game, with the best view in the house.

2. Stay Active - Maybe you want to stay engaged and a part of the game you loved to play, or maybe you are looking get more engaged in the game your kids are playing. Either way, being an official will give you access to, and an appreciation for, the rules and strategies of the games you officiate like nothing else can.

3. Get in the game - Who doesn’t like getting paid to exercise? You won’t need much motivation to work out through officiating because as you get in better shape, you’ll become a better official.

4. Give Back - Most officials feel that they have gotten something important from their sport before becoming an official. Many officials like to pay it forward to the sport for what it has given them. Officiating is also a way to guide and enrich the lives of the athletes who are playing, by teaching the value of sportsmanship and fair play.

5. Extra Money - There is no better part-time job or hobby for you to make extra money doing something you enjoy than through officiating. It’s the perfect extra gig for anyone from a high school student, to a parent to a retiree.

6. Challenge - Every game — no matter the venue, player abilities or teams — is a challenge. Nothing is mundane. It’s a rush to be in the moment and have to make the big decision.

7. Escape - Once you step onto the field everyday problems seem to fade away. Although no official would say the job is stress-free, it also provides stress relief from your daily life because after all, it is the sport you love.

8. Camaraderie and Community - The fellowship and humor officials share with one another are incomparable. You’ll quickly realize there is no community like officials. When it comes down to it, during a game, your only true friends are the officials you’re working with. Many of them will become your closest friends — lifelong friends.

9. Life Skills - Officiating teaches independent thinking and the ability to see the big picture — a skill that translates outside of officiating. It also requires the dedication, togetherness and ability to work as team that is important everywhere.

10.Fortitude - Officials learn how to have inner strength and self-confidence. With the whistle in your hand, knowing you’re the last line of defense between sport and chaos forces you to step up.

11.Opportunity - Officials are often identified and associated with the sport(s) they work and recognized for it outside of officiating. Even if people don’t know you specifically, many people associate officiating with trustworthiness, impartiality, dedication and integrity… all qualities that can open doors for you in other areas of life.

12.Excitement - Great games, talented players and hair-raising moments will become commonplace in your life, and you’ll be right in the middle of them. Officiating provides goosebumps in spades. If you like adrenaline, you can get it here. 

How do I become a referee?

How to Register - Ref Small Sided

Central Okanagan Courses are listed below.

Small-sided courses - two x 2 hour Zoom sessions and one 2.5 hour on field session.

Age Requirement: Applicants enrolling in Small Sided Clinics must be 12 years of age on or before December 31 of the current year. This is a firm requirement set by Canada Soccer.

Course 1902 - March 24 - Zoom 6:30pm - 8:30pm, March 31 - Zoom 6:30pm - 8:30pm, April 7 - Field (Beasley) - 10am - 12pm

Course 1900 - Feb 27 - Zoom 6:30pm - 8:30pm, March 13 - Zoom 6:30pm - 8:30pm, April 3 - Field (CNC) 5pm - 7pm

Course 1901 - March 7 - Zoom 6:30pm - 8:30pm, March 14 - Zoom 6:30pm - 8:30pm, April 4 - Field (CNC) 5pm - 7pm

Waiting for approval:

Course XXXX - Feb 16 - Zoom 6:30pm - 8:30pm, Feb 23 - Zoom 6:30pm - 8:30pm, March 12 - Field (CNC) 11am - 1pm


Entry Level course - one x 2.5 hour Zoom session and on2 3.5 hour field session

Age Requirement: Applicants enrolling in Entry Level Clinics must be 14 years of age on or before December 31 of the current year. This is a firm requirement set by Canada Soccer.

Course 1899 - Feb 25 - Zoom 10am - 12:30pm, March 18 - Field (CNC) 8am - 11:30am


Fees paid range from $20 - $32.50 per game for small sided games and from $30 - $80 for full sided games.



The Referee-in-Chief for COYSA is Al Ryder.  He would be the person to contact with any general questions or issues involving rules or other referee-related items.  He is also the scheduler for all Youth(U07-U18) games - his can be contacted at


Referee FAQ

Do I have to be able to go to all fields that COYSA has games?

No, you are able to designate fields you are willing to work at and only be scheduled at those locations.

What if I also play?

Our scheduling program allows you to block your team, division or any time you are not available so you basically pick when and where you are available to referee.

How much does refereeing pay?

You will make at least $20 per hour of refereeing and up to $40 per hour as you progress.

How do I register?

You can register for the courses below by going to then click on the appropriate course and search for Kelowna. If the attendee is 14 years old or older at the time of the course they should take the Entry Level course. The Entry level course involves 17 modules of self study online, a 2.5 hour webinar and 3.5 hour in person session. If the attendee is 12 or 13 years of age they need to take a Small Sided Course which involves 2 - 2 hour webinars and an on field session of 2 hours.

Will an entry referee start working as a center referee?

New small-sided referees start by refereeing U8, U9 and U10 games. Once they gain some experience, they can move to being an Assistant referee for U11 and 12 games. A new entry level referee will most likely not start as a center unless they have previous experience and confidence. We usually want to start a new referee as Assistant referees before setting them up as a center referee.

What does it cost to take a course?

Small-sided courses are $45 and Entry level is $136.

Do I have to buy referee stuff? What do I need?

You will need to purchase a referee kit that includes a couple jerseys, shorts, socks, a whistle, cards, and a watch. We have an agreement with a local company that will get this for you for about $100.


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