COVID 19 – US Soccer guidelines – GAME DAY


U.S. Soccer Referee Program -Return to Educate Recommendations Guide

Referee Precautions – COVID 19

Note: Please reference any State or County guidelines prior to returning to play. The following

are guidelines that referees should follow should their local area allow games to be held in that



Personal Stations for referees

– It is recommended that the referee crew set up their belongings in an area off to the side of

the game field

– Each referee’s belongings should be spaced 6-ft apart from each other

– Referees are advised not to bring any unnecessary belongings

– Referees should arrive to the field fully dressed


Before the Game:

– If you are the assignor, please be understanding if a referee declines a game due to health

concerns and work with them to ensure they are not exhibiting any symptoms prior to the


– Be conscious when accepting game assignments and do not accept a game if you are

experiencing any symptoms. As an independent contractor you are not required to accept

a game. It is your choice and you should take into consideration your comfort level. If you

decline a game, be respectful to the assignor and notify them as soon as possible to allow

time for a replacement.

o If you start to exhibit symptoms after accepting a game, be in communication with

your assignor and consider if you should decline the game at that time

– Before leaving for the field, Referees should answer the following questions for their


o Have you knowingly come into contact with anyone who has, is being tested for, or

is exhibiting signs of coronavirus? (Yes or No)

o Are you exhibiting any of the following symptoms? (Yes or No)

  • Fever or chills
  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

o If referee answers yes to any of these questions, they should notify their assignor

and refrain from officiating the game

Field Inspections

o Fields should still be walked

o Physical Items (nets, goals, corner flags etc.) should be inspected visually

o If a goal net needs to be repaired or an object needs to be removed from the field of

play, only one referee should complete the task.

o If there are any issues, then one (1) person should handle it to minimize contact

  • Tip: Referees should bring extra Clorox wipes and hand sanitizer

Player Check in

o Rosters (Consider the following alternatives)

  • If possible, discuss with your league if you can receive the match report

ahead of time

  • If you cannot get the roster in advance, have the coach place the roster at

the end of the bench to minimize close contact

  • Wear PPE – face coverings, nitrile or latex gloves

o Uniform/Jewelry checks should be visible checks only, maintaining 6-ft between the

referee(s) and the player(s)

Uniform Conflicts

o Gold referee uniforms are the recommended color to avoid clashing

o If the referee has spare colors for their uniform, it is recommended you keep them

on hand to prepare for any conflicts


o Equipment should not be shared

o Balls should be sanitized before, during and after the game by the home team

o Please refer to the PLAY ON Recommendation Guides for more information on

equipment sanitation

– We recommend no player walkouts and handshakes prior to and at the end of the game

o Please speak with your assignor prior to the game to confirm your League’s stance

on this

Medical Situations

o Remain 6 ft away from the injured player while determining if medical attention is


o If so, a medical professional or a coach from the player’s team should attend to the

injured player

  • Remind players to social distance during the break in play

– Team benches and spectators positioning

o Team bench personnel should practice social distancing and wear masks while in

the Technical Area following local public health guidelines

o Spectators should maintain at least 10 ft distance from the touchline to allow social

distancing from the ARs

o Spectators should maintain 6 ft distance from each other and wearing PPE (face


o Communicate with coaches to enforce spectator social distancing

Coin Toss

o Only the owner of the coin should touch the coin

o Maintain 6 ft social distancing during coin toss


Home team’s coach is responsible for sanitizing the ball

– It is recommended referees use hand sanitizer during halftime and maintain 6 ft social


– Referees should wear PPE (face coverings)

– Referees should keep their equipment separated and sanitize their whistles and flags

After the game:

  • Avoid any handshakes or high fives after the game

o This can be replaced with a wave

  • When debriefing with your referee crew, find a space where everyone can be seen and heard

while maintaining 6 feet of distance

  • Upon arrival home, referees should immediately wash hands, bathe including washing hair,

and launder/clean items used

  • If working multiple games, wipe down or sanitize your equipment to the best of your ability

between games

  • If you need the coach’s signature, place the paper down on the end of the bench and step

away to have them sign it

  • Once the game is over and the referee crew has debriefed, vacate the field. Do not


  • Should you encounter any difficulty implementing these guidelines, please make a

comment on your game report and share with the State Referee Administrator (SRA) for

your State Referee Committee (SRC)

Recommended for you

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *