Question:
I’m sorry to trouble you with such a detail, but the question came up and no one present had, or could find a definitive answer to the following question:
If provided the option/ability should the referee team choose a jersey color before or after checking in both teams? Good arguments where raised for both before and after. I guess if there is nothing written, is there a generally accepted “best practice”?Though it was generally understood that a referee should not wear a jersey either too or from the pitch, again we could find nothing written.

Is either of this covered in the “Referee Administrative Handbook” and we missed just missed it, or is documented someplace else?

Any insight you could provide would be wonderful as we would like set the best possible ground work for our younger referees.

USSF answer (April 11, 2007):
Referees should exercise common sense (you will see this again below) and choose the uniform color that causes the least confusion for both players and the officiating crew. This is not covered in the Referee Administrative Handbook, but If you need a reference, then we suggest that you use this excerpt from the USSF publication “Advice to Referees on the Laws of the Game”:

5.1 REFEREE UNIFORM
Referees may wear only the gold primary jersey or the black/white-, blue/black-, or red/black-striped alternate jerseys, and may wear only the approved socks. No other colors will be worn without express permission of the USSF. If the uniform colors worn by a goalkeeper and the referee or by a team (or both teams) and the referee are similar enough to invite confusion, the goalkeeper or the team(s) must change to different colors. Only if there is no way to resolve the color similarity, must the referee (and the assistant referees) wear the colors that conflict least with the players. Referees and assistant referees must wear the same color jerseys and the same style of socks, and all should wear the same length sleeves. The referee uniform does not include a hat, cap, or other head covering, with the exception of religious head covering. Referees must wear the badge of the current registration year.

In addition, referees should exercise common sense and not wear their uniform or other clothes that identify them as referees when they are coaching or watching a game, or when traveling to the field. Wearing such clothing as a spectator invites comment and cries out for spectators or others to question the non-working referee on the calls of the officials on the field. Wearing such clothing as a coach could be considered a form of gamesmanship.