My referee association recently requested referees for three scrimmage games this coming Sunday for U15/16B games. The assignor stated, “Duals requested for each game ….” I replied that I didn’t think we were allowed to officiate USSF games using a dual system. The reply I received was, “Scrimmages are allowed”. So my question is, can we use a dual system for “scrimmages”? Thanks for your assistance on this.

USSF answer (December 6, 2010):
As scrimmages, games between these teams could not be sanctioned by the Federation, even though all the teams and players are (theoretically) affiliated with US Youth Soccer. Because the games are not sanctioned, the referee may not be covered by USSF liability insurance, and that is a point that should be considered by every referee who is asked to officiate a non-affiliated game.

This is a matter to be decided by your state referee committee and perhaps even higher authority.…


An answer of November 19, 2007, states:
If the scrimmage appears as part of the regular assignment process and is listed by the league assignor, it should be considered by the referee to be officially sanctioned. The teams did not call the referees directly to make the arrangements, but went through the official assignment procedure with the league assignor.

My question: What if the referee for the scrimmage was not assigned by the league assignor, is the referee covered by USSF insurance. In my case the coach went out and obtained the center referee. I was not aware of the assignment but the referee was paid by the league coach

USSF answer (September 17, 2010):

Even if both teams are affiliated with US Youth Soccer, the game itself would not appear to be affiliated if it does not occur within the framework of an affiliated organization. If the teams did not go through the official procedure, we suggest that the referee check with local refereeing authorities to avoid possible problems with liability and insurance coverage.…


A new referee, or a referee reinstating after a lapse, is usually give a patch through the following year and an insurance policy corresponding to the patch (e.g. a new referee certifying in 2010 will get a 2011 patch and policy.) We have been told by USSF that the patch is good from time of certification through the expiration of the patch. This in effect gives the referee 16 months or so of registration on that patch. However, the policy goes from September to September. So the policy year coverage would not have started yet for this new referee. Is this referee covered for the balance of the year in which he/she certified even if the patch and policy are for the following year? This situation is the same for referee that has been reissued a patch after being covered under the grace period for a lapse.

USSF answer (July 26, 2010):
The September date on the policy has nothing to do with the registration cycle. That is simply the date that U.S. Soccer renews the policy every year. All currently registered referees are covered by the insurance regardless of the registration calendar.…


The talk about referees not being covered by USSF liability (and other?) insurance while working a non-affiliated game makes me ask: exactly what IS covered for a referee by the USSF insurance? Can you direct me to a document that spells this out, please?

USSF answer (April 12, 2010):
You will find the answer in the Certificate of Insurance that you receive annually with your registration, that formal paper that just begs to be thrown out with the envelope. Most pertinent to your question are these two bullet points:

Coverage applies to US Soccer Federation (USSF) member referees who have been certified by USSF, but only while acting in their capacity as soccer referees during USSF sanctioned camps or clinics and during matches between USSF affiliated teams and leagues.
– This includes USSF soccer referees acting in the capacity of State Referee Administrator, State Director of Assessment, State Assignment Coordinator, State Director of Referee Instruction, Chairman of the State Referee Committee and State Youth Referee Administrator, assistant referee 4th official, assessor, instructor or assignor.

And in response to your as-yet-unasked question, “Is there anything else the well-informed referee should know about it?”, the answer is, “Don’t do unaffiliated games.”…


In a local club insured by the Ohio North Association, in the case, one team is not able to field 7 players and the 2 teams agree to share the players (insured) and play the game, is the referee covered if he stays to referee the game?

USSF answer (February 2, 2009):
Yes, the referee is fully covered — as long as the game is affiliated with the U. S. Soccer Federation.…


I’m a Grade 8 ref and I have made my services available to a local high school Christian academy. My children’s rec club shares the same field and I had contacted the head coach concerning field usage and that’s when he told me that he was looking for refs. He had previously had refs assigned by the PA Interscholastic Athletic Assoc.,PIAA. He said that the fees were stretching his budget and he thought he was getting the less experienced refs, so he was hoping to get refs at a lower cost, and those that possibly called a better game. I thought this would be a good test for me, as I haven’t done many games at this level, and I’m considering the HS level when my kids our done playing at the rec level. I spoke with a fellow coach and PIAA/NJAIA ref and he recommended that I check in to whether I would be covered with liability insurance. I reviewed the Ref Admin. Handbook and under Unaffilliated games there wasn’t a clear definition.Would I be covered if I officiated these games?

Answer (August 30, 2007):
Referees are covered only if they are registered and the teams are affiliated with U.S. Soccer, which high school is not (might be in SD as they just have a club program). You may want to check with the school and see if sports officials are covered on their policy.…