Update from Norcal about Referee Shortage
December 11, 2020


Dear Club Presidents and DOCs,


As we approach 2021, and hopefully a return to the field for games against other clubs, we would like to bring to your attention the need for your club's help in bringing NEW referees into your referee pool.  We are facing a crisis in licensed referee numbers for 202 if we do not get in front of the curve and address this proactively.


Normally by this time of the year (non-COVID), anywhere from 3,500 to 4,000 NEW referees would be registered for the 2021 registration year.  Currently, the number stands at just 342.  


As a soccer community, we need each and every club to proactively get the message out to your membership of the desperate need for new referees for the year 2021. The registration process will likely take longer than usual, so starting early helps to ensure that we will all have enough referees for games once we are able to return to competition in 2021.


What can NorCal Member Clubs do?


Requirements / Process to Become a New Referee


If you have any questions please contact Moe Shafai at mshafai@norcalpremier.com


Many thanks, 

Benjamin Ziemer

How to Become a Referee / Renew your License

Click here for full information


EBU Rec & Bay Oaks - Team Referee Requirements

It is the goal of the league to ensure that our players and the game of soccer are served by having a full crew of appropriately experienced referees for every match. Team referees are the backbone of the league’s referee corps.  While we do get help from some unaffiliated professional referees, more than 90% of games played on our fields must be covered by volunteer team referees. These requirements are based on current playing schedules in various competitions and have been formulated to create a sustainable model that will meet our goal of providing a full crew of referees for every game. You can read more about team referee requirements online.  


If you have a parent or youth volunteer (must be 14 yrs old) that is not licensed, there are a number of classes offered each season and they can sign up for these courses online. Here is a list of CNRA Referee Grade 8 licensing classes

The classes are 6 hours of classroom and 3 hours of field instruction with the final test administered online. Cost for the annual license and class is $75. A new referee uniform kit will cost around $60.  New referees can get up to $60 uniform reimbursement in their first year after they have affiliated with an EBU team and ref'd 5 games. They should send a copy of their receipt to the EBU Ref Coordinator along with their name and address for the reimbursement. refcoordinator@eastbayunitedsoccer.org


  • Jack London requires each team to have minimum one referee licensed by USSF affiliated with their team.

  • Each season, referees must renew their license and setup an affiliation with their team in MySoccerLeague.com.  

  • The number of team referee game credits is set each season and can be found online


  • Teams without an affiliated referee:  Will not be allowed to schedule games for which they are designated as the Home Team on Jack London fields. 

  • Fine:  $30 fine per game credit not earned

  • Entry into the JLYSL end-of-season Recreational Tournament is contingent on having met team referee requirements.

Referees are a critical part of an organized soccer experience. Every referee in our league – from experts to beginners – comes from the ranks of parents and players.


  • Free to attend (materials, class and field fees, and instructor are sponsored by EBU)

  • If you pass the test:  $55 registration fee paid to CNRA

  • Uniforms & Reimbursement

    EBUSC will reimburse up to $60 for the cost of a new referee kit, (including cards, socks, shorts, shirt, and flags, but not including shoes), if the referee officiates five games in their first season and is affiliated with an EBU team.

    Save your receipts and send an email to referee@ebusoccer.org. Please include the name and address for the individual receiving the check. We will confirm your coverage and arrange for reimbursement through the club.

  • Minimum age is 14

  • Class is free for Jack London club members but there is a $55 referee registration fee paid to CNRA if you pass the test. This fee pays for your license.

  • Members of clubs outside JLYSSL must pay a $10 fee to cover course materials

  • Uniform must be purchased at the conclusion of the class at a cost of about $60

  • JLYSSL clubs will reimburse uniform expense after you officiate five (5) games in your first season as referee


Referee FAQ​

Q: My team has no referees. What should I do?
A:  Jack London Soccer League currently requires that each team have at least one affiliated referee. EBUSC and Jack London are volunteer organizations. In order to provide referees for all games, all teams must contribute volunteers, including referees to cover games in which their children are not playing.  EBUSC recommends that every team U12 and up have three licensed referees.

Your team should find a parent, sibling, or friend to take a class and get a referee license. If you are a manager or coach, you should not allow parents to accept any volunteer positions on the team until someone agrees to take a referee class or the team has located a referee in some other way. If you are a parent, you should consider taking a referee class.

If you cannot provide a referee, contact your EBUSC referee coordinators at referee@ebusoccer.org and they will attempt to assist you. If a team fails to provide referees or to fulfill its requirements, the league, the club, or both, may impose fines and other penalties.

Q: How can I take a referee class?
A: Look for a class and contact the administrator directly. Many clubs in the area individually sponsor these classes.

Here are some web sites that have information about the currently offered classes:

JLYSL Referee Instruction and Licensing
Cal North Area 4 Referee Association – Classes and Clinics

Q: What type of referee class should I take?
A: For the purposes of most Jack London Parents, there are two types of referee: Grade 9 and Grade 8.

The lowest level of referee is a Grade 9 referee, who may only officiate recreational games U-14 and under. This is referred to by CNRA as a “recreational referee,” and requires 9 hours of instruction and passing the test.

The next level up is a Grade 8 referee, who can officiate games at U-18 class I and under, assuming the referee has sufficient experience. This license requires completion of 18 hours of instruction and passing the test. With the “online and class” format this can be completed over a weekend. (Friday night, Saturday, and Sunday morning.)

The next level up is a Grade 7 referee, who may officiate adult amateur games for which the official has sufficient experience. To reach this level, the referee must have been a grade 8 referee for at least six months, complete another 18 hours of instruction and pass the test.

Q: What is a Referee Coordinator?
A:  The Referee Coordinator(s) (RC) for each club are responsible for monitoring the referee assignments so that referees are not assigned to games for which they do not have sufficient experience. In Jack London Soccer League, referees log into a web site that hosts all scheduled games. Any referee may request any game, but the request does not take effect until formally assigned by a RC. In some instances the RC might proactively assign certain games. RC can also retroactively assign games when a referee steps in to fill an empty referee or AR position.


Q: I am a licensed referee, but I was not wearing my uniform when I ran the sidelines for my child’s came. Can I still get credit & payment for this effort?
A:  No, but thank you for contributing!
Credit can only be given when the referee has a current license, of sufficient level to officiate the game, and is in uniform. Official assignment can be made after the game.
Next time bring your kit!

Q: I can’t see “request it” for many of the games I would like to referee. Why not?
A: In Jack London, games are assigned to referees after they have requested them. Games should not be assigned to referees that do not have sufficient experience for a particular game. Therefore referees are not generally able to request games for which they have not been approved. EBU and Jack London have a referee training program and referee mentoring program to enable referees to advance in experience to do higher-level games. For more information, visit JLYSL or email adam.soccer@gmail.com.

Q: My team’s game does not have a referee or referee crew assigned. Should I panic?
A: There is no need to panic if your team has three licensed referees. However, you should first contact the EBU RC and see if they can help you – preferably on Wednesday. If you still don’t have a referee by Thursday, contact the manager for the other team, and offer to have them provide a referee, or tell them you can provide parent referees. If the visiting team brings a referee or crew with full gear there, s/he would have first right of refusal, as long as the person has full gear, badge and registration card – so be sure to bring your registration card and badge. If they do not, your parent referee(s), in uniform with badge & registration, (card or copy on phone), can do the game. Report your service to the RC so they can assign the game.

If they refuse your service and do not have a substitute, they forfeit. E.G. you would put on your uniform, take the field, blow the whistle for captains, the home team’s captain comes on the field. You blow the whistle again, if the visitor’s captain does not take the field, you give them 5 minutes, then you leave the field and tell your coach that the game is disbanded because the visitor’s captain would not take the field. In any instance, include a clear and factual description of the events in your game report in case a protest is filed.

Q: What accounts will we need/use as a referee?
A: You will have multiple accounts as a referee.

1) CNRA – this is the official account you will use to manage and update your license.
2) MySoccerLeague – this is the account login you will use regularly to request game assignments. www.mysoccerleague.com.
3) TeamSnap – EBUSC has created a “team” in order to communicate with and train EBU referees.  www.teamsnap.com

CREATING YOUR CNRA ACCOUNT (before taking a class)

1) Create an account at www.cnra.net.  Keep track of your username and login for CNRA. This is the login and registration you will use to renew your license, and to get other information that will be helpful from the gameofficials web site.

2) Be sure you have CREATED AN ACCOUNT on www.cnra.net.  YOU DO NOT NEED to register for the class, the instructor will add you, so you WILL NOT need the registration or age code. If you have questions feel free to email.

3) You MUST have an account in CNRA BEFORE test day. If you are not in the system, you will not be allowed to take the exam.


Your club’s Referee Coordinator (RC) will create an account for you at www.mysoccerleague.com.  This is the system that all Jack London clubs use to schedule and assign referees for games on their fields.

Once the account has been created, you will get a user name and password, and you will need to keep track of this information to request games. This is the account you will use more often than any other as a referee in the Jack London system, but don’t forget this is NOT the same as the US Soccer account you will need to track your official license and to renew that license every year. KEEP TRACK OF BOTH LOGINS.

Once you have logged into your www.mysoccerleague.com account, you will need to “affiliate” with your team so that they get credit.  This is a local affiliation specific to Jack London Youth Soccer League. It needs to be renewed every year.​

TIPS for Referees


How to Request Games and Gain Experience

On MySoccerLeague, login and go to the “All referee assignments” link, and look for games that fit your schedule.

  • New referee will not be able to see most games because they don’t have enough experience.

  • Start with AR on U12 and U13 rec games. (U10 games don’t have AR.)

  • Sign up early for the best games.

Once you have made the request, an assignor / Referee Coordinator (RC) will approve your request, and you will get an email confirmation.

  • Only request games you can make, and late cancellations should be avoided.

  • If you have problems please contact the managers and/or your club RC as soon as possible so that the teams can play as planned. They are counting on you!

  • If your request for a game is not accepted, don’t be offended or upset. There are often multiple requests for games and a wide range of reasons for approving and accepting requests.

  • With experience you can request higher level games.

How to Prepare for Games

Closely review the applicable rule modifications for your game and print out the “Cheat Sheet”(PDF) to bring with you.

Complete a score card before you leave home, and double-check to make sure you know what level of play it will be. Prepare your bag. Bring water, uniform (with badge), and whistle!

Carefully review and become familiar with the pre-game protocols – start now.

Uniforms & Reimbursement

EBUSC will reimburse referees for the class if they affiliate with an EBUSC team. Email referee@ebusoccer.org, to coordinate this.

EBUSC will also reimburse up to $60 for the cost of new a new referee kit, (including cards, socks, shorts, shirt, and flags, but not including shoes), if the referee officiates five games in their first season.

Save your receipts, and send to referee@ebusoccer.org, who will confirm your coverage and arrange for reimbursement through the club.

The USSF official uniform provider is Official Sports International. They have an Economy and Pro set.

You can also shop at Jade Soccer in the Dimond, or Soccer Post in Alameda. You might also try Sator Soccer, which is not the official sports brand but very nice and very affordable.

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