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Coach-Led Scrimmages

Scheduled Games with No Referees - Coach-Led Scrimmages

For games hosted by your region for which no certified and approved referee is present, the option of a friendly scrimmage can be played in lieu of a game per the guidelines outlined below:

AYSO National Rules & Regulations stipulate that a certified official must be present for any game to be played. For games hosted by your region for which no certified and approved referee is assigned, you have the option to play a friendly scrimmage in lieu of a game. Scrimmages do not count towards referee points, sportsmanship points, or tournament result, if applicable. 

For coach-led scrimmages, one coach from each team must be on the field with the players to help ensure a safe and friendly environment for the players. In a scrimmage, the role of the coaches are to guide the scrimmage, NOT REFEREE. They are to maintain a safe environment for the players and let them have fun while learning. Coaches may use this as an opportunity to teach and may also provide instruction during the scrimmage. 

Coaches must ensure the safety of all players during the scrimmage, and should discourage overly aggressive or dangerous behavior. Either coach may warn a player for such behavior. If the behavior continues, the player may be removed from the scrimmage. The scrimmage is not required to adhere to the usual game length and number of periods, but must end within the scheduled time to prevent delaying other games. Either coach may terminate the scrimmage for any reason -- misconduct by players, coaches, or parents, adverse weather conditions, field conditions, or at will. 

To help set the expectation of the spectators regarding the process and outcome of the scrimmage, coaches should explain to the spectators that in the absence of a certified referee, teams will be allowed to play a friendly coach-led scrimmage, no official score will be kept or recorded, and that Laws of the Game will not be strictly enforced in  the absence of a certified official. 

ONLY approved AYSO volunteers who are registered for the current soccer year and meet the minimum training requirements are allowed to participate on the field with players. Non-approved individuals, such as parents who volunteer to referee at the last minute, may not officiate or manger a game or scrimmage. To ensure a person is approved to officiate, they must sign up as referee in prior to the game. Coaches should verify they are signed on prior to commencement of the game. Parents, family members, and player age 10 and up are encouraged to become certified referees so there is adequate referees to cover all soccer matches.

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