Referee Pre-Season

Referee Pre-Season Information

All game officials aged 19 and older must complete a Criminal Record Check every 36 months through an agency approved by BCSA. They must also register with BCSA and take a refresher course. As per BCSA Rule 18: "No person shall officiate as a referee in any competition under the sanction of the Association who is not on the official list, except in unforeseen circumstances."


  • First league games - September 9, 10, 11
  • No games Thanksgiving weekend - Oct. 8, 9, 10
  • Dedicated Cup weekends - Oct. 21-23, Nov. 11-13
  • Both League and Cup games - Nov. 25-27 and Dec. 9-11
  • Last games before Christmas break - Dec. 9-11
  • Start up again - January 6-8
  • Final league games - Feb. 18-19
  • Pioneer, commonwealth & Burrard Cup Finals - Feb. 25 & 26
  • Cup finals, coastal A & B Cup - March, April

The referee is in charge of the game. This authority is total and should not be challenged. The referee is under no obligation to explain his/her actions. The referee may report after-game misconduct as part of his/her online match report.

For all U16 to U18 league and cup games, the home team, Club, or District must provide two uniformed assistant referees with Small Side Referee qualifications or higher.

AR's are required for all U15 4-District and BCCGSL league cup games. Starting th 2016-17 season, on a best-effort trial basis, AR's are required for all U15 league games.

It is the responsibility or the referee to ensure that the Laws of the Game and the league rules are properly applied.

The referee's job is, prior to the start of the game is to check and sign the team lists, and check BCSA photo ID's, players' shin guards, and cleats. The referee may delegate any portion of this requirement to an assigned, qualified AR.

For games where there are no assigned AR's, club lines persons must be instructed that their only duty is to signal when the whole ball is out. At no time shall club lines persons be allowed to call or indicate offside. Coaches are discouraged from acting as a lines person as it impedes their ability to properly guide their team during the game.

Referees and Assistants should avoid familiarity with team officials, players and spectators. When trying to get the attention of a player or team official, do not put your hands on them for any reason.

Referees are not to advise or give opinions to team officials or spectators pertaining to league decisions.


There is an alternate gravel field allocated for each grass field. If the main field is not playable, games must be played on the alternate field if the referee determines that it is playable. Do not play games on closed grass fields.

Starting the 2016-17 season, please be aware of the BCSA's requirement of a retreat line at U11, U12 and U13.

For information regarding field status, see below. "User discretion" refers to the decision made by the referee at the field at game time.

  • Burnaby: 604-294-7984 or 294-7459 (after 6 pm Thursday)
  • Royal City YSC (New Westminster): This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Do not call the Hotline.
  • Richmond: 604-276-4383
  • Vancouver: Vancouver Park Board Fields 604-473-6206 (after 1 pm Friday)
  • North Vancouver: 604-983-6444, then push 503 (usually after noon Fridays)
  • West Vancouver: 604-926-6863 (usually after noon Fridays)



Arrive early and do your best to start games on time. If the 9AM game starts late then all games scheduled on that field will be late. The rule is that as soon as the teams have 7 players the game can be started. Should the opposing team not be at the field by the scheduled time, the referee will wait 15 minutes before he calls the game.

Referees and assistant referees must be attired in proper strip.

Referees and Assistants should avoid familiarity with team officials, players and spectators.

Do not contact team officials about the game that you have been assigned to referee.

Referees are not to advise or give opinions to team officials or spectators pertaining to League decisions.

Where field configuration permits, both teams' officials and their players must stand on one side of the field while both teams' spectators will stand on the opposite side of the field. Where field configuration does not permit spectators must not stand behind the technical area.


Team lists are required and must be checked and signed for all games. Only the names of the registered players and team officials participating in the game should appear on the team list. Two copies of the team list and the BCSA photo IDs must be given to you before the game. The Ref or assistants must check all players against the team list and the ID cards. All players' full names & jersey numbers must be on the team list. Sign one copy of the team list and give it to the opposing team. Keep the other copy. Referees are requested to retain team lists for at least 2 weeks after each game as they may need to be used various 4D committees for protests, etc.

BCSA PHOTO ID CARDS: No Photo ID/No Play - No other form of ID is acceptable, including Driver's Licences

*** BCCGSL Policy Manual: allows the game to go ahead without BCSA Photo ID ***

In the 2015-16 season, only BCSA ID cards with "17" in the bottom left hand corner are acceptable.

BCSA ID cards are required for all 4D U11 to U18 games from October 1 onward and must be specific to the team on which the player or team official is registered. Prior to the start of the game the front and back of all BCSA photo ID cards will be checked by the referee or the assistant referees. It is not good enough to have the photo ID given to you - you must check them! Check off each name in the "tick" box on the team list. The BCSA photo ID cards will be retained by the referee until the game is over. Return the cards except those of any player or team official reported for misconduct (red carded). Should a player or team official be ejected or reported for misconduct, that person's BCSA photo ID card will be retained by the referee and forwarded to the Home District's Discipline Representative. That information is included on the last page of this document.

Players and team officials without validated BCSA photo ID will be ineligible to play, coach or manage. Their name will not appear on the team list and they must not be on the team bench.

Teams that are unable to provide the referee with all of their team's BCSA photo ID's or the above mentioned documentation prior to the start of a scheduled game will default the game. Should both teams fail to produce BCSA ID, the result will be a double-forfeiture. This decision will be made by the League, not the referee. With the agreement of both teams, the game may proceed as a "friendly". The referee will include this information in their game report. Team officials should be made aware that any cautions, ejections or misconduct resulting from this "friendly" are subject to normal discipline procedures.

An exception will only be made when written permission from the District Discipline Rep or, when specific to registration, the District Registrar, is provided. This would have been done in advance of the game.

If it is brought to your attention that there is a player or team official who is suspended in attendance, ask a team official to have them stay back at least 50 feet from the sidelines to avoid further problems.


Intra-Club Permits must be accompanied by a BCSA Photo ID from October 1 onward. If both of these documents are not available prior to the start of the game, the player will NOT be allowed to play. The only exception to this is for a U11 in-house player permitting up to a 4District U11 team as ID cards are not issued at the in-house level, but they must have a signed ICP.


Religious headwear such as turbans, patkas or keskis may be worn at games but must be safe and not pose a danger to the wearer or other participants. All jewellery and piercings must be removed. The only exception is for Medic Alert and religious bracelets but they must be totally covered by tape so as not to cause injury to the player or anyone else. All items of clothing are subject to the inspection by the game official.

Providing that a cast is completely covered by bubble wrap or foam, the refeee can make an observation and decide whether it is of danger to the player or anyone else.


At the discretion of the referee, the wearing of eyeglasses is acceptable as are insulin pumps as long as they are not a danger to the player or another player.


See Rules of Play, Page 10 of the 4D Guide.


FIFA's Fair Play Handshake policy directs teams to have a pre-game handshake as well as post-game handshake. The pre-game handshake will be organized by the team's officials or team captains. The 4-District League suggests that the end-of-match handshake should only be done if both teams are still respectful of each other.

Any post-game handshake is at the discretion of the teams, however, the atmosphere of the match should be considered before engaging. Teams reserve the right to decline a request and the referee can continue his/her duties until s/he leaves the field and its immediate surrounds.

The referee must remain to witness the post game handshake and report any misconduct.



U18 and U17 2 X 45 minute halves     OT is 2 X 15 minute halves after a 5 minute break.
U16 and U15 2 X 40 minute halves   OT is 2 X 10 minute halves after a 5 minute break
U14 and U13 2 X 35 minute halves   OT is 2 X 10 minute halves after a 5 minute break
U12 and U11 2 X 30 minute halves   There is no cup play for this age group


#5 balls are used for all U18 to U13 games and #4 balls are used for U12 and U11 games.

All 4D Cup games will go to Extra Time and Kicks from the Penalty Mark, if required
*** Check for policies as some girls' competitions do not have ET but go right to Kicks from the Penalty Mark

KICKS FROM THE PENALTY MARK: The home team will call the coin toss for the start of the penalty kicks. Whoever wins the toss decides whether to take the first or second kick. After the coin toss, each team will give the referee a list of 5 shooters in order. All shooters must have been on the field at the end of the overtime period. Players that were not on the field during overtime cannot participate in any penalty kicks.

The teams alternate through their lists until all 5 players have taken their shot. If there is no winner after 5 shooters, the referee will proceed with a 6th shooter from each team. There are no second shots until all players on the field have had one shot.

If a player is injured or sent off during the taking of kicks from the penalty mark and the team has one player less, the referee should not reduce the number of players taking kicks for the other team. An equal number of players from each team is required only at the start of the taking of kicks from the penalty mark.

SUDDEN DEATH: From the 6th shot onward, the shots are taken in pairs - one player from each team. If both players fail to score or both players do score, pairs will carry on until each pair has taken a shot and one of the pair has missed and the other has scored.

Please note that failure to play extra-time and the kick from the penalty mark format noted is grounds for a protest.

IMPORTANT - in the event that you are assigned to a 4D Finals game - unlike the league cup games leading up to the finals, there is no extra time on the day of the 4D Finals although in the case of a tie the team will go directly into kicks from the penalty mark.


Unlimited substitutions are permitted in all league and cup games. Substitutions may be made at a stoppage in play at the referee's discretion and in compliance with the correct FIFA procedure.


All red and yellow cards including League, Cup and In-District Provincial Cup must be reported on the BCSA Discipline Website at by the end of the weekend. Double-check the spelling of the individual's name and team information including the level of play for e.x. G1, S3, B2 before submitting.

When players, coaches, managers or spectators are cautioned, ejected or reported for their misconduct, these incidents must be explained in a referee's report. Referees must not indicate what penalty they think should be levied. They will make a separate report for each player, team official or spectator. The BCSA photo ID must be taken to the Home District's Discipline Representative within 24 hours of the incident. A list of the 4D Discipline Reps by District is at the end of this document.


It is NOT necessary to fill out a BCSA game report if there was no misconduct to report, however, referees must submit a report if a serious injury occurred in the match.

Enter your cautions and ejections on the BCSA Discipline website by no later than Sunday night. Please double-check the spelling of the players' names and make sure that the team name as well as the first and last names are in the proper order.

RED CARD EJECTION reports must be explicit. As you are not at the discipline hearing your report is all the Discipline Committee has to go by. If it was a fight was it with an open palm or a closed fist? Did the player actually hit the opposing player? How many times? Or was it an attempt to hit? Did the opposing player retaliate? Who was the instigator?


  1. If it's a fight that involves a player from each team you will refer to the opposing player's involvement. Who started it? If a player came from the sidelines we need to know.
  2. If you know who was more aggressive tell us, if not, don't guess.
  3. Do not use terms like: "In my opinion" "In my view" or things like "I feel one game should be sufficient" or "throw the book at him."
  4. The Discipline Committee has guidelines and you should not indicate to the player or his coach, at the field or in the paperwork, how many games you think the player will or should get.


If it was language who was it directed at? No one in particular? At a specific person? To you, as the referee? What was said? You don't have to use the F word but we do have to know what was said. As in "he called me an F….A…..and told me I needed glasses."

Remember you can't card spectators but you must report their misconduct and/or the team officials' lack of assisting you in controlling their fans - report under Fails to Behave in a Responsible Manner.

All discipline correspondence related to league and cup games scheduled by the League should be directed to the District Discipline Committee member in your district. These individuals are listed below:

Burnaby Discipline Committee Member
Doug Ross
c/o 7180 Paulus Court
Burnaby, BC V5A 1N2
C 778-773-0983
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

North Shore Discipline Committee Member
Paul VanBuekenhout
c/o 1474 Lynn Valley Road
North Vancouver, BC V7J 2A9
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Richmond Discipline Committee Member
Bob Harrison
9591 McBurney Drive
Richmond, BC
H 604-271-2042
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Vancouver Discipline Committee Member
Jackie Larson
788 East 30 Avenue
Vancouver, BC
H/F 604-879-9948
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NOTE: The boys' game schedules can be found on;