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Question Number: 29925

Appearance 11/16/2015

RE: Club Under 13

Scott of Tustin, CA - California United States asks...

Hi refs. The other day, prior to a U12 game we were both assigned to, a fellow referee told me something I had not heard before.

I arrived at the game, as I always do, dressed in my yellow referee jersey. I have jerseys of two other colors that I bring along to use in case of conflict with the team uniforms, but usually yellow is fine.

The other ref told that I was wrong to come to the game wearing a ref jersey. He said you should come in a non-ref shirt, and then once the whole referee team is assembled, they can decide together what color to wear, and change at the same time.

Is he right? Frankly, I can't see what difference it makes. I'm happy to change jerseys when necessary. But if this is the correct protocol, I'd like to know.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Scott
When arriving at a game a referee should look professional and well prepared. In teams of three / four that arrive at a game the referee has decide if he wants the team to arrive in shirts and ties or in sports shirt /tracksuit top depending on the level of the game being covered. It also depends if there are referee changing facilities available. It does not happen that a referee crew arrives in match jerseys unless of course there is nowhere to change. Now in a games of low importance a referee on his own might perhaps feel he can be a tad more relaxed about how he is attired. However that may not send out a good signal to the teams.
This is what USSF has to say
The following standards of dress and appearance are intended for referees traveling to and from a match, for the referee instructor while teaching any course or clinic, and for the referee
assessor while evaluating or assessing a referee performance:
1. Always acceptable for men: Navy blue blazer and gray slacks with Federation tie or emblem; for women, two piece suit or equivalent; black shoes. (Required for professional, National or International level matches.)
2. Also approved for referees traveling to and from assignments, including professional matches, are casual dress slacks, skirt for women, and a sports shirt with Federation logo.
3. Always acceptable, especially while observing a match, or demonstration or teaching on the field: Well kept warm up suit with Federation emblem, sports shirt with Federation logo.
4. Acceptable, especially while evaluating or assessing the performance of a referee: A neat and clean appearance with appropriate dress that does not call attention to oneself.
5. Acceptable, especially in summer: Slacks or well kept warmup suit bottoms, sports shirt with Federation logo.

Now as to your scenario I suspect that the referee was somewhat correct yet the reason given was questionable. Had he indicated that referees should be professionally attired when arriving at ground and that the referee changes into the appropriate match jersey that would have been better. It is the referee that decides what match shirts to wear. He can consult with his colleagues yet ultimately it is his call.

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Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

If you have a dressing room, come wearing other clothes.

But since most U12's don't have facilities, coming in yellow is just fine, as long as you're prepared to change if needed. If you have a warmup you can wear that over your jersey, but that wouldn't be expected if it's 80 degrees out.

Of course if you know the teams and know the colors, you could arrive wearing an alternate.

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