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Darien Soccer Association- Referee Development Program


Thank you for your interest in learning more about the DSA Referee Program.  As the number of players expands each year, attracting new referees is critical to support the overall DSA Program.  This document provides an overview of our Referee Development Program.  Click on the menu items to your left to learn about other areas of the program.


Refereeing presents an excellent opportunity for young teens to learn self confidence, responsibility and leadership….. as well as earn some pretty decent money!


Our program advances novice referees through a series of increasing levels of responsibility.  We provide on field training, certification classes and mentoring by experienced officials to support them every step of the way. 


Adults are also encouraged to participate.  It can be a particularly rewarding experience to work alongside your child.  No experience necessary!  Working as an A/R on the sidelines does not require much running.  If you do have experience, we are always looking for adults to help mentor the younger referees coming up through the program.


Younger referees start out working games for the Recreation league (K-2nd Grade).  As they get older they can then a Certification Course which qualifies them to work as A/R’s (Assistant Refs) and Center Referees in the Travel Soccer program.  Here is the progression path through the program:



 Recreational Referee Program-


Rec Refs work the K-2nd grade games on Saturdays from 8:30AM through 3:30PM.  The Laws of the Game are highly simplified for this age group.  The Referee’s role is to help the beginning players understand how to take throw-ins, etc. and to keep the game flowing.  You help make it fun for the kids.


Eligibility-  K-2 refereeing is open primarily to current DSA players.  You must be in 7th grade to begin working as a referee.  

Training- Training sessions are typically scheduled on the first two Saturdays of the Fall and Spring seasons.  The training session runs 90 minutes and held in conjuction with the K-2 games being played.  We will offer serveral sessions over the course of the day.  You only need to attend one session.  Specific times are published on the website just before the start of the season.  They are also emailed to all age eligibile DSA players as well.


There are approximately 35 one hour games throughout the day.  Refs are paid $15/game.  


The required Rec Ref uniform consists of:

ü      Grade 9 shirt-  Yellow t-shirt with DSA logo

ü      Black knee length socks

ü      Black Shorts (you may use your own all black shorts if you have them)

ü      Whistle

ü      Wrist Watch with count down feature

  DSA referee string bag to keep it all organized!


the above can be purchased from Darien Sports shop



Age Group



3rd & 4th Grade



5th/6th Grade



7th/8th Grade



9th Grade & Up




Club Excel – Saturdays games.  Certified Referees and certain qualified members of the program are eligible to work these matches.   Fee structure: (New rates as of Fall 2016)


Travel Referee Program


Referees who pass the Grade 8 certification course are eligible to work Travel Games on Sundays.  


Grade 8 Referees can be the Center Ref for age groups 2 years under their current age group.  (For example, a U-14 Grade 8 ref can center U-12 games.) Grade 8 Referees can A/R for age groups one year less than their current age.  (U-14 Grade 8 can A/R U-13 games).  Certified Referees also have the opportunity to work non DSA matches, including State Cup and Tournaments.


Pay scale is as follows: (New rates as of Spring 2022)


Age Group



U9/U10  7v7


U11/ U12  9v9 $65 $35

U13/U15 11v11



U16 and up 11v11 $80 $45


Certified Travel Ref’s can pick up a uniform at Darien Sport Shop.  Required equipment includes:

ü      Yellow shirt

ü      Black socks with 3 white stripes

ü      Black Shorts

ü      Whistle75

ü      Watch

ü      Red & Yellow cards

ü      A/R Flags


Certification Classes


Grade 8 Course

The Grade 8 Referee Course is conducted on line, primarily in the July to December time frame.    Go to www.ctreferee.net for current information.

Those who successfully complete the course are eligible to work as Center refs and A/R’s subject to the age restrictions mentioned above.   


Once you have completed the online course, go to this link to register as a referee with Darien Soccer:




Annual Recertification Course

Certified Grade 8 Referees must take an on line Recertification course each year in order to maintain their certification.  If you do not take the recertification class each year, you have to re-take the Grade 8 course completely.


DSA Referee Program Contacts


Frank McGarey-
Youth Referee Development