IFAB Laws of the Game

  • The International Football Association Board, or IFAB, “works to ensure that the Laws of the Game remain fair and adapt to important changes in the game” (quotation link).
  • IFAB is your source for the Laws of the Game, often referred to as LOTG. Their website can be found here:
  • You can download a PDF version of the Laws of the Game (LOTG) in English, French, German, and Spanish here:
  • IFAB has also created an app you can download to access the LOTG. It is available on the App Store and Google Play store. For more information, go here:
  • IFAB makes changes to the LOTG. Some years there are no changes, and other years there are multiple changes. The changes are announced in advance and become effective on June 1 of the upcoming calendar year, and USSF often waits until the end of the existing competitions to implement these rules.
    • CDRef will inform you of changes to the LOTG in a meeting, and will advise on when they will become effective for our matches.

USSF Resources

  • U.S. Soccer Federation Referee Program, or USSF, is our organizing body in the U.S. that oversees all referees. U.S. Soccer Referee Program provides training and information online to all referees through the Resource Center, found here:
  • USSF has created the U.S. Soccer Learning Center which houses all learning content for referees, found here:
  • USSF offers online training to officials. These modules are important for referees to review and complete to increase their knowledge and understand the expectations for their performance. The online training is available online here: (scroll down to your level).
  • USSF has a YouTube page with videos that “focus on both the interpretation and application of the Laws of the Game while also providing advice on practical refereeing”, found here:

Referee Advice

Fitness Advice

The following is information provided by National Referee and Assistant Trainer at Bard College Justen Lopez at a March 19, 2015 training session.


The pregame is an important part of every match to ensure that the referee crew has the same expectations for the match.

Health and Safety

USSF has provided recommendations to all officials for health and safety while officiating. The information listed below can be found here:

As part of U.S. Soccer’s commitment to health and safety, our medical and referee experts have prepared the following recommendations for the referee community and incorporated them into our referee education materials.

In the interest of health and safety, U.S. Soccer recommends that match officials practice the following skin care guidelines:

  • Consider wearing sunscreen daily on areas of exposed skin.
  • Apply skin protection factor (SPF) of 30 or greater 15 minutes prior to being exposed to the sun.
  • At a minimum, reapply every 2 hours or more frequently if sweating extensively.
  • Take advantage of halftime to reapply.
  • Consider wearing long sleeves (or UV protective clothing) if applicable during high sun exposure periods.
  • Periodically (once a year) review exposed skin for any changes or growths and consult your doctor or dermatologist.
  • Caps may be worn so long as the cap does not endanger the safety of the official or the players.
  • The cap should be consistent with the referee uniform and not conflict with the uniform colors worn by either team.
  • The cap may not bear any commercial marks or logos.