Women's Soccer in D.C. since 1982



WAWSL Referee Policy Document (Updated MARCH 1, 2015)

For all current and prospective soccer officials: welcome to the Washington Area Women’s Soccer League (WAWSL)! WAWSL is a US Soccer sanctioned adult women’s soccer league based in metropolitan Washington DC, with its games in Washington DC and Montgomery County (MD) played on Saturdays. We are looking forward to an exciting year, keeping games fun, safe, fair, and competitive for the players.


  • All referees must be certified at USSF Grade 8 or higher for 2015. In accordance with MDCVA State Referee Program, preference will be given for USSF Grade 7 officials, while the league will continue to encourage all of its officials to develop their referee skills and achieve higher USSF grade levels when they are ready. Referees typically must be at least 18 years old in order to work WAWSL matches except with specific approval of WAWSL USSF Assignor Jesse Rosenthal.
  • All referees must be properly equipped for each match, including USSF jerseys (displaying current year USSF badge), solid black shorts, mostly black shoes, and either USSF logo socks or black socks with three white stripes. Referees are expected to bring at least a gold USSF jersey, with alternate colors of black, red, green, and blue available whenever possible.
  • All referees shall be knowledgeable of USSF Laws of the Game and of WAWSL League rules. Referees who have been suspended by US Soccer, a State Referee Program, and/or WAWSL Commissioner will not be assigned to WAWSL matches.
  • Referees are expected to be aware of and actively avoid actual or apparent conflicts of interest with respect to match assignments. To that end, referees shall report team affiliations within WAWSL in which they or an immediate family member is on the roster of a WAWSL team or in which there are reasonable concerns about their objectivity.
  • Only USSF Assignor Jesse Rosenthal (or CASRA USSF Assignor colleague) may make match assignments. Match assignments are not transferable between referees without approval of the assignor.
  • Referees are expected to be at the field at least 30 minutes prior to kickoff in order to conduct a suitable pre-game conference and field inspection—unless the referee is playing in the preceding match.  If one or more officials is playing in the preceding match, the remaining crew members may conduct the pre-game meeting with captains for the scheduled match.
  • WAWSL Field permits are posted at the WAWSL web site: http://wawsl.org/Page.asp?n=13583&org=m.m.w.wawsl.org 



  • Referees providing availability (via response to email requests) for working WAWSL matches will receive priority consideration for earning those assignments. Referees with WAWSL team affiliations will be accommodated whenever possible.
  • Referee assignments will be published in ArbiterSports, in which it is the responsibility of each individual official to promptly accept her/his assignments. If the referee does not accept assignments within the acceptance deadline (typically 48 hours from date of publication), the match assignments may be reallocated to a different official.
  • Referees are expected to confirm receipt of assignments in timely manner or they may be subsequently replaced. 
  • If emergencies arise (typically for injury or work) , the assigned official is expected to IMMEDIATELY NOTIFY USSF Assignor Jesse Rosenthal via email AND by phone at 703-338-6916.
  • To extent possible, officials are encouraged to identify potential replacements if replacement officials are needed for nonemergency situations.
  • It is NOT ACCEPTABLE to fail to appear for scheduled matches or to fail to communicate issues with completing assignments.   Referees who fail to appear for scheduled match assignments will not be paid and may not receive consideration for future assignments.


  • Each center referee is responsible for completing a match report in Arbiter within 48 hours of the conclusion of the match.  The match report must document the score, any misconduct, and any serious injuries. If a red card is shown to any player or team official or if there is a significant incident of spectator misbehavior, the center referee is additionally required to file a USSF Supplemental Match Report with USSF Assignor Jesse Rosenthal via email. 
  • Payment shall be made at least twice per season via enrollment in the CASRA RefPay account. Each official must create a RefPay account, and CASRA will transfer payments to RefPay, which is linked to the bank account designated by the official.  Referee fees shall be earned for each WAWSL match that is played; terminated; abandoned; forfeited within 48 hours of scheduled kickoff; or cancelled because of inclement weather less than two hours prior to scheduled kickoff.
  • WAWSL Inclement Weather Hotline: In the event of inclement weather, please call the WAWSL hotline at 703-827-7907. Cancellation information will be available on the outgoing message starting at 7am.**NOTE: The hotline is ONLY updated by date and games status in the event of inclement or threatening weather. **If you call after 7am and hear the standard "WAWSL Information" greeting, then games are on as scheduled

    Do not assume games are cancelled if there has been rain or if it is currently raining. Game cancelations will occasionally be determined on a field-by-field basis, depending on field location and type of surface. Turf games will not be canceled for light to moderate rain when lightning is not present. 


  • Referees pursuing USSF assessments must secure assignments in Premier or First Division matches. Requests for assessments should be submitted at least two weeks prior to targeted assessment date so that USSF Assignor Jesse Rosenthal can secure appropriate referee crew for the match.
  • All referees are encouraged to further their development and getting feedback from colleagues. Referee development activities will be scheduled and publicized throughout the calendar year, and all referees are welcome to participate.


·         WAWSL requires that medical knee braces, such as those used for torn ACL recoveries, must be covered with a sleeve (available from the manufacturer) or other material.

·         All players, including the goalkeeper, must wear shinguards completely covered by socks.

·         For protection of players, jewelry is not allowed UNLESS it is completely covered by tape or other padding so that it is not a danger to any players.

·         A player is not allowed to play until any equipment violations are corrected and the referee should stop the game until the offending player is off the field of play.

·         The Center Referee retains the final decision regarding the safety of player equipment.

·         For Substitutions, Unlimited entries and re-entries are allowed at the following dead ball situations:

  • Kick-offs (either team may sub),
  • Possession throw-ins (only one team may sub),
  • Goal kicks (either team may sub),
  • To replace an injured player (the opposing team may also sub one player), and
  • With a yellow card caution (the opposing team may also sub one player).

·         All players must be on the team’s roster or otherwise provide proof of registration with a WAWSL payment receipt for that season. The captain must provide a roster to the referee before start of play. A government issued photo ID is required for each player every game. If a team uses a player that is not on their roster it is a forfeit (see sub rule below). 

·         SUB RULE: A team may use registered WAWSL players (registered for a team other than theirs) as subs. The game will be played, but irrespective of the actual final score, that team will incur a 3-0 loss, but will not incur a forfeit fine. The match should be reported as a 3-0 loss, but without the notation indicating that it was a loss by forfeit.

·         Each game has two 45-minute halves, with a 5-minute halftime. Extra time for injuries and other game delays is at the discretion of the referee. Near the beginning of stoppage time, the referee should announce the number of extra minutes to both teams and benches.

o   Under normal circumstances, if games are played within 2-hour blocks, there is no reason to shorten the game.


  • The following pay rates are currently in effect:
    • Three-ref system: $55 for the center referee, and $40 for each assistant referee.
    • Two-ref system: $55 each.
    • One-ref system: $60.