Return to Play Guidelines for Referees

As always, the referee’s priority is to ensure a safe match.

UPDATED 9/14/2020
  1. Referees should not feel pressured to accept an assignment if they feel at risk.
  2. Referees choosing not to officiate will not face negative consequences.
  3. Referees must follow county/state/federal health protocols and guidelines as well as PAW Covid protocols which are available here.
  4. Referees must monitor their own health, including temperature check before leaving for match.
    1. If Referee has a fever (temp of 100.4 F or higher), is not feeling well, or has had close contact within the last 2 weeks with someone who had symptoms or a confirmed case of COVID-19: CANCEL– even if last minute.
    2. Referees should self-quarantine and decline matches for 2 weeks if they have traveled to a location with a higher infection rate than PAW or been in contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 or a person with symptoms of COVID-19.
  5. Referees must wear face mask and distance at least 6 feet at all times not during the game: when moving to/from their car, during player check-in, half-time, and post-match – including during referee pregame, halftime, postgame, and during game referee meetings/discussions.
  6. Referees should communicate with players and/or coach while keeping 6 feet away; alert players/coach prior to match so they understand referee is not ignoring a question if the referee takes a few steps away.
  7. Referees and ARs may choose whether to wear a mask during match if it does not impede vision or their ability to officiate. 4th Officials must wear mask during entire match.
  8. Referees must cover their mouth when coughing or sneezing – recommended into the nape of the elbow.
  9. All referees should launder clothes and uniforms after activities each day.
  10. Referees should bring own hand sanitizer/wipes and liquids and not share any gear or water.
  11. Electronic whistles are an acceptable alternative to a traditional blown whistle.
  12. Referees should place gear 6 feet away from each other and each team/player.
  13. Referees are NOT responsible for enforcing appropriate pandemic safe behaviors of coaches, fans, and players (such as numbers at field, distancing, mask wearing). Report COVID protocol violations on game report but DO NOT take any action at the field.
  14. Referees should be efficient at re-starting match at set plays to minimize the closer contact among players which often occurs during set pieces. Communicate this to the players and coaches during pre-game.
  15. An intentional cough at/toward another participant results in a send off for “using offensive, insulting or abusive language and/or gestures” which is S6 on the WPA Referees Online Game Report.
  16. Non-gameplay physical contact of any kind is prohibited (i.e. handshakes, “high fives”, etc.).
  17. Home Team will give referee one copy of GDR (Game Day Roster) for the referee to keep. Referee will NOT collect player passes. Check-in players for equipment safety only. Obtain player passes for any red cards after the game.
  18. No coin toss – away team is deemed to have won the toss and will get to choose kick-off or side of the field.
  19. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your assignor or any member of the State Referee Committee.

Visit to review what is allowed during different phases of Return to Play. There is no officiating involvement until USSF Phase 3.