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What if there are not three referees?Printable

Diagonal System of Control

ONLY the Diagonal System of Control can be used in USSF Sanctioned matches.

You CANNOT use a two man - two whistle system.

What to do?

  1. Use USSF registered referees from the previous match or the next field. In uniform.
  2. Use one or two club linesmen.
  3. Use no one.

Club Linesmen

  • Can only signal ball in and out of play. (No direction and no offside.)
  • Preference given to club linesperson(s) who have no affiliation to the participating teams
  • Inform and obtain approval from both teams that a club linesperson(s) will be working the match
  • Licensed referees, but not in uniform, must be treated as Club Linesmen

Licensed and properly uniformed Referees but affiliated with a team

  • Inform and get approval from both teams. Either team can veto.


USSF clearly states that the liability insurance provided to referees does not apply to non affiliated matches. All the CYSA, NorCal, AYSO youth matches listed on Pensra are USSF affiliated. Typically tournaments are sanctioned by CYSA or USClub and thus are USSF affiliated.

Violating a written USSF policy (only the diagonal system of control can be used) might invalidate the referee liability insurance. Pensra has been unable to find this explicitly stated.

Nothing good can ever come from violating the USSF policy. If something happens in the match, even if unrelated to the number of referees, the referee crew will NOT look good.

USSF Referee Administrative Policy>
USSF Policy 531.8>
California Youth Soccer Association CCSL Rule of Competition Article Twelve>
NorCal Premier Team Handbook Section 3.1>