Referee Development and Progression

Referee Development and Progression

The Ontario Soccer Association’s Referee Development Program has as its mission, “To prepare and certify referees for the club, district, regional and provincial levels of the game”. Each season, Ontario Soccer offers training at all levels for referees, including those referees who are entering the program for the first time to those seeking promotion to the next level.

Referee development within the Ottawa Gloucester Soccer Club is a cooperative effort between Gloucester Dragons and the Hornets. Initial training is provided by the Gloucester Dragons. Developmental reviews are by the Head Referee team. The Gloucester Hornets provide work assignments for more experienced referees to further develop their skills in a competitive league environment.

7 x 7 Small Sided Referees

To become a Small Sided Referee, an individual must be at least 12 years an no more than 13 years of age on or before March 31 of the current year.  OSA Small Sided Referees are qualified to referee 7 v 7 Tiny Tot and Small Sided Soccer games but are not certified to referee or act as the assistant referee on any 11 vs 11 games at any level. In Gloucester Small Sided Referees are employed up to the U-10 age group.

For information and course application, click here

11 x 11 Entry Level Referees

The Canadian Soccer Association requires that all game officials have reached the full age of 14 years on or before March 31 of the current year.  Persons wishing to enter the referee program are required to pre-register for the course and complete a pre-course workbook, in-class workbook, and pass an examination at the conclusion of the course. Those who pass the examination will be certified as CSA District Referees (if over the age of 16) or Youth Referees (if under the age of 16).

New entry level referees must complete a minimum of five games with Gloucester Dragons or another recreational league before being eligible to referee for Gloucester Hornets.

For information and course application, click here

District Referees

District Referees, who must have reached the full age of 16 years before April 1 of the current year, are eligible to referee competitive and recreational soccer games up to Level 3 of the Ontario Soccer pyramid of play.

Regional Referees

Regional Referees must have reached the full age of 18 years before April 1 and must have a minimum of two years' experience as a District Referee. They must successfully complete the Regional Referee Upgrade program.


Useful information for referees can be found at the following sites:

Eastern Ontario District Soccer Association

Eastern Ontario District Soccer Association Referee

Ontario Soccer

FIFA Laws of the Game

Ask The Referee