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Come Out And Play

Come Out And Play

Become a Flag Football Referee

Thank you for your interest in becoming a flag football official with USYL Flag Football. As you can imagine, officiating a youth flag football game is a gratifying position. You are the one selected to help teach, correct, improve, and enhance the experience for the players, coaches, and fans. We take great pride in our official selection process as it's incredibly important that we ensure we have quality officials who are dedicated to the game of flag football. 

What does it take to become a good official?

Most certainly a very thorough knowledge of the rules of the game. However, in addition, a love of athletics and kids, physical ability, self-confidence, the dedication and determination necessary to work hard, and above all, personal integrity. The athletes and coaches look upon each contest as being the most important thing happening in their lives at that moment, and the official must look upon each contest the same way and react accordingly. This avocation is not for everyone, but if you have the interest and the attributes described above, you may find this to be some of the most rewarding work you will ever be involved in.

What experience is necessary?

None. We will train all new officials. Both an online test with a passing score of 80% or better plus on-field training will be required. All officials will train with an experienced official for eight hours. The first four hours, you will learn the tips of the trade from a training official. The next four hours, you will lead the field with an official shadowing you. During training, officials will not be paid.  

What expectations will officiating have of me?

To become a respected official, one must invest time to learn, time to practice and time to develop. Although the time devoted will vary from person to person, there are some requirements that must be observed. Rules meetings, clinics and official’s meetings are necessary, and part of the professionalism expected of officials. As with most things, officials improve according to their efforts.

What expenses will I have?

1.    You will need to purchase a black and white striped shirt in either the 1” or 2” width of stripes.

2.    Black football officiating pants or shorts shall be worn with the contrasting white side stripe.

3.    Solid black lanyard

4.    Whistle

5.    Black Belt

6.    Black shoes and socks.

7.    The penalty flag shall be yellow.

8.    The referee shall wear a black cap with white piping.

9.    A stopwatch (not your phone)           

What is the biggest adjustment or challenge that I will face?

It is important to understand that the basic ingredient of officiating is that of being a decision maker, and sometimes people do not like decisions that don’t go their way. Once you clear this hurdle and realize that people will criticize you because you make necessary decisions, rather than because you are a bad person, and you can accept this fact, you are on your way. It is not easy. Do not get discouraged! Stay in the game!

How much do I get paid?

Game pay ranges by experience but typically pay around $20-$35 . (Development program may be different). 

I am interested in moving forward, what do I need to do?

STEP 1. Read and study the online rulebook. You must know the rules of the game inside and out to be an official in our program.

STEP 2. Take the online rules test. You must receive an 80% passing score to move forward with our organization.

STEP 3. Once you have completed the rules test, submit your application to become an official.

STEP 4. You will then be contacted by a representative to set up a phone interview. 

STEP 5. Assuming we had a successful phone interview, we will then get you onboarded and set up for training.

STEP 6. Before you get a paid position, you must go through an three-hour unpaid training program. The first four hours, you will shadow an official, learning the ins and outs of the game. The next four hours, you will officiate the game fields while the official shadow's you. After your eight hours of training, we will meet with your training official for their review of your performance. If he/she feels that you have what it takes to move forward as an official on our team, we will connect you with our local assigner, you will be offered a paid shift and you will be officially a member of our team. 

Good luck with your journey. This is such a rewarding position and we look forward to you helping us reshape the game for our the little ones in our community.


United Sports Youth League
P.O Box 70041 
Staten Island, New York 10307

Phone: 212-256-1145
Email: [email protected]

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