AYSO referees are volunteers.  Most are parents or relatives of the players and some are themselves youth referees.​  AYSO referees range in experience from beginners to very experienced. Every year we train hundreds of new referees to help the kids with their games. Beginners usually start with the youngest players and frequently work as an Assistant Referee before being in charge of a game as a Referee.  On the other end of the spectrum, several of America’s highest ranked professional referees started in AYSO and sometimes still referee AYSO games.