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Lightning and Rainout

Our lightning and rainout policies can be found here

Rained Out

All TORSO referees are strongly encouraged to sign up for Rained Out, a free texting service that we use to update TORSO Managers, Players, and Referees with real time field status.

Click here to sign up

Match Procedures

Procedure Overview

Referees that are assigned to officiate TORSO games should use these game procedures to help manage the competition fairly, efficiently, and professionally. Because TORSO is a recreational league that uses many different parks throughout greater Houston, referees may encounter many unique situations during the season. Common sense, along with abiding by the laws and spirit of the game, should be used when officiating.

Referees may request to be considered for assignments by contacting the TORSO referee assignor. The assignor will work with you on specific match assignments based on experience and availability. Once you accept a match assignment from the assignor, it is your responsibility to show up to the match on time, with proper attire, and the right frame of mind to officiate in a professional and fair manner.

Approved Referee Systems

TORSO abides by USSF policy and assigns only 3-referee crews or single center referees. Dual or 2-center referee systems of control are not to be used in TORSO matches. Matches that have only 2 referees assigned to them should use a center referee and a single assistant referee - no dual center referee systems should be used. The use of club linesmen is an option if a second assistant referee is required.

Field Status

Torso no longer uses a rainout hotline, we have converted to Rained Out, a text message service that alerts our managers, players, and referees to field conditions in real time. The service is updated by 11am each playing Sunday during the TORSO season. It is TORSO's policy that referees will not be paid match fees if the fields have been closed for any reason and reported as such on the TORSO Rained Out service. Click here for more info on Rained Out.

If the service indicates that the park is open, the referee should still use his or her judgement to determine the playability of the pitch before starting the match. After arriving at the field, if the referee terminates the match for safety reasons, they will receive the full game fee.

Preparing for a Match

Referees should make sure that they are mentally and physically prepared for each match. When assigned multiple matches in one day, make sure that you are properly hydrated and physically fit enough to maintain standards of a professional USSF referee.

Arriving at the Field

It is recommended that you arrive at the field at least one half hour before the first match begins. This will give you time to warm up, inspect the field, and prepare for the administrative duties of the match.

Note: Referees are reminded that after field inspection, you have the ability to cancel a match due to the field being unplayable due to weather or other factors.

Pre-Match Meeting

Referees are strongly encouraged to have a pre-match meeting with their assistant referees so that the referee crew can act as a team. Referees should understand the experience and fitness level of their assistant referees and assure that coverage assignments and communication methods are clear. It is also advisable to take time to talk with the team managers and cover pre-match areas that might become issues.

Check Player Cards and Official Roster

As stated in the Exceptions to the LOTG section, the referee crew must check players in before the match begins. AR's have full authority and responsibility to check in players. AR's need no other permission to take control of the check-in process and are expected to do so if they have not been already asked to do so by the Referee.

Teams are expected to provide the referee a completed and printed game sheet at least 15 minutes prior to the match start time. Player names must be pre-printed on the game sheet. Numbers for players must also be completed but can be written before the match. Every player must be on the roster and have a TORSO Player Pass (card) or a government-issued photo identification that matches the roster. There are no exceptions. The photo must be of the person that is standing in front of you. If it is not, that individual cannot play.

Match Duration

All TORSO matches are full 90 minute games comprised of 2 - 45 minute halves. A 10 minute halftime interval is provided. If both teams agree before the match water breaks may be given during each half without adding stoppage time. Remind teams of their obligation to start on time. A team needs seven players, including one woman, to start the match. If a team has seven players and check-in is done, do not wait for additional players. Start the match. If check-in delays the start of the match, tell the teams that you are shortening the halves by equal amounts. Never allow more that 15 minutes to start the match. A forfeit (for which you will be paid) is required at exactly 15 minutes if teams fail to have seven (7) legal players, including one woman, on the pitch.

Managing the Match

In addition to normal game management techniques, keep in mind that TORSO is a diverse, adult, co-ed soccer league. Many different cultures, ages, and experience levels may be on the field at any one time. Addressing overly aggressive play between male and female players and other risky behavior in a respectful manner early in the match will often prevent escalation of issues on the field. Taking a few seconds to explain a call or listening to players will help you develop a good rapport with the players and increase acceptance of your calls. Always treat players and your referee crew with respect and you should expect the same level of respect from the players towards you and your crew.

Do not negotiate bookings. Unless you made an error in issuing a card, submit all bookings in the official match report. Do not allow dissent to be directed at the AR's. AR's: Do not tolerate dissent. Advise the referee of unsporstmanlike behavior. Referee verbal abuse of any kind is taken very seriously by TORSO and will be punished harshly.

TORSO Exceptions to the LOTG

Familiarize yourself with the TORSO Exceptions to the LOTG. All TORSO referees are expected to know them.

Completing the Match Sheets

Be sure that the match sheets are completed fully with the final score, cards, injuries, and field conditions being recorded. The online game report will ask for both player number and player name for both goals and cautions / send-offs. Please be sure to make note of these before the end of the match.

Verify Match Results and Submit Results Online

Be sure to verify the match results with each team manager BEFORE leaving the field. Make sure the score, players names, numbers, and all bookings are accurate. Any misconduct resulting in a send-off must have specific details submitted via the online match report. Referees must complete the online match report. The referee and TORSO team managers will be sent a copy of the game report via email. Send in your match reports early and get paid early. No one gets paid until the last report is in.