Referee Uniform / Equipment

MVSRA Referee Equipment

In addition to the referee uniform, referees must also have the proper equipment. Browse Suggested Retailers for a variety of referee equipment. Every referee, including Assistant Referees, should have all of these items, the exception is signaling flags. Usually the Center Referee brings the flags to a game, but it is always nice to have them just in case.

Whistle & Lanyard

There are many choices for whistles. Each referee has his/her preferences on which whistle is best. Here are some general guidelines:
  • Try to use a pealess whistle. Pea whistles (with a rubber or cork pea that rattles around) can get wet which may cause the pea to get stuck or the pea can be lost all together; both of which render the whistle useless.
  • Use a black or white whistle. These neutral colors are prefereed. Some events are supported by this association whith allow for different colors or whistles, like pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
  • Use a whistle that you are comfortable with. Always practice with your whistle before the season or when starting out as a referee. A good whistle should feel comfortable in your mouth, be easy to blow, and allow you a range for different sounds.
  • Awlays have a backup whistle. Just in case your primary whistle fails, you should have a backup whistle handy.
  • Avoid neck lanyards. Either use a wrist lanyard or use a finger grip whistle. Do not carry your whistle in your mouth. Do not rely solely on holding your whistle unsecured; you do not want to loose your whistle.
Some examples of Fox 40 whistles: Classic, Mini, Sonic Blast, Pearl, Striker, Dolfin

Referee Book, Pen/Pencil, and Yellow & Red Cards

A soccer referee book, or wallet, holds yellow & red cards and has a place for scratch paper or a game report. This allows one place with quick access for taking notes, writing down the score, or recording misconduct. A pen or pencil can either be placed in a pocket, in the book, or held in place in the stockings. In wet conditions, pencils work better than pens. When dealing with misconduct, a yellow and/or red card is mandatory. Some referees carry two sets (one pair in short pockets for easy/quick access, and another pair in the referee book.)


Referees need to keep track of time. Use a wrist watch instead of a stopwatch around your neck. Any digital watch with a countdown timer will work. Some watches have a preset timing feature for setting game times.

Flipping Coin

A coin must be used to determine in which direction the winner of the coin toss will attack.

AR Signal Flags

Assistant Referees use signaling flags during the game. Usually, the Center Referee provides flags for the crew. However, a well prepared AR will have a backup pair just in case.


It is a good idea to keep your referee uniform and equipment organized and stored together. Some referees use a duffel bag or sports bag.

Wrist Lanyard Examples