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Welcome to DSA′s home on the web!

The Darien Soccer Association is dedicated to providing our youth players with an enjoyable and educational athletic experience.  We provide players of all skill levels a structure built around sportsmanship, dedication and individual development.

 Please make our website your first stop for any questions you may have.


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Darien Soccer - Grass Fields Closed Thursday April 19th
Please note, fields are closed today April 19th due to wet field...
LAST CHANCE, 7th Gr. & Above, Become a House Referee, $15/game
House Soccer Referee- Open to those currently in 7th grade or above. (Tommorrow...
Heads Up: Concussions in Youth Sports
"Heads Up: Concussion in Youth Sports" is designed to help...
Darien Soccer - Grass Fields Closed Thursday April 19th

Please note, fields are closed today April 19th due to wet field conditions.   All DSA practices cancelled.   

by posted 04/19/2018
LAST CHANCE, 7th Gr. & Above, Become a House Referee, $15/game

House Soccer Referee- Open to those currently in 7th grade or above.

(Tommorrow is your last chance to get trained.

On Saturday April 21st  3 training sessions will be offered at the following times


DSA is recruiting those interested in becoming a referee for House Soccer (K, 1st & 2nd graders)

The games every Saturday at MMS Upper field for the youngest players.  The goal is for the kids learn the basic rules, have fun and be safe.  You help them do that.

Refs get paid $15/game.  The games last under one hour.  Games are scheduled all day long on Saturday, so you can fit this in around other activities you have going on.  In addition, we train you on how to be a Club Linesman for the Club Excel games on Saturdays.  This pays $20/game.

We conduct a 90 minute training session which you must attend at the start of each season to work as a referee.  We review the guidelines, walk through some scenarios, and then have you observe referees working a House match to see how it is done.  

No need to sign up in advance, just show up.  

All training takes place at Middlesex Upper field.  If House Soccer is canceled, then the House Referee Training is also canceled.  



For more information about the DSA Referee Program, please click on the Referee tab at the top of the DSA home page.

Reply if you have any questions.



Frank X. McGarey

DSA Referee ​Development





Thank you for your participation this season as a referee in the DSA House Soccer Program.  This document provides everything you need to do your job properly. Go to the “Referees” tab on for more info.

Referee or Camp Counselor?

For House soccer, we don’t apply all of the official rules of the game, so why do we even have referees and what to they actually do?


Your role is actually a combination of many things.  Part soccer referee, part instructor or coach, part safety officer, sometimes your job might be tying shoelaces.  There are a lot of things rolled in to one.


The best way to explain it is to think about a Camp Counselor you may have had.  What do you remember about your Camp Counselor? They were a little older, maybe in High School or even college.  Kind of cool. What did they do? They taught you a few new things, they made sure you were safe, but most important, they made camp fun.


Well, now it is your turn to be like that camp counselor for these younger kids.  In the training sessions at the beginning of each season, we will teach you how to make soccer fun for the kids.  Help them learn a few of the basic rules. Help them spread out and use the space on the field rather than playing bunch ball.   And make sure they are safe. The better soccer they play, the more fun they are having.


And here is the key to the whole thing.  I call it the 4 Happiness. (Chinese restaurants often have  dish with chicken, fish & meat called 3 Happiness. I want you refs to create 4 Happiness!)


If they players are playing well and having fun, then they are happy.  

If the players are happy, the coaches are happy.

If the coaches are happy, then the parents are happy.

If the parents are happy, then the referee is happy.


Program Details:

Where?: Games run all day long on Saturdays at Middlesex Middle School

When?: Referees MUST ARRIVE 15 Minutes before the game starts.

Who?: 7th graders or above.  All refs must attend a training session at the start of each season.

How?: Go to Official’s Area on DSA website to log in.  Read full info under Referee tab on site. How Much?: $15 per House game, $20 for Club Linesman.  Paid at the end of the season.


What do I need?: Uniform Kit can be purchased at Darien Sports Shop.  It consists of;

  1. Yellow DSA Referee T-shirt

  2. All Black Shorts

  3. All Black, KNEE LENGTH socks, Pulled up.

  4. Wrist Watch (preferably.  Get one a Walmart) or stopwatch

  5. Darien Soccer Referee string bag- a nice way to keep all your uniform pieces together so you can easily find everything when it is time to do a match!!!

  6. Whistle-  get one on a wrist lanyard, not a long neck lanyard.  Blow your whistle loud so everyone can hear it. This is your #1 Tool as a ref.   NO WIMPY WHISTLES!!!!

For footwear, Sneakers or cleats are fine, whatever your preference.  No street shoes, boots or sandals! In cool or damp weather, you may wear extra layers as needed.  Seat pants are Ok. Under your Referee Shirt wear whatever layers you need, but the shirt has to be on top.  Shirts must be tucked in!  This is the #1 thing that makes you look bad in other’s eyes!

Day of game procedures:

Prepare!  Find your ref bag and make sure you have your watch and whistle and proper socks.  Know your schedule. Arrive 15 minutes before your game starts.


Introduce yourself to all the Coaches- Let them know that you will be their ref today. If you show up early, properly dressed and introduce yourself, you are off to a great start.


Pre-Game Inspection- All Players must have shin guards with socks covering them.


House Soccer Rules:

Number of Players- K and 1st Grade = 4V4.  2nd Grade = 5V5 (includes a goalkeeper)


Subs    Ok when ever play is stopped, but the coaches have to ask, and wait until you tell them it is OK.  Coaches should not be on the field. Do not restart the game until the coaches are all the way off the field.  SPREAD PLAYERS OUT. Coach them on throwing/passing the ball to the farthest open player.


Game Length-Games are two 25 minute halfs.   Keep the schedule on time. Teams only get 5 minutes to warm up.  


Kick off. The team with the pinneys on gets to kick off to start.  The other team kicks off the 2nd half. Opponents should be 10 feet away.  Make sure they move back before you whistle to start. SPREAD PLAYERS OUT. Coach them on throwing/passing the ball to the farthest open player.

Safety    Your most important job.  Be close enough to play that you can step in when needed.  Teach players to stop and take a knee when they hear the whistle for an injury.  The coach or parent can take of the kid who may be hurt. Your responsibility is all of the other kids.

Push, Trip, Tackle    Keep player safety in mind.  At this age, kids will do a lot of harmless bumping into each other, or trip and fall on their own.  However, if play is getting rough, or a player is using too much force, blow the whistle, explain the problem, and give a free kick to the other team.   Ask the coach to sub off a player who needs to cool down a bit. SPREAD PLAYERS OUT. Coach them on throwing/passing the ball to the farthest open player.


Hand Ball- Do not call.  Remind them to keep hands down.  

Throw-in  Ref Demonstrates Proper method.  (1st or 2nd grade usually know how to do it, so if they don’t need a demo, skip it.)  2 hands, Ball behind head, feet behind line. Remind them to keep both feet down. Thrower cannot play the ball until someone else touches it.   Give them one extra try only. After 2nd throw, ball is in play. SPREAD PLAYERS OUT. Coach them on throwing/passing the ball to the farthest open player.

Corner Kick    2nd grade only.  For K and 1st grade, it is always a Goal Kick    Ball  goes out, last touched by defense, opponents 10 feet’ from kicker.  SPREAD PLAYERS OUT. Coach them on throwing/passing the ball to the farthest open player.

Goal Kick    Opponents 10 feet away from kicker.  Place ball mid-way between the goal post and the corner flag, 20 feet out from the end line. Give them a chance to get upfield.    Stand between ball and goal so know one tries to pass it in front of the goal.  No one is happy when a cheap goal is scored.  SPREAD PLAYERS OUT


Penalty Kick    No Penalty Kicks Called!


There is a big difference between a Kindergarten Girls game and a 2nd grade boys game.  Keep these tips below in mind depending on the age group of your game.


Kindergarten games = Teach.  Especially the first few games of the season, will require a lot more demonstrating, coaching and getting players to spread out.  As the season goes on, they might get a little better. SPREAD PLAYERS OUT Coach them on throwing/passing the ball to the farthest open player.


1st Grade games= Remind.   By 1st Grade, they pretty much know how to do things reasonably well.  They might need an occasional reminder about Throw ins and Goal kicks. SPREAD PLAYERS OUT.  Coach them on throwing/passing the ball to the farthest open player.


2nd Grade games = Run.  These games will be much faster paced.  Even some of the 1st grade games can get like this, especially with the boys.  Likely they will be using all the space on the field, so less need to remind them to spread out.  Stay closer to the players. If play is getting rough, blow the whistle, explain the problem, and give a free kick to the other team.  Ask the coach to sub off a player who needs to cool down a bit.


What are the Tools that a Referee can use?  Definition- A tool is something that makes it easier for you to do a job well.  Use it properly and it makes your job easier. If you don’t use it correctly, it will make your job harder.  Imagine trying to rake leaves by holding the end with the fingers and having the handle on the ground, it doesn’t work.

1.    Your Uniform- This is a tool you use, even before you show up at the game.  If you arrive wearing the proper uniform people will give you respect and do what you ask.  What do you think about when you see a Police Officer in uniform? “I better be good when I am around him.”

2.    Your Timing-  Be on time. Arrive a minimum of 15 minutes before the match.  If the players and parents arrive and see that you are already there, preparing to get the game going, they will help.  If you come running in late, they are not going to be happy about having to wait around for you to show up. Help your parents by being ready at home with your uniform and gear all set, rather than running around at the last minute.

3.    YOUR (STRONG) WHISTLE- The whistle is your #1 tool.  It gets people’s attention and tells them to stop……but only if they can hear it.  Weak whistle blowing will get you into trouble. People either won’t hear it, or will ignore.  NO WIMPY WHISTLES!!

4.    Your Position- Keep moving on the field, staying close enough to play so that you can step in when needed, but not so close that they are kicking you instead of the ball .  If the ref just stands around midfield and only takes a few steps one way or the other, it looks to the parents like you aren’t involved and don’t care. Don’t get caught too far from where the play is. Keep Moving.

5.    Your Soccer Skills-  You are more of an INSTRUCTOR than a referee.  You are teaching the kids the mechanics of the game.  Stop when the ball goes out, Stop when you hear a whistle, take a knee if someone gets hurt.  Explain to them what they are supposed to do for a goal kick, demonstrate how to do a throw in, spread the kids out before your restart play.  Parents will be happy to see that you are helping their kids learn.


Feel free to contact me with any Questions. Frank X McGarey.  DSA Youth Referee Development  203-219-7056

by posted 04/05/2018
Heads Up: Concussions in Youth Sports

"Heads Up: Concussion in Youth Sports" is designed to help coaches, parents and fellow athletes recognize the symptoms of a concussion and provides actions that need to be taken when an athlete is showing signs of a concussion.  Materials are available and include:

  • An online training for coaches;
  • A fact sheet for coaches;
  • A fact sheet for athletes;
  • A fact sheet for parents;
  • A magnet with concussion facts for coaches and parents;
  • A poster with concussion facts for coaches and sports administrators; and
  • A quiz for coaches, athletes, and parents.

See here for information:  CDC/Heads Up

Take a concussion training course: Online Training


Player/Parent Concussion Awareness Form


by posted 04/22/2015
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Useful Links

3. Connecticut State Referee Program

Blue Wave Kickers

7. You Make the Call

5. U.S. Soccer Federation