Referee Game Management

Officials should be at the venue at least thirty minutes prior to kick-off for all N.I.S.L. games.


Determine the fitness of the field for play. Player’s safety must be the most important factor. Game officials should inspect the playing field and equipment including the playing surface, goals, netting, match balls, corner flags and markings. In the event that any discrepancies are identified including nets that are torn or loose, goals that are out of place and not securely fastened to avoid tipping over, exposed drainage areas, missing or incorrect markings.

The referee shall notify the home team of the discrepancies and they shall be responsible for correcting any problems. The referee shall also notify the league.

The referee has the authority to postpone a game if the referee’s opinion about the field is unsafe for the players. In such case, the referee shall inform both teams of the decision and report it to the league office within forty-eight hours.

Rules of Competition

Officials must be aware of the N.I.S.L. Rules of Competition including any amendments of the Laws of the Game.

Referee Uniform

All officials are required to supply their own uniform and the N.I.S.L. requires the use of USSF approved uniforms.

Pre-game Procedure

Each team must present the referee with an official N.I.S.L. Game Roster card fifteen minutes prior to the start of the game.

Game Roster cards are the official records of players who have participated in a given game.

Game Roster cards must contain the starting line up and substitutes along with jersey numbers of each player.

All players listed on a Game Roster card for a given game is considered to have played in that game regardless whether they actually have played.

Failure to fill up Game Roster will result in a fine.

Home team must present the referee with an official N.I.S.L. Game Report card fifteen minutes prior to the start of the game completely filled out including allocated N.I.S.L. game Code.

The following pre-game procedure is to be followed.

Referee, upon receipt of the Game Roster card, shall approach each coach and team and identify all players and coaches. The Coach, Assistant Coaches, and Team Managers must have the current year’s NISL/ISCA credentials.

All players and coaches must have N.I.S.L. passes. If no passes are present, player/coach must show picture ID. If no picture ID is available, then the Game Roster must be signed in the presence of the referee by offending parties. The game is played under protest pending league investigation.

Referee is to inspect all NISL ID cards for completeness and accuracy of information. If you feel that an ID card or ID cards are fraudulent you may confiscate the cards in question and send them into the League Office with your report

NISL ID Cards must be to date for the current playing season.

Referee is to inspect all players for safety and fitness to participate (ex. Dangerous equipment, cleats, jewelry, belts, hats, knee braces, etc.).

Referee is to explain the “ground rules” of the field to be used and give any final instruction to players and coaches.

Only those players and coaches listed on the Game Roster will be allowed on the bench, and all must have player credentials.

Referee is to retain all passes until the end of the game.

Tardy players must report to the referee with his/her pass when entering the game.

No tardy players or coaches are allowed to participate after half time.

Post Game

If a player or a coach receives a red card in that game that card along with a report must be forwarded to the league office immediately following the game.

All other passes returned to the coaches at the end of the game.

Referee must verify with the winning team coach the final score.

Any other indiscrepancy regarding the game that the referee needs to communicate to the league office may do so within forty-eight hours of the game.

Game Rosters and Game Report cards must be mailed by the referee to the league office within forty-eight hours complete with referee codes. Failure to do so could result in non-payment of officials.

*Please note that it is the responsibility of the winning team to enter the score on the NISL website. In the event of a tie, the home team is responsible within twenty-four hours of the game.

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