Procedures for team rosters, checking players in and uniform number requirements

After we’ve established game time, there are three critical items to your game procedures once you get to the field.

The Player Roster

The teams are told to bring you a roster for each game.  Therefore, they should hand you roster before the game.

For those of you who have teams show up without rosters, we finally have devised a moderate work around.  The Demosphere program has a function that allows us to print what they call “game cards.”  We will do that Saturday afternoon once weekly registration closes at 2 pm and post them in a folder in the Referee Information folder under a link titled Game Rosters, the same place you found this document.  They will be posted by division.  You can open the PDF file and print the game sheet for your game.  Two caveats.  It may not have their uniform numbers.  If the team rep has entered them in the folder, they will display.  Second, a player may be legitimately registered and show you a current passcard for that team, and not show in the team folder.  A team rep can list 200 people in the folder, but the only ones eligible are the ones who have a current passcard with their picture on it.  If that happens, let the player participate and note the incident on your game report.

Player Passcards

This is very simple.  Each player must hand you their own player passcard prior to participating in the game.  That is a laminated passcard with their picture and one or two round stickers on the front that say Fal 17 and may have a second sticker that says Spr 18.  That means they paid for both seasons.  If the sticker is only for the Fall 17, it is a valid passcard and the player has elected to pay by season.

We have reformatted the player passcard.  The front of the card includes the player’s picture, date of birth, a player ID number, and the team name.  There is no longer a signature line for the team representative to forge the player’s signature.  On the back, the liability waiver has been removed as well.  There must be a colored team sticker on the back, under the lamination with the team name that matches the team name on the front.

If the player does not have a passcard, they do not play in the game at all.  If they show you a picture of a passcard on their phone, that means they do not have a player passcard.  They need to go play in a picture of a soccer game.


The picture on the passcard should resemble the player.  This may seem like a fairly obvious point, but they often do not. In order to determine whether the person is using his or her own passcard, ask for the date of birth, which the player should know, or another form of ID. If the player cannot provide either, retain the card and explain to the player and the captain that the player is not going to play in today’s game and note this event in your game report. The team representative is then free to take a picture of the player at that time and can bring the picture of the person who attempted to enter the game for us to compare to the picture on the player passcard you have retained.  That gives the team representative the opportunity to prove to the League what could not be established at the field, that the passcard belongs to the player who presented it.  After having obtained the passcards from the players, please check them against the roster to see that everyone who has provided a passcard is listed on the roster. If they are not, return the roster to the captain to be completed.  It is not your job to provide this service.

During the game, most teams will have players arrive late and wish to dash right into the game. Please do not have the player check in with the assistant referee. We run into two problems with this procedure. First, the assistant referee quite often forgets to turn the passcard over to the referee. Second, the assistant referee is likely not going to take the time to examine the card to determine that it is indeed the player’s card. The player should bring the passcard to the referee. You should check it against the player’s face to make sure it is the same person. This is how we often get illegal players in the games.

Again, if the player provides you a passcard and you cannot establish that the player is actually the person represented on the passcard, advise the player that he or she will not participate in today’s game, retain the passcard, and advise the team captain of your actions. If the player can produce a government-issued ID card that confirms he or she is the person on the ASL-issued passcard, that’s fine. Usually, they will not be able to do this.

At the conclusion of the game, count the cards and make sure you return as many as the team gave you. Make sure you request the captain do the same. Turn the cards over and make sure the team name on the back of each card is the name of the team to whom you are handing the cards.  The purpose of this statement should be obvious.  We often get cards turning up three weeks after the fact because the referee found it in his bag. The player has either not played or had another card made. We do not like the idea of players having more than one passcard. It creates many interesting opportunities we would rather not think about. If a card is lost in the course of the game and does not turn up, please call the League office and let us know. We will reproduce a card for the player (assuming he is still eligible) at no charge. Things do get lost. 

Uniform Numbers

Every player must have a numbered uniform.  No players may have a duplicate number and players may not exchange jerseys at any time during the game.   The uniform number must be professionally applied, not a piece of tape or drawn on with a marker or Sharpie!! The goalkeeper is the only player who may play without a numbered jersey.

In some games, the teams may not have a conflicting set of jerseys. That’s big city talk for they’re both wearing the same color.  The Leagues have available pullover vests the teams can borrow. If they use the pullovers, make them wear them over their numbered jersey so you still have a mechanism to identify the player. All of the jerseys must be of the same color, though not necessarily the same style. A green jersey with a red collar is not the same as a red jersey. No one may wear the same number and players may not exchange shirts in order to substitute. The players do not have to wear matching shorts or socks.

Please be very clear that we are very serious about the rules on uniform numbers.  If you allow players to tape on numbers, use duplicate numbers, or exchange jerseys, we will not pay you for refereeing the game.  There is a very good reason why you want distinct numbers on uniforms when all hell breaks loose and you need to record numbers.



Albuquerque Sol


New Mexico State Soccer Association

United State Adult Soccer Association

United States Soccer Federation