What’s in your referee bag?

Use this page as a reminder for what you need to bring to the field.


  • Yellow & Red Cards
  • Whistles (2+)
  • Flags
  • Pencils/Pens
  • Watches (2+)
  • Black Shoes (Football cleats, Football turf shoes or Flat Running Shoes/Cross-Trainers)
  • Uniforms
    • Jerseys (Black, Yellow, Blue, …)
    • Shorts
    • Socks
  • Toss Coin
  • Ball Pump & Needles
  • Pressure Gauge
  • Referee Wallet & Match Card to take notes on (goals, cards etc.)
  • CSA badge (National or FIFA badge if you are lucky!)
  • No jewellery

Please note that the above list applies to any member of a referee crew (referee, assistant referee and the fourth official).


  • Water bottle/Refreshment
  • Energy bar/Snack
  • Lanyard
  • Sweatbands
  • Compression socks
  • Compression shorts
  • Sock holder straps
  • Bug spray
  • Measuring tape
  • Laws of the Game (current issue)
  • Rules of the competition (must know it though!)
  • Clipboard
  • Towel
  • Twine & tape or Zip ties
  • Extra pair of laces
  • Velcro
  • Directions to the field/GPS (if you don’t know the location already)
  • Bathing products (soap, shampoo & comb)

The items above can help you perform better and depends on the referee’s preferences.


  • Long-sleeve referee jerseys
  • Underarmour (matching uniform colour preferably)
  • Vaseline for exposed skin areas to protect against cold
  • Gloves
  • Umbrella
  • Sunscreen
  • Garbage bag to put referee bag in during inclement weather while refereeing on the field
  • Plastic see-through cover that has an opening on one side which lets you look and fill-out gamesheets in the rain


  • Electronic (Buzzer) Flags
  • Communication Set
  • Fourth Official Substitution Board (mostly provided by the league/club when appropriate)

The previous list is reserved for an elite few willing to put the financial resources and are mostly used by referees at the higher echelons of the ladder.


Don’t underestimate the value of having two of each item. It’s very easy for something to go wrong and for something to get lost or damaged leaving you empty-handed. Murphy’s Law!

  • Owning multiple sets of cards can ensure that you are always ready if a card drops, falls or gets snatched by a player. It’s also worth noting that where you keep your cards and the presentation has different effects in terms of body language to everyone on the field
  • Wearing two watches can prevent losing track of time if the battery in one of the watches fail. It’s also recommended to wear the watches on opposite arms in case of a collision with a player that can cause it to break/fail
  • The benefits for the remaining other pieces of equipment are clear in the case of forgetting/loss.

If you are looking to locate any of the above equipment, speak to our Association members or see our Equipment Retailers page!