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To All NISL Referees and Assignors:

IF you are not registered in our Referee online system, please register as soon as possible.


Important Info:

How to Login: New Users


2)Click on New Official?

3)In the Group Number and Access Code text boxes, NISL officials can use:

• GroupNumber =1444
• AccessCode =NISL2015
4)Click Continue

Weather Inclement Procedure:

Game should be posted as rainout (weather Inclement) by the referee.
Referee must notified the assignor.
Assignor must submit the information to the NISL (Eliu).
The game will be duplicated and pay to the assignor accordantly.

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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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506. Inclement Weather

The safety of the players, coaches, management and spectators are of primary concern during any weather event that occurs during a match. By following these few basic guidelines, the safety of everyone shall be greatly increased. Ultimately, the referee has final say over delaying a game due to weather, and waiting to stop play may result in a serious injury or loss of life. Act responsibly when dealing with such events during all games.

To determine the distance of lightning in your area, count the number of seconds between the flash and the first sound of the thunder and divide by five. This will give you the distance in miles from your location. Remember, if you are in a higher elevation, the lightning can come upon you much quicker and your reaction time is greatly hindered.

1) If a severe weather watch is in effect for game time, it is suggested that the home team have a battery operated programmer.

2) When lightning is sighted within (10) ten miles of the venue, determine movement and status and begin making preparations for a potential delay in the game.

3) When lightning is sighted within (6) six miles of the venue, stop the game immediately and clear the field and stands regardless of time played in the match. Lightning can strike at any time without warning within this proximity. Wait at least thirty minutes after the last lightning strike to resume play. Agreement must be reached between teams and referee whether the game is to be abandoned at its current status.

4) If the venue is the highest structure in the surrounding area, get spectators out of the stands and into a protected area as quickly as possible when lightning is within five miles of the venue. The structure/stands will act as a potential lightning rod for the storm and create much danger for those in the immediate area.

5) If severe weather warning is issued during game, determine vicinity to venue and prepare to delay game. It is vital to know your exact location to be able to take immediate actions should conditions warrant it.

6) Be sure to send all players, coaches, and spectators to their vehicles - nobody shall be on or near the fields or lights.

7) Be smart when dealing with potential weather threats.

506a. Lighting

506a.1 Recognizing the threat

1) Apply the 30-30 rule. When you see lightning, count the time until you hear thunder. If this time is 30 seconds or less, seek proper shelter. Wait 30 minutes or more after hearing the last thunder before leaving shelter.

2) Obey the rules established by the community park lightning detection and warning systems.

3) Minimize the risk of being struck. Protect the safety of all participants by stopping activities quickly, so that participants and spectators may retire to a safer place. If you can hear the thunder, you are within reach of lightning.

4) Remain calm to prevent panic by young players.

506a.2 Seeking Proper Shelter

1) No place outside is safe near thunderstorms

2) The best shelter is a large, fully enclosed, substantially constructed building. A vehicle with a solid metal roof and metal sides is a reasonable second choice.

506a.3 Most Dangerous Locations

1) Higher elevations
2) Wide open areas, including fields
3) Tall isolated objects, such as trees, poles, or light posts
4) Unprotected open buildings
5) Rain shelters
6) Bus stops
7) Metal fences and metal bleachers

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If the area is not designated, then the area will be for each team and includes one yard on either side of the designated seating (bench) and up to one yard from the touchline.

Participating players, coaches, assistants, and trainers shall occupy the Technical Area. Coaches must remain in the confines of the Technical Area during play, and all must have current NISL/ISCA credentials.

Tactical Instruction
Only one person has the authority to convey tactical instructions.

All occupants are subject to the disciplinary control of the referee.

If the area is not designated, then the area will be for each team and includes one yard on either side of the designated seating (bench) and up to one yard from the touchline.

Participating players, coaches, assistants, and trainers shall occupy the Technical Area. Coaches must remain in the confines of the Technical Area during play, and all must have current NISL/ISCA credentials.

Tactical Instruction
Only one person has the authority to convey tactical instructions.

All occupants are subject to the disciplinary control of the referee.

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All games played under the jurisdiction of this league will be officiated by a USSF certified registered referee who is distinguished as such.

The year for which a referee is certified is January 1st until December 31st.

Each referee is required to recertify each year.

All referees and assistants must be registered with the N.I.S.L.

All referees and assistants are assigned a N.I.S.L. code for identification and payment purposes.

Referees must be fully conversant and be able to apply FIFA Laws of the Game and N.I.S.L. Rules and Regulations.

Referees must use FIFA acceptable system – three-man system (One center referee and two assistant referee linesman). Refereeing by any other system is not permitted in the N.I.S.L.

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

Officials must be aware of all N.I.S.L. rules of competition for the game they are officiating.

Officials must be familiar with the age appropriate modifications, relative to field size and markings, number of players, substitutions, etc.

Officials must determine the fitness of the field of play and have the power to decide whether a game is to be played or abandoned.

Officials must inspect the playing field and equipment. Any discrepancies identified must be reported to the league.

Officials are required to supply their own uniforms. Uniform consists of shirt, shorts, socks and shoes. The uniform must be a distinguishing color from the players.

Officials should not wear earrings or other jewelry.

Officials should not wear sunglasses. Sunglasses are dangerous equipment.

Officials should not wear hats. Hard brim hats are dangerous to the players who might collide with you.

Officials should be match fit able to keep up with play and should try to keep within 7 to 20 yards of play.

Officials should be sure that coaches know they are responsible for the actions and words of the players and spectators and that they will suffer any punishment, which is made necessary due to action of their players or spectators. If the coach is “sent off”, he must leave the field and the area that surrounds the field (out of sight-out of sound). An assistant coach must assume responsibility for the coaching duties.
Officials have the right to suspend a game due to disturbing situations. Report the situation in writing to the league that will investigate and render a decision.

Officials cannot force a forfeit or declare one team the winner; they must simply report the incident to the league. The league will decide status and outcome of the game.

In the event that the referee appointed fails to put in an appearance and where assistant referees have been appointed, one of the assistant referees will take charge if qualified. Otherwise, the control of the game shall be turned over to a person mutually agreed upon by the two opposing team coaches. Should the referee become incapacitated during the progress of the game from any cause that would prevent him from continuing the game, the control of the game will follow the same procedure.

Every player and coach must have a valid N.I.S.L. registration card. Passes must be presented in conjunction with the official team line up. If no registration card is presented, the player or coach must show some proof of identification. If proof of identification is not available, the player or coach must sign the game line up card in the presence of the referee. The game will be played under protest subject to league verification.

It is important that player injuries be dealt with as quickly and efficiently as possible. Nothing should be done that could potentially cause further or permanent injury to a player. If a player is seriously injured, the referee shall stop play.

After assessing the condition of the injured player, the referee shall authorize the entry to the field of play to the player’s coach to ascertain the type of injury and to arrange the players safe and swift transport off the field. DO NOT treat the injury on the field.

Any player suffering from an open wound is compelled to leave the field and have the wound treated.
If the referee has determined that the player must leave the field due to injury, the injured player is required to leave the field. If the player refuses to comply, the referee shall caution him for hindering the restart of play.

If play has been stopped solely for a serious injury with no other breach of the Laws of the Game (ball out of play) the referee shall restart play with a dropped ball.

The referee shall add on time lost on account of injury, in full at the end of the period in question.

Under no circumstances shall a player be moved if there is an injury to the head, neck or back until it can be accomplished without the risk of permanent injury.

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The Northern Illinois Soccer League (NISL) offers effective 2016, a NISL Club Linesperson for NISL Clubs at no charge. Currently there is a shortage of referees, especially young referees in the Chicagoland area. It is hoped that this will help the current situation by freeing up those referees that are assigned as assistants to become center referees.
Upon completion of all requirements and a passing of the linesperson exam they can be assigned by their club to assist the assigned referee.

Use of Club Linesperson

When neutral assistant referee are not assigned or fail to appear for a match as assigned, the referee may seek the assistance of CLUB LINESPERSONS whose duties shall be delegated to them by the referee.


  • Minimum Age: 12 Years old
  • Training: Clubs are required to provide position training for each candidate
  • Games: No minimum number of games required
  • Testing: Complete club linesperson exam and a 75% passing grade
  • Assessment: Game referee at the end of each game
  • Fitness Test: Able to keep up with the last defender at the age of the players they are lining
  • Age Appropriate Requirement: When lining, Club linespersons must be a minimum of 2 years older than the are participating in the game.

All NISL Club Linespersons are covered by liability insurance, as a member of the NISL and US Club.
Linespersons 18 and over will require a National Background Checks annually from the NISL.
NISL will provide each Club Linesperson with a NISL/US Club credentials and 1 short sleeve and 1 long sleeve shirt.


  1. Application Form
  2. Club Linesperson Responsibilities, Requirements & Duties
  3. Entry Level Exam
  4. Laws of the Game (FIFA)
  5. Referee Signals YouTube Link

Please Send The NISL Linesperson Application Form and the completed Entry Level Exam to the NISL League Office.

Northern Illinois Soccer League (NISL)
Attn: Club Linesperson Program
545 S. Consumers Avenue
Palatine, Illinois 60074

If you enjoy being a Linesperson and want to make the next step to becoming a center referee, please contact the Illinois Soccer Referee Committee

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Football is a global sport and its rules must be interpreted and applied with absolute consistency wherever the game is played. FIFA therefore has a policy of ongoing training for its referees to ensure that refereeing standards continue to improve and the Laws of the Game are applied the same way everywhere.

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Northern Illinois Soccer League is adhering to the Governor's Office guidance specifying no interclub competition.  

As an essential convenience for clubs in recognition of pandemic-related restrictions and enrollment/team formation/tuition collection uncertainty, NISL has designed 2020-21 registration so clubs have player insurance and, when needed, official rosters, for practices, camps, intraclub scrimmages, etc. at an advantageously lower cost than full team registration.  Beneficially, Spring 2020 team registration credits may be used to offset these 2020-21 player registration fees.


Thank you!

Northern Illinois Soccer League



NISL Staff


Thank you,

Northern Illinois Soccer League

© 2019, N.I.S.L.

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