MASSACHUSETTS TO ALLOW 12- AND 13-YEAR-OLD KIDS TO REFEREE SOCCER

By Bob Katzen

This bill allows 12- and 13-year-old boys and girls to referee and get paid to referee an official youth soccer game with only players younger than 12. Games would be limited to intraclub/intown scrimmages with no results or standings. The employment would be allowed only with written parental consent, written communications to the parents from the employer about the minor’s responsibilities, the youth’s completion of a job training program and an adult representing the employer at the game.

According to the bill’s sponsor, former Rep. Jim Cantwell (D-Marshfield), currently children under the age of 14 are not permitted to be employed, except in the fields of theatrical acting, newspaper delivery services, family business and volunteer work. “This bill would add soccer referee as an accepted type of paid youth employment, enabling youth to engage in valuable leadership and extracurricular experiences while expanding the strained pool of referees,” said Cantwell in written testimony last year.

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