Online Referee Training and Career Center

Welcome to How To Become A Referee! We have everything you need to make your life easier as you begin your career as a referee. State specific training requirements, a step-by-step hiring process, potential employers and interviews to help you get hired are just some of the helpful things you'll find here.

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Soccer Referee Grades

Grade 1 : U.S. Soccer Federation International Referee

Authorization/Recommendation:

– All games

Major requirements:

– Nomination of U.S. Soccer Board of Directors and approved by FIFA
– Annual re-examination is required

Minor requirements:

– Minimum Age – 25
– U.S. Citizenship required – Yes

Grade 2: U.S. Soccer Federation International Assistant Referee

Authorization/Recommendation:

– All games

Major requirements:

– Nomination of U.S. Soccer Board of Directors and approved by FIFA
– Referee (& Assistant Referee) Assessment Requirements – 5 passing assessments at Category 1
– Annual re-examination is required

Minor requirements:

– Minimum Age – 25
– U.S. Citizenship required – Yes

Grade 3: U.S. Soccer Federation Professional Referee

Authorization/Recommendation:

– All games except formal FIFA international matches

Major requirements:

– Referee (& Assistant Referee) Assessment Requirements – 2 passing assessments at either Category 1 or Category 2
– Annual re-examination is required

Minor requirements:

– Minimum Age – 25
– U.S. Citizenship required – Yes
– Permanent Resident of USA

Grade 4: U.S. Soccer Federation National Referee

Authorization/Recommendation:

– All games except formal FIFA international matches; assistant referee for international matches

Major requirements:

– Referee (& Assistant Referee) Assessment Requirements – 2 passing  assessments at any Category
– Annual re-examination is required

Minor requirements:

– Minimum Age – 23
– U.S. Citizenship required – Yes
– Permanent Resident of USA

Grade 5: U.S. Soccer Federation State Referee

Authorization/Recommendation:

– All youth games and adult games including first division and assistant referee in professional league and international cup games

Major requirements:

– In-Service State Referee Training
– Experience – Referee: 150 (50 must be on adult Division 1 league or higher)
– Assistant Referee: 50
– Field Assessment (by Assessor) – Pass two field assessments as referee and one as assistant referee in affiliated top adult Division 1 leagues or higher
– Upgrading – No more than 2 failing assessments can occur within 12 month time period
– Minimum of 1 year as a Grade 6 Referee
– Annual Renewal : In-Service Training for Five hours during the preceding 12 months & One assessment as referee on a Div. 1 or higher game required

Minor requirements:

– Minimum Age – 19
– Fitness Test – Pass the FIFA Sprint and Interval Tests
– Annual Renewal – Fitness Test required (with passing score)

Duration of Classes:

– 7 hours

Pass Marks:

– U.S. Soccer State Referee Exam: 85%
– Refresher Exam: 85%

Grade 6: U.S. Soccer Federation State Referee

Authorization/Recommendation:

– All youth games and adult amateur games through second division and assistant referee in the top adult division and Amateur Cup games

Major requirements:

– State Referee Training Course
– Experience – Referee: 100 (U-18 Affiliated  Leagues, or higher)
– Assistant Referee: 25
– 12 months as Referee Grade 7 prior to application
– Field Evaluation (by Assessor) – Pass two field assessments as referee (one must be on Div. 2 adult or higher) and one as assistant referee in Under-17 competitive league or higher
– Annual Renewal : In-Service Training for Five hours during the preceding 12 months and one assessment as a referee at Div. 2 adult match or higher

Minor requirements:

– Minimum Age – 18
– Fitness Test – Pass the FIFA Sprint and Interval Tests
– Annual Renewal – Fitness Test required (with passing score)

Duration of Classes:

– 19 hours

Pass Marks:

– U.S. Soccer State Referee Exam: 75%
– Refresher Exam: 85%

Grade 7: U.S. Soccer Federation Referee

Authorization/Recommendation:

– All youth games and mixed leagues, assistant referee in all adult games below the top division

Major requirements:

– U.S. Soccer Intermediate Level Training above normal recertification clinics, i.e. intermediate, advanced, regional/ pro clinics
– Experience – Referee: 75 (U.S. Soccer Federation Games)
– Assistant Referee: 25
– Field Evaluation (by Assessor) – Pass one evaluation as referee in an affiliated Under-17 or higher level game employing the DSC
– 12 months as Referee Grade 8
– Annual Renewal – In-Service Training for Five hours during the preceding 12 months & 1 developmental assessment, at any level designated by the state (U-17 or higher recommended), if adopted by state

Minor requirements:

– Minimum Age – 17
– Fitness Test – Required (with passing score)
– Annual Renewal – Fitness Test required (with passing score)

Duration of Classes:

– 5 hours

Pass Marks:

– U.S. Soccer State Referee Exam: 85%
– Refresher Exam: 85%

Grade 8: U.S. Soccer Federation Referee

Authorization/Recommendation:

– All youth games, assistant referee in comparable games

Major requirements:

– U.S. Soccer Referee Training Course or the Referee Bridge Course to upgrade from 9 to 8
– Experience – Not applicable
– Annual Renewal – In-Service Training for Five hours during the preceding 12 months

Minor requirements:

– Minimum age – State associations set minimum age
– Fitness Test – Not required
– Annual Renewal – Fitness Test not required

Pass Marks:

– U.S. Soccer State Referee Exam: 75%
– Refresher Exam: 75%

Grade 9: U.S. Soccer Federation Recreational Referee

Authorization/Recommendation:

– Referee on small sided and recreational youth games U-14 and younger only and assistant referee on any game U-14 or below

Major requirements:

– U.S. Soccer Recreational Referee Training Course
– Experience – Not applicable
– Annual Renewal – In-Service Training for Four hours during the preceding 12 months

Minor requirements:

– Minimum age – None
– Fitness Test – Not required
– Annual Renewal – Fitness Test not required

Duration of Classes:

– 8 hours

Pass Marks:

– U.S. Soccer State Referee Exam: 75%
– Refresher Exam: 75%

Grade 10: U.S. Soccer Federation Assistant Referee

Authorization/Recommendation:

– Assistant Referee on all youth and adult games

Major requirements:

– U.S. Soccer Assistant Referee Training Course
– Must have played at least three years of adult, college or competitive youth soccer, or officiated at least three years as U.S. Soccer grade 9
– Annual Renewal – In-Service Training for Five hours during the preceding 12 months

Minor requirements:

– Minimum age – None (State associations may set minimum age but not to assign referees younger than 17 to adult matches)
– Fitness Test – Not required
– Annual Renewal – Fitness Test not required

Duration of Classes:

– 7.5 hours

Pass Marks:

– U.S. Soccer State Referee Exam: 75%
– Refresher Exam: 75%

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