resources for Referees

For new, returning and transferring referees

Referee Resources

STSR has compiled information covering many topics and questions new and returning referees may have. Whether you are a new or returning referee, use the information on this page to assist in your registration. Many topics have FAQs designed to help you find the information you are looking for. Click on the appropriate topic for more information.

New Referees

New referees can find the information they need to begin the registration process by clicking on the topics below.

Some Important Points:

While some previous playing, coaching or officiating experience is always helpful, no experience is required to become a soccer referee. The minimum age to become a Grade 9 referee is age 12. Age 14 or over must become a Grade 8 Referee. The minimum age to become a Grade 8 Referee is age 14.

To become a certified referee, there are a few easy steps everyone must go through:

  • You must attend and pass the Entry level clinic. These "Entry Level Clinics" are offered in many locations around the state each year, most often during August-October and again January - March.
  • A clinic fee is charged for taking the clinic. It is $30.00 . At the same time a USSF Registration fee of $50.00 is also charged. This is done online at the time a clinic is reserved.
  • There are two types of entry clinics - Grade 8 and 9 Clinics - which are only age dependent and are run simultaneously. After registering for the respective clinic and paying the associated fees, an Online lessons button will appear on the Home page, for online lessons to be completed. All of these lessons must be completed before the Lesson Cutoff date in order to attend the in-Person portion of the clinic. Testing is done within the online lessons and the final test can be done either prior or after the in-person portion but must be completed prior to receiving certification.

At the successful conclusion of the clinic completing all modules, the test and the in-person portion, a badge will be mailed to the attendee and you will be registered through STSR with U.S. Soccer.

Once you are registered, contact your local assignors to get games. An Assignors and Soccer Associations directory can be found by signing into your STSR account and clicking on "Find Assignors For Games" in the I Want to ? section of the member page or you can click on any Quick Link – Find an Assignor button and fill out the form.

How much does it cost to become a referee?

There are two types of fees (Clinic Fee and USSF/STSR) and the referee uniform cost.

Clinic Fees And Registration Fee:

  • The clinic fee is $30 for entry level clinics. You pay this fee when you register for a clinic.
  • The USSF/STSR yearly registration fee is: Grade 9 and 8 Referee - $50.00 and you pay this registration fee when you register for a clinic. The USSF/STSR registration year is July 1st through June 30th.

The USSF Badge is good from January 1st through Dec 31st in the year stated on the badge.

Uniform Cost

Soccer Referee uniforms can be obtained from online referee supply stores or from your local soccer equipment store. There is a referee "starter kit" that can be purchased which includes socks, shorts, shirt, whistle, flags, velcro patch and a game report book for about $60. You should purchase this before you officiate your first game. A good place to purchase the Uniform is through the web at Official Sports.

Grade 9 - Referee

The Grade 9 Referee is a fully qualified soccer official who is trained to officiate the small-sided and youth recreational games. Once a Grade 9 referee turns age 14 they will be required to upgrade to Grade 8 for the next badge year. You must be at least age 12 to attend a Grade 9 clinic.

Grade 8 - Referee

The Grade 8 Referee is a trained to officiate as a Referee, Assistant Referee or 4th Official on competitive and recreational YOUTH GAMES of all sizes, ages and divisions that the official has the skills to officiate. They will usually start with the younger age groups and advance based on experience and skill as observed by the assignor. Once a Grade 8 referee turns age 18 an upgrade to Grade 7 is required for the next badge year. You must be at least age 14 to attend a Grade 8 clinic.

Register And Selecting An Entry  Referee Clinic To Attend.

You will be requested to enter your personal information, or verify your Personal Information. Then you will see a Clinic Reservation page. You will need to scan down the left side and find the "click here" to continue registration and click on it, if no clinics are listed. You will then need to select Referee Grade 8 or Referee Grade 9. Press Submit, then click on "Reserve" to reserve the clinic. Then proceed to the "Checkout" section on the right to pay the fees. Do not attempt to checkout before you have reserved a clinic. You are not registered in the clinic until the fees are paid.

Click here to register and select a New Referee clinic.

Once I Pass The Clinic And Register, How Do I Get Games?

Congratulations on becoming a referee! Now you want to start doing games. Here's a few steps that will help you get scheduled for a game:

  • Contact the referee coordinator for your soccer club or league.
  • Contact an assignor in your area to let them know your schedule and availability. An Assignors and Soccer Associations directory can be found by signing into your STSR account and clicking on "Find Assignors for Games" in the "I want to ? " section at the top of your member page.
  • If you cannot find an association or assignor in your area, contact your instructor to assist you in contacting local area assignors.

Once you have become registered for the current year, you may find games to officiate by signing in to your STSR account and use the "I want to: Find Assignors for Games" at the top of your home page. This will allow you to find local soccer associations and their referee assignors, association web site, and assignors emails and phone numbers. If you cannot find an association or assignor in your area, contact the district director for your area who can assist you in contacting local area assignors. Log in and find an assignor.

You can create your account online with STSR by clicking the following link taking you to the new account page on the STSR site. Go to the STSR New Member Account Creation Page.

You will need to attend a training clinic and register with US Soccer. The clinic cost is $30.00 and the Grade 9 and 8. The US Soccer Registration fee is $50.00 for a total of $80.00 to become certified as a USSF Soccer official.

Our Entry clinics (Grade 9 and 8) for the fall soccer season start in mid-July. Entry clinics for the spring soccer season start in January and continue through March.

To become certified as a Futsal Referee, click here.

Recertification & Transferring to South Texas

Use the information in this section to get information on the recertification process.

If you are a US Soccer certified referee, instructor, assessor or assignor from another state or an association outside of South Texas, you will need to transfer your registration to STSR from your current state association. You can easily do this online through the STSR transfer form. Once your transfer is complete, you will be able to manage all areas of your annual registration and certificatons through STSR. Start the transfer process now.

Transfer to STSRTransfer to STSRTransfer to STSR

Any referee who was not registered with the U.S. Soccer Federation the previous year may be certified at the grade previously held after taking and passing the qualifying clinic, written examination, fitness test, and assessments. The following policy applies to referees who were previously certified and registered with the Federation but have lapsed a year or more in registration:

Last Certified as a Grade 6 or more Advanced Grade

  1. Referees can only be registered at the grade they qualify for.
  2. Referees who were Grade 6 or higher will be downgraded to Grade 7.
  3. Once they retake the appropriate course listed below for Grade 7 Referees and have completed all the requirements
    for the previously held grade, they may regain their advanced grade. If the referee is attending a clinic for the next badge year between July 1st and October 30th, they
    may begin refereeing in the current year, if they pay both the current year and next badge year registration fee. This is not required if they are taking the Entry Grade 8 clinic.  

Last Certified as a Grade 8 or Grade 7 or Emeritus

  1. Grade 8/7/Emeritus referees who miss 1-2 consecutive years of registration may be re-recertified as a grade 8/7/Emeritus after completing a Grade 8/7/Emeritus Recertification clinic. If the referee is attending a clinic for the next badge year between July 1st and October 30th, they will be charged both the current and next year's registration fee, and may start officiating when approved.
  2. Grade 8/7/Emeritus referees who miss 3 or more consecutive years of registration can be recertified after taking the entire Entry Grade 8 Referee Clinic.  If the referee is attending a clinic for the next badge year between July 1st and Dec 31st, they can start officiating once they are approved.

Last Certified as Grade 9

  1. A Grade 9 Referee who misses one or more years of registration is eligible to Upgrade by taking the Grade 8 Entry Clinic if they are at least age 14. If the referee is attending a clinic for the next badge year between July 1st and Dec 31st, they can start officiating as soon as they are approved.

When registering for a clinic, you will be requested to enter your personal information, or verify your Personal Information. Then you will see a Clinic Reservation page. Your current grade and Recertify should be already checked. Press Submit, then click on "Reserve" to reserve the clinic. Lastly, proceed to the "Checkout" section on the right side to pay the fees. Do not attempt to checkout before you have reserved a clinic. Note: you are not registered in the clinic until the fees are paid.

If you are new to South Texas but were certified in another region of Texas or the United States, use the Transfer facility outlined in the Transferring to South Texas section of this page.

If you wish to reserve yourself a seat in a recertification clinic you will need to Sign-in as a STSR soccer offical. In order to view available clinics, use the "I want to : Register for a clinic" on your Home Page, once you Sign-in.

The  registration period is open from July 1st - June 25th. STSR also provides Recertification clinics in the January - June timeframe for the procrastinators among us, however a late registration fee is charged if you have not recertified before your badge has expired.

All USSF Soccer officials must renew their certification and registration annually. The badge / Registration year runs from Jan 1st to Dec 31st. However, recertification clinics for the next badge year start in September of the current year. You are expected to recertify and register BEFORE your badge expires on December 31st.

US Soccer Registration Cards, Adult Participation Passes and Badges

Information in this section will help you find answers to questions regarding adult participation passes (KidSafe) and the how to use or replace your US Soccer registration card.

If you have lost your current year badge, and wish to order a replacement, you may do so by signing into your account and using the "I want to: Order Replacement Badge". If you have done this more than once for the current badge,  you will need to order the next badge from the US Soccer store by clicking on the link below, and use R + your 16 digit USSF ID (without the dashes) as the UserID, or the userid you previously set up with US Soccer. Go to the US Soccer Referee Ordering site.

Per South Texas Youth Soccer Association policy, all adults on the team side of a field must visibly wear their current Adult Participation (kidsafe) passes. The referee has authority to check for these passes, and to require any adult not possessing a pass to move from the team side. Effective with the receipt of the 2010 or later US Soccer Registration card, all adult referees are required to have this card in their possession when performing referee duties at a STYSA sanctioned event. This includes when arriving at the fields, and during any breaks between games. While referees are not required to visibly display their card, they should have it readily available if requested. Referees are encouraged to make a copy of their card and laminate it when they first print it from US Soccer SalesForce, to reduce the possible loss or damage to the card. The US Soccer Registration card with Texas South specified on the card will qualify for Adult Participation (kidsafe) verification. In addition, any individual on the STSR approved list is considered to have met the Adult Participation Pass requirement.

US Soccer is no longer mailing out USSF ID cards. You may print yours by going to the US Soccer Salesforce website. If you have never done this, click on the "Sign Up" button on the US Soccer Salesforce website and enter the requested information. If you already have an account there, click on the login button and enter your username and password that you have for that site. Once in your account, click on Current Registrations and select the Print option next to the corresponding registration. Go to US Soccer Salesforce Site.

Referee Training & Assessment Program Information

Information in this section covers the Laws of the Game and other important program information.

The IFAB is made up of the four British football associations (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) and FIFA. In January 2014 The IFAB officially became registered as an independent association. This was a new beginning, with their own administration, headquarters and, more importantly, statutes that re-define their purpose, structure and responsibilities. IFAB newly introduced bodies, the Football and Technical Advisory Panels FAP and TAP, include members from the football world bringing in their experiences and perspectives as former players or referees.

The Law book has undergone a major overhaul, which reflects the transformation of the organization itself. The new revision is a true milestone and the adopted amendments symbolize a bolder step into the future of football and the Laws of the Game. 

Go to IFAB for the  2019-2020 LOTG Book in various formats.

IFAB has created a document that summarizes the law changes and a document the provides clarification for the law changes from the 2018-2019 year to the 2019-2020 year. These documents provide information and explanation on the implementation and execution of the new laws.

Go to IFAB for the 2019-2020 Law Change Summary and Clarification documents.

You can download a copy of a US Soccer Game and Supplemental Report by clicking the button below. Complete and submit this form to the appropriate competition authorities (e.g., local league, tournament director, cup coordinator, etc.) as directed. If needed, and in addition to the U.S. Soccer Referee Report, the U.S. Soccer Supplemental Referee Report can be used for instances of referee assault, referee abuse, dismissal of team officials, sending-off offenses, serious injuries, game abandonment or other substantial occurrences.

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In order for you to be assessed for grade maintenance or upgrade you MUST have a current year Referee registration and a request for Upgrade or Recertification outstanding. In addition, all members of your officiating crew on the match being assessed must be currently registered as Referees as well. To request an assessment, sign into your account and use the "I want to: Request Assessment" on your home page. You must have worked with your assignor to have been assigned a qualifying game before submitting the request.  The assessor is not ordered until you have paid for the assessment.

Referees at the State or more advanced level for at least a period of 3 years of their refereeing career, may elect to go Emeritus (Retire from their highest position) by selecting the GO EMERITUS when registering at the website if they are 45 years or older.  This may not be used to circumvent the testing and registration procedures of U.S. Soccer. Active Emeritus Referees must qualify each year for the level that they will be officiating and pay the fees for that level. For example, if officiating , they must at least take and pass the Grade 7/8 Recertification clinic. If officiating at higher levels than Grade 7, fitness test and Assessment requirements apply. An Emeritus Referee may reinstate as an active referee at the level the official retired from by requesting "Regain Grade", once all the criteria for the grade has been met.

Lifetime membership for the U.S. Soccer Federation Referee Program is available for those select individuals that have displayed a thorough dedication to the program.  In addition to their contributions, nominees must also meet the following criteria:

  • Minimum age of 60
  • Registered with the program for 25 or more consecutive years

Note that the above criteria is waived for any of the following:

  • Recipients of the Eddie Pearson Award or the William Schofield Award
  • Recipients of the U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame Meritorious Service Award if received for their contribution to the referee program
  • Former FIFA panel officials

Nominations can be submitted to U.S. Soccer by State Referee Administrators or State Referee Committees.  All nominations should be submitted in writing describing the nominee's contributions and include proof that the individual meets the above criteria. The Nomination form can be found here. Please note that lifetime membership is given to those who have made significant contributions to the referee program; meeting the above criteria does not guarantee lifetime membership.  U.S. Soccer reviews and approves all nominations. Lifetime members do not have to pay US Soccer Regsitration fees or clinic fees.