2021 USSF Referee Program Certification Requirements
Regional & National Referee Resources
The complete document can be found below. Please note there are different standards for males (FIFA Female AR - category 1) and females (FIFA Female AR - category 3).
The audio files (.mp3) for the FIFA Female AR category 1 and category 3 can be found using the link below.
The complete documents for the national referee and the national assistant referee can be found below.
The document for the profile of the regional referee can be found below.
The Excel spreadsheet to be used for submission of game count necessary for a regional referee can be found below.
Recertification & Transferring to South Texas
If you are a U.S. 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.
To do so starting for your 2021 certification, edit your contact details in your Learning Center profile and contact your new state association , or email U.S.Soccer Referee Department or call U.S. Soccer at (312) 528-1296 for assistance.
Any referee who was not registered with the U.S. Soccer Federation the previous year may be certified at the respective certification level 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
Referees need to contact the State Administrator for South Texas
Last Certified as a Grade 7 or Grade 8 or Grade 9 Referee
- Grade 7/8/9 referees who have not been certified for 1-3 consecutive years of registration may be re-certified as a grassroots referee after completing a Grassroots Re-certification clinic.
- Grade 7/8/9 referees who have not been certified for more than 3 years of registration can be re-certified after taking the Grassroots – First-time Referee Course
Last Certified as an Emeritus Referee
- Emeritus referees who have not been certified for 1-3 consecutive years of registration may be re-certified as an Emeritus referee after completing an Emeritus Re-certification clinic.
- Emeritus referees who have not been certified for more than 3 years of registration can be re-certified after taking the Grassroots – First-time Referee Course and also completing an Emeritus Re-certification clinic.
If you are new to South Texas but were certified in another region of Texas or the United States, starting for your 2021 certification, email U.S.Soccer Referee Department or call U.S. Soccer at (312) 528-1296 for assistance.
If you wish to re-certify as a grassroots referee, you must sign in to your account at the U.S. Soccer Learning Center and register for the re-certification clinic which for 2021 is fully online.
If you are 18+, when registering for the re-certification clinic will include a background check performed by U.S. Soccer. After completion, your badge will be mailed to you.
All USSF Soccer officials must renew their certification and registration annually. The badge/registration year runs from Jan 1st to Dec 31st. However, re-certification clinics for the next badge year start in August of the current year. You are expected to re-certify and register BEFORE your badge expires on December 31st.
Referee clinics for new referees are offered through the U.S. Soccer Learning Center. When first accessing the U.S. Soccer Learning Center, you will need to follow these steps after arriving on the U.S. Soccer Learning Center web site.
All candidates must be 13 years or older to create a profile in the Learning Center and register as a Grassroots Referee.
After clicking on the "Sign Up" in the upper right hand corner, you will be prompted to create a user account. Once your account has been created, you may register for the Grassroots– First-time Referee Course will include both an online course and an in-person course with a total fee of $70.
To register for the Grassroots – First-time Referee Course, after you log-in, click on “courses” in the upper left hand corner and in the left column, you will see a button for Grassroots – First-time Referee and after clicking to that page, you will see a button on the right to go to the course list. For courses in your area, set the “Host” filter to South Texas Referee Committee and registering for the course of your choice.
The Grassroots – First-time Referees Online Course involves a 4.5 hour e-learning experience that unites a variety of videos and learning modules which prepares candidates for their assigned tasks and responsibilities as a Grassroots Referee.
A new referee is required to complete both the Online Course AND the In-Person Course to be officially licensed with U.S. Soccer as a Grassroots Referee.
The online training lessons do NOT have to be completed in order to attend the Field Training Clinic. However all online lessons and the Field Training clinic must be satisfactorily completed to obtain your U.S. Soccer Referee License.
Download the U.S. Soccer “Profile Of The Grassroots Referee”.
The In-Person portion of a student’s coursework includes practical exercises for aspiring candidates wishing to become U.S. Soccer Grassroots Referees. The goal is to prepare the candidates by offering a SAFE,FUN, reality-based, holistic experience.
The purpose of this session is to provide an opportunity to reinforce concepts and knowledge covered in the online portion of the course via practical exercises. The focus must be on preparing the referee candidate to be ready for their first game.
The In-Person experience also includes online coursework to include:
1. Safe Sport Training (if 18 years old or older – required by Federal Law)
2. Introduction to Safe and Healthy Playing Environments
3. Grassroots Referee Certification Quiz
NOTE – IF YOU ARE 18 YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER, IT IS REQUIRED THAT YOU COMPLETE THE U.S. SOCCER NCSI BACKGROUND CHECK WHICH IS VALID FOR 2 YEARS.
The course fee for the Grassroots – First-time Referee Course is $70.
If you are 18+ it is required that you complete the U.S. soccer NCSI background check which has a cost of $30 and is valid for 2 years. This cost will be an additional charge when registering for the Grassroots - First-time referee course.
The Grassroots – First-time Referee Course are available starting in late-July through December and staring again in January and continuing through mid-May.
A new referee is required to successfully complete both the Online module AND the In-Person session and modules to be officially licensed with U.S. Soccer as a Grassroots Referee.
Once you have become registered for the current year, you may find games to officiate immediately through your local assignor. If you are not aware of whom this individual may be, you can either go to the web site of your local club or association or go to the quick link on the home page “FIND AN ASSIGNOR” and fill out the form. You should receive information is several business days.
Referee Training & Assessment 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.
IFAB has created a document that summarizes the law changes and a document the provides clarification for the law changes from the 2019-2020 year to the 2020-2021 year. These documents and presentations provide information and explanation on the implementation and execution of the new laws.
You can download a copy of a U.S. 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.
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.
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 U.S. Soccer registration fees or clinic fees.
U.S. Soccer Badges & Licenses
If you wish to see or print out your current year license for either a referee, instructor, assessor or assignor, log into your profile at the U.S. Soccer Learning Center and each will be listed under your profile for you to view or download and print.