Policies & Instructions

General Policies and Re-certification Instructions

Note: The following information has been extracted from the Referee Administrative Handbook and recent memoranda.

Referees who are registered with the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) must renew their registration annually. Please read the following:

Re-certifying Referees

1. Forms must be taken to the re-certification clinic.
2. Re-certifying referees are registered when they certification criteria and are added to state assignment lists at that time.

Grade-Maintenance Assessments

As referees advance to higher grades they are required to demonstrate their continued qualification for their grade through “maintenance” assessments and sustained high-level competition experience. Each referee at Grade 7 or higher is required to request an assessment and pass it.

Downgrading of a Referee

A referee may be downgraded if the referee fails to meet any of the criteria for that grade. A referee can only be registered at the level where the criteria of a particular grade are met. If referees are downgraded, they do not have to spend a year in the lower grade. Referees may be upgraded when they have met the standard for that grade.

Referees Not Registered In the Previous Year

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 written qualifying examination, fitness test, and a assessments. The following policy applies to referees who were previously certified and registered with the Federation:

1. Grade 8 referees who miss 1-2 consecutive years of registration can be re-registered as a grade 8 after completing a re-certification clinic.

2. Grade 8 referees who miss 3-4 consecutive years of registration can be re-registered after taking the Referee Bridge (Grade 9 to Grade 8) Course or the entire Entry Level Referee Training Course.

3. Grade 8 referees who miss 5 or more consecutive years must re-take the entire Entry Level Referee Training Course.

4. Grade 7 referees and higher can only be registered at the grade they qualify for. Referees who were Grade 7 or higher should be downgraded a minimum of one (1) grade, as per current policy (as long as they have met the criteria for that grade).

5. USSF instructors who wish to re-certify as a referee after a lapse in referee registration may be registered as a grade 8 referee upon meeting current re-certification requirements, no matter how long it has been since they last registered as a referee. The instructor must be currently registered as a USSF instructor and have taught, at a minimum, one entry-level referee training course in the last two years.

Referees are registered annually, for the period January 1 to December 31. Referees who did not re-register during the prescribed current year registration period may register for the following year without penalty. (e.g. A referee last registered in 2013 may take a 2015 re-certification course in August 2014 without having to pay a 2014 registration fee.)

Referee Packets

Every referee registered:

  • Is entitled to receive a registration card from the National office after completing registration requirements
  • Receives a copy of the Laws of the Game and a USSF referee badge from Eastern New York.

All newly certified referees receive a copy of the Laws of the Game manual and a USSF referee badge at their course.