Referee Grade Levels & Maintenance

U.S. Soccer Federation Referee Grade Levels & Maintenance

From U.S. Soccer's Referee Administrative Handbook (2010-11 Edition):

Grade 9 - Recreational Referee (Entry Level)

The purpose of the Grade 9 Referee Course is to prepare officials for the small sided and recreational youth game.

  • Minimum Age: None
  • Authorized Assignment Level: Referee on recreational youth games U-14 and younger only and assistant referee on any game U-14 or below.

Grade 8 - Competitive Youth Referee (Entry level)

The purpose of the Grade 8 Referee Course is to prepare officials for the competitive youth game.

  • Minimum Age: None
  • Recommended Assignment Level: All youth games, assistant referee in comparable games.

 


Emeritus - Grades 13, 14, 15 and 16 

The purpose of the emeritus grades is to allow officials to retire from the game at the highest referee grade they attained. It may not be used to circumvent any registration, certification or recertification requirements mandated by U.S. Soccer or the State Referee Association.
Emeritus Application


 

Grade 7 - Adult Referee

The purpose of the Grade 7 Referee Course is to prepare officials for the amateur adult game.

Mid-Year Upgrading Option to Grade 7 after January 2015- June 2015

At this time of the year, if an individual has not completed their 3 RPD or attended and Upgrade class they have two options:

1.) Register as a Grade 8 for 2015. Then with more time on your hands, start attending RPD trainings at your leisure to fulfill that requirement and be ready for 2016 registration. (This option would be best for those who are not in a hurry to upgrade)

2.) Register as a Grade 8 for 2015. In the meanwhile continue to work for a Mid-Year Grade Change. You will need to attend 3 RPD. Once you are done, you will need to pay the Change Grade fee of $20. This can be paid via Check, Credit Card Authorization or Over the Phone. (This option is best fit for those individuals who would be interested in taking the Grade 6 Upgrade for 2016. You must remember that you will need to take another 3 RPD to be applied for that 2016 certification)

Upgrade Application | SAMPLE Upgrade Application / Portfolio

  • Minimum Age: 17
  • Recommended Assignment Level: All youth games and mixed leagues, assistant referee in all adult games below the top division.

Grade 6 - State Referee

The purpose of the State Referee Course is to prepare officials for the most competitive matches within their state and region.

As Stated by United States Soccer Federation:

"State Referee Associations are also empowered by U.S. Soccer to establish fitness, assessment and training standards outside the parameters of grade. Although independent of grade, these standards should be advanced when compared to the existing grade requirements. These advanced standards should be specific to the needs of local competitions or specific to participation in state level development programs....

Again, these additional standards can be instituted by State Referee Associations outside the scope of grade requirements and are intended to promote the development of referees and support the needs of local, regional and national competitions"

FIFA Sprint and Interval Test - For 2016 Certification
Cal South State Referee Fitness Test - For Competitive Game Assignment

Upgrade Application | Sample Upgrade Application

  • Minimum Age: 18
  • Recommended Assignment Level: All youth games and adult amateur games through second division and assistant referee in the top adult division and Amateur Cup games.

Grade 5 - State Referee

Grade 5 is now administered through US Soccer. Please click here for instructions on how to apply for it.

Per United State Soccer Federation:

"We encourage officials who are applying to also complete all requirements set forth by their state to be registered as Grade 6 State Officials, in case they are not selected to be a National Candidate or National Official."

  • Minimum Age: 19
  • Recommended Assignment Level: All youth games and adult games including first division and assistant referee in professional league and international cup games

Questions can be directed to Nicole Ward, Referee Identification and Training Coordinator, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


4 - U.S. Soccer Federation National Referee

A. Minimum Age: 23
B. Badge: U.S. Soccer National Referee, with current year.
C. Recommended Assignment Level: All games except formal FIFA international matches; assistant referee for international matches.
D. U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident.


 3 - U.S. Soccer Federation Professional Referee

A. Minimum Age: 23
B. Badges: U.S. Soccer Professional Referee, with current year and National Referee, with current year.
C. Recommended Assignment Level: All games except formal FIFA international matches.
D. U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident.
E. By invitation of U.S. Soccer.


 2 - U.S. Soccer Federation International Assistant Referee

A. Minimum Age: 23
B. Badge: FIFA Assistant Referee, with current year, on international matches.*
C. Recommended Assignment Level: All games.
D. U.S. Citizen.
E. By nomination of U.S. Soccer Board of Directors, and approved by FIFA.


 1 - U.S. Soccer Federation International Referee

A. Minimum Age: 25
B. Badge: FIFA, with current year.
C. Recommended Assignment Level: All games.
D. U.S. Citizen.
E. By nomination of U.S. Soccer Board of Directors, and approved by FIFA.

The U.S. Soccer Federation grade and title of an official will be determined solely by the standards and examinations issued by the U.S. Soccer Referee Committee and the U.S. Soccer Federation Board of Directors. Annual re-examination is required. A referee must officiate at the next - higher level to accumulate experience to be certified competent at that level.

Assignors must exercise care to increase the difficulty level of the game assignments in a gradual and orderly manner for the good of the official and of the players. *International Assistant Referees must wear U.S. Soccer National Referee badge when assigned as referee in domestic matches.


Grade 8 - Futsal

(click to view requirements for this grade)

The purpose of the Grade 8 Futsal Referee Course is to prepare officials for amateur futsal competitions at the youth and adult levels.


Grade 8 - Indoor
(click to view requirements for this grade)

The purpose of the Grade 8 Indoor Referee Course is to prepare officials for amateur indoor competitions at the youth and adult levels.


Beach Soccer
Maintenance and Certification in review and coming soon.

Registration Matrix

REGISTRATION YEAR FIRST DAY TO REGISTER LAST DAY TO REGISTER VALID FROM VALID TO
2015 July 1, 2014 *June 14, 2015 Date Approved* December 31, 2015
2016 July 1, 2015 *June 14, 2016 Date Approved* December 31, 2016
2017 July 1, 2016 *June 14, 2017 Date Approved* December 31, 2017

*Last day to register is strict in order to allow us enough time to process your registration with the federation 


Submit Upgrade/Emeritus Applications forms to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Incomplete or missing Upgrade/Emeritus Applications will not be processed and will delay your process.

IMPORTANT NOTE: In your email please include the information of assessment (Dates of Assessment, Assessor, Upgrade/Maintenance)

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