top of page
Pink Soccer Ball

Referees Tent

Referees are Essential

No Referee = No Game

It really is that simple!

Referees are essential, they interpret the 17 Laws of the Game. They make every effort to ensure the game is played according to the Laws in a fair manner, played safely by all, and played with all due respect to the game itself. The Laws of the Game are the foundation which maintains the true spirit of the greatest sport on earth!

The challenge for the match official is learning and mastering the ability to observe the game at speed and interpreting the Laws in mere moments. Referees are human; therefore, errors will inevitably occur. Decisions have to be made on what the official was able to observe during run of play.  Some plays may be viewed different than what players, coaches, or spectators may have observed, but in all instances the official call must be respected. A keystone of the game is respect. The spirit of this beautiful game absolutely depends on it!

Refereeing soccer matches can be fun, challenging, and rewarding all at the same time!

First-Time Referee Course Coming to Sonora July 20!

What to Do to Become a  Grassroots Referee

Online Training Requirements in USSF:

  • First-Time Referee Course - 5 hours

  • Background Check (18+) - Submit forms

  • SafeSport (18+) - 1 hour

  • Intro to Health and Safety - 30 minutes

  • Laws of the Game - 30 minutes

  • Quiz - 1 hour

On-Field Training Requirements

  • At location of host league - 4 hours

Steps to Becoming Licensed

  1. Go to USSF Learning Center and register for a First-Time Referee course.

  2. If over age 18, complete the background check and SafeSport training at USSF Safe Soccer.

  3. Complete the online modules (Course work, Intro to Health and Safety, study the Laws, and Quiz). Required prior to attending the field session.

  4. Attend the field training session. Whistle and Assistant Referee (AR) flags are required.

  5. License and badge will be mailed at a later date.

How to Find and Be Ready for Assignments

Congratulations! You're now licensed as a Grassroots Referee, you have the badge, the uniform, whistle, AR flags, a watch, studied the Laws, and ready for your first assignment, so now what?

Next, you'll need to find a Referee Assignor to begin receiving referee assignments. Each soccer club will have its own assignor for its respective league and club so searching its website for the named person and contacting him/her and informing him/her you like to receive assignments. CNRA also has a search function to find assignors. 

At first, you'll begin officiating as an AR and have the responsibility to call offsides and out-of-bounds, and assist the Center Referee with those calls. With time and experience as an AR, you'll improve, develop, and become confident to officiate as the Center Referee, which can be very fun!

Why Referee Soccer?

Simply, because it's fun! 

Refereeing soccer matches provides another perspective to the game like no other and is completely different than being a player, a coach, or a spectator. Being in the middle of action, a passive observer in the center of the play, is a uniquely fun experience!

It can be quite challenging to watch a play and to quickly interpret the laws for it, so refereeing is a never-ending learning and practicing type of skill. The best way to learn is to be on the pitch as much as possible to continue to perfect the skill. Refereeing matches and making calls to the best ability and allowing oneself to make an error then learning from it is how a referee develops and improves. While there is no replacement to learning on-the-pitch, there are free pre-recorded webinars available at CNRA to supplement on-the-pitch learning. Depending on the age group, center referees can also run up to 5-miles per match so physical fitness has to be maintained to keep up with the speed of the game.

Refereeing is incredibly rewarding. Coaching youth the Laws of the Game during matches is very rewarding, especially when the player's mind-eye connection to the law is made. Youth players typically have no formal instruction to the laws so a referee is often one to educate and teach while on the pitch. Teaching youth the laws during play can further enhance sportsmanship and respect to others and to the game. Referees are also compensated. Depending on the age group assigned to officiate, licensed Grassroot Referees can earn from $20 per U8 match and up to $85 per U19 match.

The USSF Grassroots Referee license is to officiate youth and amateur adult matches. Licensing progresses from Grassroots to Regional, National, P.R.O. and then the FIFA license. This progression takes many years of dedication.

TCYS Referee Program is affiliated and abides by the California North Referee Administration (CNRA) and the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) requirements.

bottom of page