Become a Referee
All referees affiliated with FIFA have a designated referee grade. The grade indicates the qualification of the referee to officiate at various levels of local, national and international soccer competition. There is a common misconception that these grades are related to elementary or secondary school grades – they’re not, they are assigned by USSF. Read more…
Grade 8 participants must be 13 years or older to attend (or close to 13 with soccer experience). Recommendation for Grade 9 participants is 10 years or older.
All referees affiliated with FIFA have a designated referee grade. The grade indicates the qualification of the referee to officiate at various levels of local, national and international soccer competitions. There is a common misconception that these grades are related to elementary or secondary school grades – they’re not, they are assigned by USSF. (More on referee grades…)
Courses for Beginners
There are two introductory courses offered: the Grade 9 Recreational Referee Course and the Grade 8 Referee Course. The Grade 8 and Grade 9 courses are the starting point for new referees of all ages (subject to the minimum age restrictions defined below).
|Grade 9||Grade 8|
|Age Limit||none, but not recommended for those under 10 years old||13 or older (or 12 with soccer experience)|
|Length of Course||2-3 hours online prerequisite coursework|
4 hour field session
Written test upon completion (50 questions; 80% passing score)
|2-3 hours online prerequisite coursework
6 hours of classroom training
2 hours field session
Written test upon completion (20 questions; 80% passing score)
|Field Training||The course is held on the field, though some time in may be spent in a classroom.||Participants will practice movements, flag signals, free kick positioning (direct, indirect, kick-offs, penalty kicks), use of the whistle, pre-game conference, etc.|
|Cost||$75 (includes $30 course fee and $45 USSF registration fee)||$85 (includes $40 course fee and $45 USSF registration fee)|
|Qualifies you to do this level of games||Center or Assistant Referee on recreational assignments ONLY for U-14 age group and below||Referee on youth games (recreational and competitive), assistant in comparable games
May also accept assignments for adult games in either referee or AR position
Referee Traits and Skills
Patience, optimism, and a comfort with people, are extremely handy traits for a referee. In addition, physical fitness, familiarity with the game (being a former player is beneficial but not necessary), knowledge of the Laws of the Game, and the ability to interpret and apply those Laws, are essential. A degree of physical and mental maturity to handle the job is also needed, which is why the minimum age for participants in the Grade 8 course is 13 (or 12 with soccer experience).
Scheduling and Compensation
One of the best things about being a referee is the flexibility. Referees are independent contractors and set their own schedules! Once you complete your entry-level training course, you will choose which organizations you want to work for and will coordinator with an Assignor to create a schedule that is right for you. Your Assignor(s) can help guide you towards games that are appropriate for your skill level, and work with you to get you as many (or as few) games as you want.
Another great perk of being a soccer official is the pay! Rates vary by league, but averages for starting out can be as much as $20-25 an hour. Once you gain some experience, you can take on take on more demanding assignments – and with that comes even higher rates of pay.
The Oregon Referee Committee offers entry-level referee courses year round, all over the state. If you do not currently see a convenient course option, check back frequently, as new training opportunities are added weekly, or contact email@example.com to find out when the next course will be provided in your area.
If you have additional questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for support.