Login   |                    

Becoming a Referee

The first step for anyone who wishes to become a US Soccer official is completing an entry-level training course. A brief overview of the course options, and some other helpful information for prospective referees, can be found below.  If you have additional questions, please contact coordinator@oregonreferee.com for support.

Courses for Beginners

There are two introductory courses offered: the Grade 9 Recreational Referee Course and the Grade 8 Referee Course. The tables below break down the differences and similarities between these two entry-level training options. It is also important to note that the referee grading system has nothing to do with a child’s grade in school.  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: Recreational Referee Course Information

Age Restrictions: None. This course is recommended for those under the age of 13, however, checking with your local club regarding minimum age restrictions is advisable.
Length of Course: 2-3 hours online prerequisite coursework 4 hours field session Written test upon completion
Field Training: This course is typically presented entirely on the field, though some classroom time may be included. See the specific course announcement for details.
Cost: $30 course fee + $45 USSF registration fee (annual)
What you may Referee after completion of the course: Center or Assistant Referee on recreational assignments ONLY for U-14 age group and below

Grade 8: Referee Course Information

Age Restrictions: Open to anyone 13 or older
Length of Course: 2-3 hours online prerequisite coursework 6 hours of classroom training 2 hour on-field session Written test upon completion
Field Training: 2 hours on-field instruction Participants will practice movements, flag signals, free kick positioning (direct, indirect, kick-offs, penalty kicks), use of the whistle, pre-game conference, etc.
Cost: $40 course fee + $45 USSF registration fee (annual)
What you may Referee after completion of the course: A variety of recreational, as well as low-level competitive matches including youth and potentially some adult assignments

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.

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 can help guide you to games that are appropriate to your skill level, and work with you to get you as many games (or as few) 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.

Course Opportunities

The Oregon Referee Committee offers entry-level referee courses year round, all over the state. To view a list of our upcoming training options, go to our homepage at www.oregonreferee.com and check out the “announcements” section. Registration for training courses should be completed through the website.  If you do not currently see a convenient course option, check back frequently, as new training opportunities are added weekly, or contact coordinator@oregonreferee.com to find out when the next course will be provided in your area.

Good luck!


This website and it contents © 2009 - 2017 Oregon Referee Committee, Inc.