If you have any questions regarding the assessment process, feel free to contact the NH State Director of Assessment (SDA), John Breda, at

The assessment program is an integral part in the development of referees.  While much training on the laws and points of emphasis can occur in the classroom environment, on the field is where referees’ are most visible and ultimately judged.  Often referees may be unaware of certain habits they develop that can affect their ability to effectively referee a game.  An assessor is a neutral observer who will come to a match and watch the referee.  The assessor’s goal is to help the referee learn and improve their skills.  Below is what to expect from an assessment as well as information on the two different types of assessments available.


What to Expect during an Assessment

The following is a list of what the assessor will do while assessing a match as well as some tips for referees being assessed.

  1. The assessor will introduce himself to the entire referee crew prior to the match.  The assessor may also request some basic information such as referee grade and how long you have been refereeing.  You will not talk to the assessor again until after the match.
  2. The assessor will not listen in on your pregame.
  3. The assessor will position himself at some place around the field to watch the match.  The assessor may stay in one location or move around.  Do NOT look for where the assessor is while trying to referee.
  4. Referee the game as you normally would.  It will not help as much if you referee differently and you should be refereeing every game to the best of your ability.
  5. The assessor will not discuss the game with you during half time.
  6. After the game, do any administrative work required before meeting the assessor for the debrief.
  7. The debrief should be a conversation and involve the entire referee team.  Again, the goal is to help the referee learn.  It should be a dialogue and discussion; it should not be just the assessor talking to everyone.

Development and Guidance (D&G) Assessments 

These assessments are used for the sole purpose of developing referees and helping them to improve.   There are no costs to the referee associated with D&G assessments.  There are several ways you can request or get a D&G assessment.

  1. Request a D&G assessment on a regular, league game by contacting the SDA.
    1. Only the referee may contact the SDA to request a D&G assessment on his own behalf.
    2. The referee should contact the SDA at least two weeks prior to any games desired to be assessed.  It is helpful if several options of games are given to try to match assessors’ schedules.
    3. Every attempt will be made to find an assessor to assess the match; however, there may be times when no assessors are available.
    4. The referee should have sufficient time after the match (approximately 30 minutes) to discuss the match with the assessor and entire referee team.  It is desirable that the referee not have a match immediately after an assessed match.
  2. Referee at a tournament where assessors will be present. Assessors are present at many league and state tournaments throughout the year.  
  3. An assessor may show up to a regular league game without prior notice to do an assessment.
    1. The assessor will identify himself prior to the game.
    2. The assessor will be wearing official USSF or NHSA clothing.


Upgrade or Maintenance Assessments

These assessments are used to help referees advance or maintain a referee grade.  Prior approval from the NH SRA, Mark Sadler, is needed to be eligible to get one of these assessments.  The requesting referee is responsible for paying the assessor.  The following process is used to request an upgrade or maintenance assessment (see Upgrade Policy for more detailed information).

  1. Work with your assignor to get an appropriate game as far ahead as possible.  The game must be considered ratable and a sufficient test by the assessor, and the assignor will likely know which match-ups are likely to be more competitive versus others.  The SDA will NOT help you find a game, but only ensure that it meets the criteria to be used for an assessment
    1. If you are going for your 7, you must use a U17 or higher match.  This match must be a full 80 or 90 minute game. 
    2. If you are upgrading to a Grade 6 or seeking a Grade 6 maintenance, you must pass two referee assessments by different State Assessors in adult matches.
    3. If you are trying to upgrade to a Grade 5 or seeking a Grade 5 maintenance, you must pass a minimum of three referee assessments by different National Assessors in adults matches.
  2. After you have received your game assignment, contact the SDA as soon as possible.  You must contact the SDA at least 2 weeks prior to the game to give enough time to find an assessor.  Any requested assessment is subject to assessor availability. 
  3. After an assessor is confirmed, you will be contacted regarding payment information.  You will need to send a check to the SDA prior to the game being assessed (which is why it is critical you give as much notice as possible to schedule an assessor).  See the annual fees page for the NH upgrade and assessment fee schedule (note: out of state assessments may have increased fees).  Starting for 2018 registration, your assessment fee will be included in the registration fee for the prior year (assessments for 2018 recertification will be included in the 2017 registration fees).
  4. Your upgrade depends on your accomplishing ALL of the following requirements within one year.
    1. Meet age requirements and game experience requirements by submitting information to the SRA, Mark Sadler.  This should have been completed already.
    2. Pass the appropriate assessment(s).  Contact the SDA, John Breda, for further information.
    3. Take and pass the appropriate online course.  Contact the SDI, John Breda, for further information.
    4. Pass the appropriate written exam.  Contact the SDI, John Breda, for further information.
    5. Pass the Physical Fitness Test.  Contact the SDI, John Breda, for further information.