Upgrade Policy

It is the desire of the State Referee Committee of NHSA to insure that all candidates seeking upgrade are afforded the chance, providing the guidelines of the National Referee Committee of United States Soccer Federation are met.  This policy will describe the process and procedures to be followed for a referee to upgrade in rank through State Referee (Grade 6). It will also dictate the procedure for allowing an individual to upgrade who has not completely fulfilled the recommended requirements.  Unless otherwise noted, references to the USSF Referee Administrative Handbook will be per the latest revision either in print or posted on the USSF web site.  All decisions on status of a referee's upgrade request by the State Referee Committee are final.
For a list of the requirements for each grade, please see the following grade specific pages:

1.  Initial request is made to the State Referee Administrator (SRA) in writing via one of the following methods:

  • Checking appropriate box on referee registration form.
  • Writing a letter to the SRA.
  • Electronic mail to the SRA.

2.  Required Information of the referee:

     Grade level being sought.

     Game log with the following information:

·         Game dates

·         Game location (including state if outside NH)

·         Teams

·         Age and Gender of participating teams.

·         Other officials (if applicable) at the match. 

3.  Upon receipt of the following information, the SRA will review the candidates information for the following:

       Has referee met the following re-certification requirements:

·         Attended the most recent In-Service-Training seminars.

      Are there any outstanding disciplinary actions against the referee?

4.  If any of the requirements specified are not met or if there are questions, i.e. game count, affiliation of leagues, etc., the SRA will send notification in writing to the referee informing them of problems with their upgrade request.  The notification will specifically list the reason(s) for the referees' upgrade request being delayed or denied.

5.  Upon receipt of the letter from the SRA, the referee may provide additional information to the SRA pertaining to the reason(s) for the denial or further investigation of the upgrade request.  If additional information is requested from the referee, it is the referee's responsibility to provide the additional information.  The SRA or State Referee Committee is under no obligation to follow-up with the referee.

6.  If the cause for denial is game count, the State Referee Committee, at the next meeting, will review the referee's request.  With majority consent of the SRC, the game count may be waived on a case-by-case basis.  The decision of the SRC on these matters will be final.

7.  If all requirements are met, or if the SRC issues a waiver, the SRA will send notification in writing to the referee and the State Director of Assessment notifying the referee they may proceed with the upgrade process.  In addition, the letter will detail the following information:

  • Assessments required (number and age level)
  • Physical Fitness testing requirements

8.  It is the responsibility of the individual referee to obtain the necessary games needed for assessment.

9.  Once an appropriate assignment is received, the referee is responsible for notifying the SDA, in writing, of their desire to be formally assessed.  The following conditions must be met:

      SDA notified a minimum of two weeks prior to the scheduled match.

Payment for the assessment, see fee page, must be sent to the SDA prior to the assignment of an assessor.
10.  The SDA will assign all assessors for upgrade matches unless authority is granted in writing to another individual.  Any unauthorized assessments will be denied for upgrade.  Payment will be held by the SDA until the assessment report is complete, at which time it will be released to the assessor.

11.  Out-of-State Assessments:

  • Any assessment request for out-of-state games must be coordinated through the SDA prior to the game.
  • Games assessed out-of-state for upgrade or maintenance must also meet the criteria of upgrade or maintenance of the host state where the game is being played (ie – if the host state will not allow a game to be used for assessment for its referees for whatever reason, a NH referee cannot use the game for assessment either).
  • The SDA will notify the out-of-state SDA and request an appropriate level assessor for the match.  Failure to follow this policy will result in the assessment being denied for upgrade.
  • Payment of the assessment fee will be per the other state's policy and will be the responsibility of the referee.
  • In the event another state permits a NH assessor to assess a NH referee out of state, there will be a travel fee (minimum $20) on top of the normal assessment fee.

12.  Any assessment may be denied by the SDA.  This is irrelevant of the grade achieved or the recommendation of the assessor to the official.  If the SDA denies any assessment, the SDA must notify the referee, in writing, within five (5) business days.

12.  Upon receipt of appropriate paperwork from the assigned assessor, the SDA will notify the SRA of the status of the referee's assessment.  If a failure occurs, the referee will be notified of the requirement to pass an additional assessment to make up for the failure.

13.  In addition to the formal assessment process, the referee is also required to meet certain physical fitness standards.  These are described in the USSF Referee Administrative Handbook.

14.  It will be the policy of the NHSA SRC to have all upgrade candidates pass the fitness testing prior to seeking assessments.  However, due to various factors, this may not be feasible.  This will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

  • Failure to pass the fitness testing will cause the upgrade process to stop until acceptable results are obtained.  The SRA/SDI will notify the SDA both when an individual fails the fitness test as well as when they pass.
  • It will be the responsibility of the referee to schedule a make-up fitness test through the SRA/SDI.  Unapproved fitness test results will not be accepted.

15.  The upgrade candidate must also pass the appropriate USSF referee examination with the scores detailed in the USSF Referee Administrative Handbook

  • The examination process will be coordinated through the State Director of Instruction.
  • The SDI will inform the SRA once a candidate passes the examination.

16.  Once all requirements are met, assessment, fitness, and exam, the SRA will notify the referee of the successful completion of the upgrade process.

For more information, contact the appropriate individual:

          SRA:  Mark Sadler (sra@soccernh.org)

          SDA:  John Breda (sda@soccernh.org)

          SDI:  Bob Huston (sdi@soccernh.org)