Becoming a referee

To Become a certified referee for U.S. Soccer: UPDATED 12/10/19

  • Please read this entire page before moving on to the Grassroots Course !

The following link will take you directly to US Soccer's landing page for the Digital Learning Center:

https://learning.ussoccer.com/referee/


  • US Soccer requires that candidates to become a referee be at least 13 years of age. Parents are advised to assess the maturity level of their child prior to permitting them to take the new referee/ Grassroots Course.
  • U.S. Soccer's Grassroots Referee (GR) course consists of four requirements all to be completed online and a one-day in person clinic.
    1. If you are over the age of eighteen, will be required to complete a a criminal background check conducted by NCSI ($31.21 paid directly to NCSI) This is a real time application process, but the return generally takes 4-8 days. Once you are approved, you can proceed and you may select a location from those listed in the Digital Learning Center (courses are also listed on this site's calendar).
    2. US Safe Sport training is linked directly through the DLC and generally takes 60-90 minutes to complete.
    3. Introduction to Safe and Healthy Playing Environments is also directly linked through the DLC and takes about 60 minutes to finish.
    4. Grassroots Referee Certification Quiz is a 25 question wrap-up of basic facts.


  • The in- person course is a 6 hour clinic, which usually takes place in one day. Instructors and candidates review the basics to prepare new referees for officiating matches and reinforce mechanics to ensure that new officials are ready to take their place on the field for match day.
  • Local Clinic Fees The sponsoring organization may charge up to $25 local clinic fees, the amount will be listed under the course description. This fee must be paid by cash or check to the sponsoring organization at the clinic. This $25 fee will be paid cash or check when you arrive at the in person course of your choice.
  • Local clinics usually take place between December and April. There are sometimes In-person clinics outside of this window, but they are rare, and not guaranteed.


After completing the Grassroots course you may want to work ahead and complete:

  1. Ohio North State Referee Committee contracts with GameOfficials (DO NOT SIGNUP for courses there or pay for any registrations) to provide game assignments, a supplemental training and educational platform, and some record keeping. To create a free account there please use the following: link:https://ohnreferees.gameofficialohnreferees.gameofficials.net/public/ussf/newUserConfirm.cfm?module=news.net/public/ussf/newUserConfirm.cfm?module=new
  2. NFHS Concussion awareness certificate, which is required per Ohio Law:

https://nfhslearn.com/courses/61151/concussion-in-sports