Upgrade process

To Upgrade from Grade 7 to Grade 7A

Background and guidance - The grade 7A status is an Ohio-North designation instituted a few years ago when USSF changed the grade level structure. Today, all new referees begin as a grade 8. After their first year, adult referees (over the age of 18) or youth referees who have demonstrated a high level of interest or ability may request to upgrade to grade 7. Grade 7 materials are more advanced and focus on referees developing more skills that are applicable to more competitive youth games or adult games. Advancement to grade 7 no longer requires fitness testing or passing a formal assessment.

Ohio-North (and some other states) created a local state-level status in-between grade 7 and grade 6 (state referee). We call that status the grade 7A designation. When you register, the administration at USSF in Chicago still see your registration as grade 7. However, if you complete all of the requirements to advance to 7A, then Ohio North adds the 7A designation status to your referee record in Game Officials that is seen by assignors in Ohio North. Earning the 7A status is a step toward upgrading to grade 6 state referee, if desired.

Here is what you need to do to complete the requirements for grade 7A:

Follow the usual process to register (re-certify) as a grade 7.

7A Upgrade Clinic: Attend the 7A upgrade clinic. This is a 2-day course taught over a weekend (usually in July). This clinic will be posted to register in Game Officials.

Written Exam: The state exam is given during the upgrade class as a written exam.

Fitness Test: Attend the 7A upgrade course. The fitness test will be offered the Saturday morning before the class begins. The fitness test is posted in GameOfficials as a separate course with specified times for Saturday morning. You will need to register for the fitness test separately when registering for the upgrade class. Usually posted in June/July.

Assessments: Recommend that you pursue assignment of appropriate games during Spring/Summer to pursue a grade 7A upgrade assessment. For the grade 7A assessment the referee assessment can be on an appropriate level youth match or an adult match. For an adult match, leagues such as Lake Erie (D1 or D2), Northcoast or a NOASA game (D1 only). Also, for 7A, a competitive youth match can be used for assessment, provided it is a competitive boys match at U17 or higher with a competitive league/tournament such as MRL, State Cup, or Developmental Academy.

Upgrade Request Form: To begin the process download the Referee Upgrade Request Form, fill out what you can then submit to Tom Chapman, SRA and Ron Stuver, State Director of Assessments for Ohio-North.

To Upgrade from Grade 7A to Grade 6

Along with meeting the annual in-service hours, there are six additional requirements that must be met.

  • You must have 50 games as a referee (25 in adult matches and 25 in qualifying youth matches) and 25 as an AR in U-19 games or higher
  • You must have 12 months as a Grade 7 referee
  • You must complete the State Referee training course
  • You must have a passing score of 85% on the State Referee examination which will be given in person
  • You must pass the USSF Physical Fitness Test for State Referee
  • You must be recommended for upgrade through two assessments as a referee (one on a Division 2 adult or higher) and one as an AR on U-19 or higher affiliated games

Contact the State Referee Administrator for assistance.