How to become a soccer referee


Many people wish to become referees but do not know where to begin. All referee classes are posted on the respective state referee web page:

For Virginia, go to When you enter this page you are going to click on “clinic search” and read through page information before proceeding to clinic list.

  1. To view classes and register click on the link:
  2. You will first need to create an account in the system.  Click on New User? on the left side menu bar.
  3. If you are brand new to the system, click on “I have NEVER BEEN registered”. Follow the instructions on the screen to begin creating an account.
  4. Complete the form to create a new user account and click SAVE at the bottom.
  5. Complete secondary form to continuing creating your account. Click SAVE.
  6. To view listing of classes, click “Courses” on the left side menu bar.  Then click REFEREE COURSES.
  7. Select the course date desired and click on the link for that class.
  8. Click on “Register for this course”.
  9. Complete form with additional information and click SAVE to add registration.
  10. Click on “Complete 2015 Disclosure” to complete the KidSafe portion of registration.
  11. Click SAVE (Complete Disclosure).
  12. Complete Payment Section and confirm course selection.

For Maryland, it’s The Maryland web site is self-explanatory.

New referee classes are posted that begin in July and August. These classes will allow participants to begin refereeing in the FALL season.

All referees have a “Grade”. This grade refers to the level of the referee, not school. This, at times, leads to confusion. Here is a brief description of referee grades:

GRADE 9 Referee is a Recreational Referee, usually between the age of 12 & 14 years old wishing to start out at the recreational level. A Grade 9 referee can do centers up to U14 in “recreational” soccer and can be an AR for up to U14 in travel games, but cannot do centers at the travel level. Some adults start here because they want to learn at a slower pace and work as a team with one of their children.

GRADE 8 Referee is also a beginner but with a little more soccer experience and a little more maturity. A Grade 8 referee can do most any type of game, recreational, travel, depending on their ability and desire.

GRADE 7 Referee (and higher) are experienced referees with at least three years experience and must pass multiple assessments at high level games before being certified.  A Grade 7 referee can do all level of games up to Adult league and some college level, depending on their ability and desire.

Referees are nationally certified, so there is no age restriction on becoming a referee (there is, however, a Va. Child Labor Law that states “no child under the age of 12 can be paid”).  It is highly recommended that 12 & 13 year olds start at the Grade 9 level to gain experience in the recreational games before moving on into the more competitive travel games.

Once a person becomes a referee, they must then contact their local assignor to find out how to obtain assignments.

Each referee is an independent contractor and may work for any assignor or club. A list of certified assignors is posted on the state referee web pages.