How to Become a Soccer Referee in New York: Info and Alternatives

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Here are the steps to becoming a soccer referee in New York and what you need to know to decide if it’s worth it.

Options to Become a Soccer Referee in New York

There are several different ways to become a soccer referee in New York. Some companies require you to pay for their training and registration fees before they’ll let you work for them. Others follow traditional hiring practices and don’t charge new referees anything.

There are several places you can look for referee jobs. Check Indeed, Craigslist, and local league websites for additional openings.

Adult Soccer Referee Jobs in New York

Most local recreational leagues hire their own referees. Contact the league directly for more information.

More competitive leagues may hire referees certified by the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) through the Eastern New York Soccer Referee Association or the Western New York State Referees Associations. To obtain your referee badge, you must first register and then pay a fee.

New York City

New York City has dozens of soccer leagues. Most are independent leagues that hire their own referees. Contact the league owners for more information.

These include:

  • NYC Footy
  • Volo Sports
  • Chelsea Piers
  • NY Coed Soccer
  • Urban Soccer League
  • Gotham Soccer League
  • Metro Soccer NY
  • Asphalt Green
  • Zog Sports
  • NYC Soccer Collective
  • Cosmopolitan Soccer League

Long Island

Long Island also has many leagues available, including:

  • LI Kick
  • FUTBOLisland
  • LIAthletics
  • Long Island Adult Soccer Club
  • Long Island Soccer Football League
  • Suffolk Men’s Soccer League
  • Long Island Ladies Soccer League

Buffalo, Rochester, and Westchester are also areas with a lot of soccer games.

Youth Soccer Referee Jobs in New York

Like adult soccer, there is a mix of different leagues. Recreational leagues often hire directly. Travel clubs under the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association may use USSF-certified referees.

New York City

New York City heavily promotes the game of soccer for children and has a variety of youth programs, including:

  • Asphalt Green
  • Chelsea Piers
  • Downtown Soccer League
  • Downtown United Soccer Club
  • Manhattan Kickers Soccer Club
  • Manhattan Soccer Club
  • Riverdale Soccer Club
  • Big Apple Youth Soccer League

Long Island

Major youth soccer leagues on Long Island include:

  • Long Island Junior Soccer League
  • Long Island Soccer Club
  • Massapequa Soccer Club

Most other areas in New York also have at least one local soccer league or a large club that plays against other cities.

New York High School Soccer Referee Jobs

New York high schools play under the New York State Public High School Athletic Association. The exception is New York City which has its own Public Schools Athletic League. If you have experience in other sports, you can also become an official for those sports.

College Student Soccer Referee Jobs

College students often take advantage of all of the above options. They’re able to manage their referee schedule around their schoolwork. They also have the potential to earn extra income both at home and at school.

What qualifications do you need to be a referee in soccer?

You can become a referee in the lowest levels of soccer without any experience at all. It helps if you’ve played before. Parents who never played soccer and officials from other sports sometimes struggle with the nuances of soccer.

As you advance to higher levels, there are specific experience and testing requirements to earn your place in those games.

How do you become an NCAA soccer referee?

To become an NCAA referee, you must start at the lowest level of competition and work your way up. Many active NCAA referees continue working those games and can guide you through the next steps.

College soccer referee pay typically ranges from $100 to $1,500, depending on division. However, the time demands outside of game day for higher divisions is much higher.

How do you become a professional soccer referee?

Professional soccer referees also start out working their way up through the youth and ama­tuer ranks. If you’re interested in working professional games, you should first become a regional referee.

You should know that there are similar odds of becoming a professional referee as there are of becoming a professional athlete. There are only about thirty full-time professional referees out of thousands of referees who are trying to become professional referees. Because PRO is unionized and has little turnover, there are only a handful of openings each year.

The professional soccer referee salary is not publicly disclosed by PRO or PSRA and is estimated to be between $50,000 to $70,000 per year.

How old do you have to be to ref soccer in New York?

Under New York child labor law, minors must be at least 14 years old to work and are also subject to restrictions on the number of hours they can work.

Some organizations may have higher minimum age requirements for referees to meet the needs of their competitions. It’s also common for some leagues to only use adult officials.

Parents should monitor their child’s schedules and be aware of assignors attempting to schedule young referees without adequate breaks or time to eat. Assignors should carefully research their legal obligations as they are subject to civil and criminal penalties if they violate the law and something happens to a minor while working (even if it was never a problem before).

What other jobs are good for teenagers?

Many major retailers and fast food chains offer competitive hourly wages, college tuition assistance, and potential career opportunities in management or at the corporate level. If you’re in New York City, NYC Children has a special page outlining opportunities available for teenagers.

How much do soccer referees make in New York?

Referees are usually paid per game. Games range from $24 to $84 depending on level.

Thanks for reading.

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