How to Become a Soccer Referee: Everything You Need to Know

If you like soccer and need exercise or some side cash, becoming a referee might be right for you. Here’s what you should know.

Where can you become a soccer referee?

The United States Soccer Federation oversees all club soccer in the United States including referees. Each state has a state referee committee that is responsible for organizing referee training courses and registering referees. Registered and certified referees can then apply to the referee association or assignor who contracts with local clubs, leagues, and tournaments.

How to Become a High School Soccer Referee

High schools operate under a different system. Most are under the National Federation of High School Sports. There is typically a state association and local association to manage the referees in each state, city, or county.

How to Become a College Soccer Referee

Most lower division college games are under the National Intercollegiate Soccer Officials Association. Many larger conferences use their own pool of referees. College referees are generally recruited from the club and high school referee pools. It is virtually impossible to start as a college referee.

The reported college soccer referee salary is about $46,000 per year. Game fees range from about $100 to over $1,000 depending on the level. Higher level games also cover travel expenses. Most college soccer referees also work other jobs.

How to Become a Professional Soccer Referee

The Professional Referee Organization is responsible for professional referees. They recruit referees working club soccer events.

How old do you have to be to become a soccer referee?

Age requirements vary based on local policy and child labor laws. It is common to see teenagers working on younger games. However, some leagues may require a higher minimum age to become a referee than the minimum age to work in your state, so you should check the requirements of the place you want to work before signing up for a youth soccer referee training course.

What are the different soccer referee certifications?

  • Grassroots is the entry level certification for referees working local youth and amateur games.
  • Regional is for advanced referees working lower professional and senior amateur games.
  • National and Professional referees work professional games.

What does the local entry level referee course include?

The grassroots entry level referee course is primarily online. Some states may require a field session for additional training.

The online grassroots referee module is usually completed in the U.S. Soccer Referee Learning Center. When you search for soccer referee classes on U.S. Soccer, it will direct you to the right course for your state.

Nearly all states require a background check. The requirements vary based on state law.

What is a soccer referee’s salary?

Referees are typically paid $20-$100 per game depending on the location and level. Most referees make somewhere between $2,000 and $10,000 per year. Professional referees are often on full-time salaried contracts.

Most referees are independent contractors and are responsible for their own taxes. You can read this referee taxes guide to learn more.

What is the soccer referee uniform?

Each organization sets their own uniform standard to ensure that their officials match. The basic uniform includes a jersey, shorts, and socks. You will need additional equipment such as whistles, cards, and shoes.

Where can I find grassroots referee certification quiz answers?

If you are looking for the referee test questions online, this probably isn’t the right course for you. First, integrity is a very important quality for a referee. Second, the questions are so basic that it is dangerous for you and the players to be on the field if you can’t get them right.

Where can I find soccer referee jobs?

Your soccer referee course should give you contacts. You can also search for the local clubs, leagues, and tournaments in your area. They usually have a referee contact posted.