Information on Referee Certification and Recertification

Do you want to become a referee?

Do you LOVE soccer?

NEW referees are needed

Becoming a New Referee - Entry Certification For 2023

PLEASE READ ALL OF THE DIRECTIONS BELOW BEFORE CLICKING THE HYPERLINK TO START and refer to them as you complete the certification process.

You are becoming a referee for the first time.  Your requirements for your new referee certification are a combination of online lessons and an in-person field training session.  The registration and clinic fee is $85.  You must be age 13 or older on the day you register to become a referee.

TO START.  Go to our Officials Management System (OMS): 

Select “New Member Registration.”  Enter your member information and create a password.  Your e-mail address must be your own.  Every referee must provide a unique e-mail address for identification in our online systems.  Your e-mail will be your username for OMS.

Follow the directions and select the "Referee - Grassroots Entry Online PreClinic".

Then, on your Member Information Page, click the button to "Complete Requests and Pay Fees."

FIRST STEP.  The first step of your referee instruction is completing the online lessons.

On your OMS Member Information Page, to the right of your reserved clinic, click on the "Online Lessons" button.

ONLINE LESSONS.  There are nine online lessons:

1.  Introduction to the Learning Center  (4 hours, 30 minutes)   
2.  2022-2023 IFAB Law Changes  (30 minutes)
3.  2023 Referee Signals  (9 minutes)
4.  2023 Assistant Referee Signals  (11 minutes)
5.  2023 Ceremonial Restarts  (4 minutes)
6.  2023 Intro to Safety (Non-LC)  (15 minutes)
7.  2023 Grassroots Entry Referee Test - Part 1  (30 minutes)
8.  2023 Grassroots Entry Referee Test - Part 2. (30 minutes)
9.  2023 LC SafeSport  (90 minutes)        

The Introduction to the Learning Center with the Grassroots Referee Course is the first lesson.  The Introduction to the Learning Center lesson is both an introduction on how to sign up and log in to the US Soccer Learning Center, and a 4.5-hour Grassroots Referee Course.  Click Start to start the lesson, read the directions carefully, then click the Learning Center button to go to the Learning Center.

Part 1 of the Introduction to the Learning Center explains how to Sign Up and create a profile, username, and password at the Learning Center.  BE CAREFUL TO ENTER YOUR NAME THE SAME AS YOUR NAME IN OMS.  If your name does not match, the results of your Learning Center course will not download to our OMS.  Click on the "Click Here" button at the end of Part 1 to go to the Learning Center.  After you create your profile at the Learning Center log out of the Learning Center; return to our OMS; and complete Part 2 of Lesson 1.

Part 2 of the Introduction to the Learning Center explains how to Log In and start and complete the Grassroots Referee Course.  BE CAREFUL TO USE LOG IN.  If you use Sign Up, you will create another account at the Learning Center.  Click on the "Click Here" button at the end of Part 2 to go back to the Learning Center.

There are five Parts to the Learning Center course.  You must complete each Part in sequence.

If the Course does not load or the Course window does not pop up, your browser security settings are preventing Pop-ups and/or running videos.  Reset your browser settings to allow Pop-ups for the Learning Center website. 

As you progress through the Grassroots Referee Course, you must view everything on a page/slide.  You will have to click on each option to read or watch a video.  Sometimes you will have to scroll down or to the right to see everything on a page/slide.  If you do not see the CONTINUE button, you have not viewed everything on the page/slide.

If you need to stop the course to resume later, select CLOSE and log out of the Learning Center, so your progress will be saved and you can resume where you left the course.  If you just close your browser window or get logged out for inactivity, your progress will not save.

When you complete the course, go back to OMS to complete the other lessons.

REMAINING LESSONS.   Complete the remaining online lessons by selecting “Start” beside each lesson, in order.

Everyone must complete Lessons 2 – 8.

Lesson 9, SafeSport Training, is required for referees 18 years or older.  Lesson 9 will show as Complete for referees who are not 18.  The first time, SafeSport Training takes about 90 minutes to complete.  Second and third annual SafeSport Refresher Training takes about 15 minutes to complete.

FINAL STEP.  The final step of your referee instruction is completing the field training session.

Once you complete the 9 online lessons, your gray Online Lessons button will turn green.  This could take up to 24 hours after you complete the last lesson.  When it does, click on the "Pick a Clinic" button and pick a Field Training Clinic.

If you decide to change your Field Training Clinic, on your OMS Member Information Page, to the right of your reserved clinic, click on “Transfer” to select another Field Training Clinic.


You need to bring your own whistle, referee flag, and flipping coin to the field session.  We try not to share referee equipment during the pandemic.

Dress for the weather and for mild activity on the field.  You will be outside on the field for 4 hours.

You should receive your referee badge at the end of the field training session.


You can search the internet for soccer referee uniforms or equipment.  You should find many alternative brands and vendors.  You can also procure your referee kit at a soccer store.  Official Sports is the brand that sponsors and is affiliated with the US Soccer referee program.  However, any brand should be acceptable.  Be careful to procure the current referee shirt and socks styles.  You will see these as you complete the Grassroots Referee Course, and are shown under resources at the US Soccer Learning Center.

We recommend that you procure a complete referee uniform/equipment kit, which includes a referee shirt (yellow is the primary color), referee shorts, referee socks, referee flags, whistle, yellow and red cards, etc.  The kit will provide the best value and all of your referee equipment.

Referee shoes should be black athletic shoes.  Predominantly black is usually acceptable.  Manufacturer logo of a different color is acceptable.  The referee shoes should not be distracting, or draw attention.

Congratulations on becoming a referee!  Your next step is to contact a referee assignor to schedule yourself to officiate. Names and contact information are located on the Assignor page of this website.