U.S. Soccer’s registration window opens each July 1 and closes on June 30 of the following year. The registration is then valid from January 1 through December 31.
First time referees that register after July 1 can referee immediately after completion of certification until December 31 of the following calendar year.
All other referees that complete the registration and recertification process are valid only from January 1 to December 31 of the following calendar year.
All officials, instructors, assignors and assessors must register with U.S. Soccer annually to be eligible to work affiliated competitions and participate in the U.S. Soccer Federation Referee Program.
The cost, process and deadlines for registration vary depending on the State Referee Association where the referee registers. Contact information and a complete list of the 55 State Referee Associations can be found by clicking here.
State Referee Associations support the U.S. Soccer Federation Referee Program at the local level and should be the first point of contact for all new and existing referees looking for specific information and details on the registration process.
Each referee should receive an official referee registration card, badge and Laws of the Game book. These will either be distributed by U.S. Soccer or by the State Referee Association, depending on the state of registration. The specific badge and book you receive depends on your grade. Referees should contact their State Referee Administrator or State Youth Referee Administrator with any specific questions related to the distribution of materials.
Registrants who have completed their registration for the current year can purchase replacement or additional badges online by clicking here. Note that a maximum of two replacement badges can be ordered per year per USSF ID Number.
Registrants who wish to download a copy of the current liability certificate can click here.
LAPSES IN REGISTRATION
All officials, instructors, assignors and assessors are required to be registered for the current year prior to being involved with any U.S. Soccer affiliated match or U.S. Soccer Federation Referee Program activity. Any referee that has missed one or more years of registration should contact his or her State Referee Association to confirm the recertification or certification requirements that need to be met.
U.S. Soccer recommends the following:
- Any individual being away from the program for 4 years or less should meet the established recertification requirements
- Any individual being away from the program for 5 or more years should meet the established certification requirements
- Grade 16 State Emeritus
- Grade 15 State Emeritus
- Grade 14 National Emeritus
- Grade 13 Professional Emeritus
The purpose of Emeritus status is to allow those officials who have reached State Referee or higher to retire from the game at the highest referee grade they attained. It may not be used to circumvent any registration, certification or recertification requirements mandated by U.S. Soccer or the State Referee Association.
To register as Emeritus, the official must submit a personal letter of intent to the State Referee Administrator who will then initiate the appropriate paperwork. The official must have held the corresponding referee grade in question for a minimum of three years prior to the request. The three years do not have to be consecutive or immediately preceding the request for emeritus status.
Any official looking to remain active while registered as Emeritus must meet all registration and recertification requirements for the level they want to officiate.
Lifetime membership for the U.S. Soccer Federation Referee Program is available for those select individuals that have displayed a thorough dedication to the program. In addition to their contributions, nominees must also meet the following criteria:
- Minimum age of 60
- Registered with the program for 25 or more consecutive years
Note that above criteria is waived for any of the following:
- Recipients of the Eddie Pearson Award or the William Schofield Award
- Recipients of the U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame Meritorious Service Award if received for their contribution to the referee program
- Former FIFA panel officials
Nominations can be submitted to U.S. Soccer by State Referee Administrators or State Referee Committees. All nominations should be submitted in writing describing the nominee's contributions and include proof that the individual meets the above criteria.
Please note that lifetime membership is given to those who have made significant contributions to the referee program; meeting the above criteria does not guarantee lifetime membership. U.S. Soccer reviews and approves all nominations.
Active overseas military members may preserve their present referee grade or become a referee with our Overseas Branch by completing specified requirements. For instructions on these requirements, please click here. Current and former military are able to get reimbursed by the Veteran's Affairs for USSF registration fees.