U.S. Soccer Teams Up with Members to Modernize Referee Development Nationwide

CHICAGO (June 14, 2019) – U.S. Soccer and its members will kick off a new era in referee development with the launch of the U.S. Soccer Learning Center and Online Grassroots Referee course on July 1.

The U.S. Soccer Learning Center will serve as a centralized platform for referees and state associations to manage and participate in all referee-related activities. Resources, such as the new Online Grassroots Referee course, on the new platform will also support the development of individual referees. The four-hour course will be a key component of the Grassroots Referee License in the new Referee Pathway and will deliver a high-quality educational experience to tens of thousands of new referees every year. Together, these tools will modernize referee development in the United States and provide all referees with greater support and access to development opportunities.

“The modern realities for our referees are changing,” says U.S. Soccer Director of Referee Development, Rick Eddy. “The game has evolved as have the responsibilities and expectations of referees in youth and adult amateur competitions. It is the responsibility of U.S. Soccer and the State Referee Committees to educate and prepare our referees to be successful.”

The Federation’s decision to invest heavily in online support solutions for referees was driven by a four-year member-led investigation into the on-the-ground realities of referees and the best ways to support them. Extensive program reviews, referee focus groups, task forces and committees identified a need for a clearer pathway for referees striving to reach the highest level, standardized requirements and procedures as well as greater support for the 97 percent of referees who officiate matches at the Grassroots level.

“This is truly an exciting day for our referees and members,” said U.S. Soccer Director of Referee Operations Dan Russell. “This new course experience was created by members, for members with the support of U.S. Soccer. This highlights the direction of the Federation and how we aim to work with members to improve the current state. That means more investment from U.S. Soccer, more collaboration among our members and partners and more support for our referees.”

The U.S. Soccer Learning Center will serve as the home for the new U.S. Soccer Referee Pathway. All courses, including the Online Grassroots Referee Course have been developed to align with the new pathway and will be administered through the Learning Center. Additionally, the Learning Center will serve as a home base for referees seeking educational and development opportunities, provide instructors and administrators the framework to deliver consistent, standardized communications, and will be available to all members free of charge.

Through the Learning Center, more referees will have access to high-quality education than ever before. U.S. Soccer partnered with e-learning specialists EY Nogginlabs to create its new cutting-edge online learning experience for referees. The Online Grassroots Referee Course will serve as the online component for the new Grassroots Referee License, allowing the in-person portion to focus on practical on-field learning. This combined educational approach ensures new referees have the competencies they need to succeed as Grassroots Referees or to continue climbing the new pathway.

The U.S. Soccer Learning Center and the Online Grassroots Referee Course will launch on July 1, 2019. Contact referee@ussoccer.org or visit ussoccer.com for additional information.