REFEREE FAQs

You can start the registration process anytime during the year. It all depends on when you, as an individual will have the time to officiate. Understanding the registration period and the time frame that your certification is valid to is key.

REGISTRATION YEAR REGISTRATION PERIOD OPENS REGISTRATION PERIOD CLOSES CERTIFICATION VALID FROM CERTIFICATION VALID TO
2018 July 1, 2017 June 14, 2018* Date Approved Dec 31, 2018
2019 July 1, 2018 June 14, 2019* Date Approved Dec 31, 2019
2020 July 1, 2019 June 14, 2020* Date Approved Dec 31, 2020
2021 July 1, 2020 June 14, 2021* Date Approved Dec 31, 2021

* Registration Period Close is strict to allow Cal South enough time to process your registration with the US Soccer Federation.

Both are entry level referee grades.  Grade 9 allows you to referee ONLY recreational youth matches. Many of these games may be done at volunteer base.

Grade 8 allows you to referee all youth games, competitive and recreational. Grade 8 referees usually get paid. Both have no minimum age requirements.

No.  Grade 9 and Grade 8 are simply the classifications that US Soccer Federation uses to designate the different level referees. Everyone starts as an entry level Grade 9 or Grade 8. For instructions on how to begin the process of becoming a referee click here.

You do not need to start as a Grade 9 to take the Grade 8. You choose where to start depending on your comfort level. As you gain more experience you have the option to try to qualify to upgrade to the next grade level after meeting requirements.

  • Grade 1 – FIFA Referee
  • Grade 2 – FIFA Assistant Referee
  • Grade 3 – National Referee
  • Grade 4 – National Assistant Referee
  • Grade 5 – State Referee
  • Grade 6 – State Referee
  • Grade 7 – Referee
  • Grade 8 – Referee
  • Grade 9 – Recreational Referee

New referees can get paid as an individual or as a team that officiates the game. Pay range can be anywhere from $1.30 to $1.50 per each minute of the game (for club games). The whole crew can then divide that earning. You will have to make sure to ask what the pay scale is for any league or association you choose to work for.

For season league games, cash is usually paid before each game by the league representative (Coach/ Team Manager). Referee associations usually pay the official for sanctioned tournament games.

For Cal South Cup Tournaments cash is paid to the Referee team by Team Administrators from each team before the start of each game.

A new referee will most likely not start as a center unless they have previous experience and confidence. Referee associations and leagues usually want to start a new referee as Assistant referees before setting them up as a center referee.

Once you are certified and have received your ID and badge it’s time to look for work. Referees have two avenues from which to obtain games.

1.) Join a referee association. Each association offers you additional training and support. They will have a referee assignor who will ask about your availability to then send you out to games. For our list of referee associations please click here.
2.) Contact your local league to see if they have their own pool of referees. Ask about any requirements as some might ask you to volunteer a few games prior to beginning to get paid or offer certification payment  reimbursement.

To find local leagues click here.

If you lose your badge you can order a replacement at a $5 cost. That can be paid by check made out to Cal South. In the memo line please write “Badge Replacement for (referee’s name)”.

Every official needs to make sure to receive 5 hours of continual training in order to recertify the following year. Trainings are offered by referee associations who each hold monthly lectures/meetings.

For the Referee Associations list click here.

Common Questions/Concerns:
Uniforms: Official Sports Flyer. Please click here for the standards.
Advice to Parents of New Referees: Please click here for video
Advice to New Referees Documents: Please review this document