Certification, Re-Certification and Upgrading Requirements (2020)

U. S. Soccer has redefined various roles such as Referee Grade, Instructor Grade, etc. and the Certification, Recertification and as appropriate - Upgrade requirements for these roles.  In some roles / grades the State Referee Committee can implement requirements in excess of those set as minimums by U.S. Soccer.  Additionally, in the area of Training, the State Referee Committee can always have higher requirements than those from U.S. Soccer.

Below are the current Referee minimum requirements compared to those issued by U.S. Soccer.

Starting with Badge Year 2020, US Soccer has made significant changes to referee “Grades”. US Soccer has collapsed all referee Grades 9, 8 and 7 into “Grassroots”. Starting with 2020 certification or recertification, all these abandoned grades will be reported to US Soccer as Grassroots only.

Additionally, US Soccer has collapsed all referee Grades 6 & 5 into “Regional”. Starting with 2020 certification or recertification, all these abandoned grades will be reported to US Soccer as Regional only.

Please note: Events not sponsored or formally sanctioned by the State Referee Committee will not be considered as contributing to the Certification, Recertification and Upgrade process.  No exceptions to this policy will be considered.

Please note: For those Washington registered referees who were previously referee Grade 7, you will now be registered in WA only as Grassroots Advanced. This registration category is copied to the WA Arbiter 360 account and available to other assigning systems interfacing with www.WAReferees.org. Additionally, the process & requirements to upgrade (in WA only) to Grassroots Advanced remain unchanged.

Please note: For those Washington registered referees who were previously referee Grade 5, you will now be registered in WA only as Regional Advanced. This registration category is copied to the WA Arbiter 360 account and available to other assigning systems interfacing with www.WAReferees.org. Additionally, the process & requirements to maintain or upgrade (in WA Regional).

Please note:

  • Badge Year - US Soccer defines a Badge Year as running from Jan 01 thru Dec 31; that is – the year on the Badge. A registered Referee can use that Badge to be assigned USSF games during that calendar year.
  • Registration / Recertification “Year” - The registration period for a given Badge Year is offset by 6 months ahead, running between Jul 01 and Jun 30.
  • Example (1): Training taken between Jul 01, and Jun 30, is *valid only for Badge Year Registration.
  • Example (2): Training taken between Jul 01, and Jun 30, is *valid only for Badge Year Registration.

1. Referee Grassroots, Regional and National Emeritus (2020)

Certification Requirements
USSF Description Officiates grassroots games (youth and adult competitions) in small-sided 7v7, 9v9, and/or 11v11 outdoor fields. Works primarily with Grassroots Referees (new or experienced). Facilitates games for grassroots players (youth and adult). Collaborates with coaches with diverse backgrounds (new and experienced coaches, volunteers, etc.) to ensure player safety and responsible spectator behavior.
2019-20 USSF Grassroots Referee Profile
Grassroots Certification Requirements (New Referee)
Criteria WASRC USSF
Age The SRC recommends Age 14 but allows exceptions to be made locally to meet the referee community needs USSF requires Age 13 at time of registration
Enrollment Course Registration via WA system Course Registration
Previous Game Experience None NA
Previous Certification None NA
Training On-Line and On-Field Experience via WA system On-Line and On-Field Experience
Safety and Compliance SafeSport Trained, Safe Soccer Training and Background Check (18 yrs. and older) via WA system SafeSport Trained, Safe Soccer Training and Background Check (18 yrs. and older)
Laws of the Game Quiz On-line - Grassroots Quiz via WA system On-line - Grassroots Quiz
Fitness Test Same Not Required for Certification
May be Required for High End Tournaments (e.g. State Cup, Regionals)
Practical Evaluation None Not Applicable
Grassroots Re-Certification Rquirements (Returning Referee)
Enrollment Course Registration via WA system Course Registration
Training On-Line via WA system On-Line
Safety and Compliance SafeSport Trained, Safe Soccer Training and Background Check (18 yrs. and older) via WA system SafeSport Trained, Safe Soccer Training and Background Check (18 yrs. and older)
Laws of the Game Quiz On-line - Grassroots Quiz via WA system On-line - Grassroots Quiz
Fitness Test Same Not Required for Re-Certification
May be Required for High End Tournaments (e.g. State Cup, Regionals)
Practical Evaluation None Not Applicable
Please Note - SRC selection for Assignments to State Cup games / Tournaments / Out-of-State events / etc., Referees will often be based on a review of the referee's "Portfolio". Click on the following link to find what the SRC considers as part of a referee's Portfolio: SRC Portfolio Guidelines

2. Referee Grassroots Advanced (2020)

Grassroots Advanced Certification Requirements (Upgrade)
Criteria WASRC USSF
Age 18 years old or older Not recognized by USSF
Previous Game Experience Classroom priority will be given to those with verifiable adult game experience Not recognized by USSF
Previous Grade Experience Grassroots Referee Not recognized by USSF
Training Complete the Online Adult Lessons and a Classroom (~5 hour) Adult Upgrade Course Not recognized by USSF
Grassroots Advanced Re-Certification Requirements (Returning Referee)
Age 18 years old or older Not Applicable
Enrollment Course Registration via WA system Course Registration
Training On-Line via WA system On-Line
Safety and Compliance SafeSport Trained, Safe Soccer Training and Background Check via WA system SafeSport Trained, Safe Soccer Training and Background Check
Laws of the Game Quiz On-line - Grassroots Quiz via WA system On-line - Grassroots Quiz
Fitness Test Same Not Required for Re-Certification
May be Required for High End Tournaments (e.g. State Cup, Regionals)
Practical Evaluation None Not Applicable
Please Note - SRC selection for Assignments to State Cup games / Tournaments / Out-of-State events / etc., Referees will often be based on a review of the referee's "Portfolio". Click on the following link to find what the SRC considers as part of a referee's Portfolio: SRC Portfolio Guidelines

3. Referee Regional (2020)

USSF Description Actively lead the referee team in a pre-game conference and in conducting pre-game inspections (the field of play, the game ball, and the player’s equipment). Actively participate with the referee team in checking the rosters and checking-in players and coaches. Connect with coaches & players via check-in, pre-game conference, and/or coin toss. Actively participate with the referee team in a group and individual warmup prior to the game.
2019-20 USSF Regional Referee Profile
Regional Certification Requirements (Upgrade)
Criteria WASRC USSF
Personal Conduct Regional referee candidates must be in good standing with the SRC concerning USSF and SRC expected conduct and ethics on the field, off the field, in public and in all forms of communication. None
Age Same Minimum of 18 years old
Enrollment Course Registration via WA system Course Registration
Previous Game Experience Same 50 Games as a Referee and 25 Games as an Assistant Referee at Local Adult Amateur Level
Previous Certification Minimum of Three (3) Consecutive Years as a Grassroots Referee including a Minimum of One (1) Year as a WA Grassroots Advanced Referee Minimum of Three (3) Consecutive Years as a Grassroots Referee
Training Regional Referee Course and On-Field Experience via WA System (includes On-Line) Regional Referee Course and On-Field Experience
Safety and Compliance SafeSport Trained, Safe Soccer Training and Background Check via WA system SafeSport Trained, Safe Soccer Training and Background Check
Laws of the Game Quiz On-Line - Regional Quiz via WA system On-Line - Regional Quiz
Fitness Test Sprint/Interval Test (FIFA Women's Referee Test) Male - Category 1 / Female - Category 3. Note: WA will be phasing out the “college” fitness test for 45+ Sprint/Interval Test (FIFA Women's Referee Test) Male - Category 1 / Female - Category 3
Practical Evaluation Same as USSF plus one "self-reported" official assessment as AR.
Note: “as a Referee” means no Assistant Referee Evaluations. Contact WA’s SDA for what qualifies as “at Highest Youth (U18 or U19)”
Minimum of 3 Passing Evaluations as a Referee
2 at Adult Amateur Level & 1 at Highest Youth (U18 or U19) - 2 x 45 minute half
Evaluations Must Be Done by 3 Different Referee Coaches
SDA Notes *** Note *** A passing fitness result in the last 12 months is required prior to requesting Upgrade Assessment

*** Note *** “Pass” means both at the field and following SDA review.
  1. Adult game must be USASA affiliated, WAISOA assigned Men's, or assigned by USSF, PRO or FIFA
  2. Youth games must be either State Youth Cup Semi, Final, Regional League or assigned by USSF, PRO or FIFA. Note: Locally assigned youth games do NOT qualify
  3. Assessments are valid for 12 months
  4. All referee assessments must be requested and approved (assigned) in advance via www.WAReferees.org website
  5. Exceptions, by request, might be made for referee assessments done at USSF sponsored and similar events
  6. Assessor must enter Referee Assessment in USSF's Assessment System and WAReferees. Assessments are then reviewed by the SDA for approval.
  7. Any game not considered as meeting the sufficient test / rateable game criteria will be recorded in WAReferees as Developmental and will not count toward assessment requirements. Referees will then have to request and pay for another assessment.
  8. AR assessment must be a "Pass", entered into USSF's Assessment System and considered as meeting the sufficient test / rateable game criteria
Note: Said differently, the requesting referee bears the financial burden if requesting assessments on games that are then determined by the assessor to be not a sufficient test / rateable.
Regional Re-Certification Requirements (Returning Referee)
Personal Conduct Regional referee candidates must be in good standing with the SRC concerning USSF and SRC expected conduct and ethics on the field, off the field, in public and in all forms of communication None
Age Same Minimum of 18 years old
Enrollment Course Registration via WA system Course Registration
Training Regional Referee Course and On-field Experience via WA system (includes On-Line) Regional Referee Course and On-field Experience
Safety and Compliance SafeSport Trained, Safe Soccer Training and Background Check via WA system SafeSport Trained, Safe Soccer Training and Background Check
Laws of the Game Quiz On-line – Regional Quiz via WA system On-line – Regional Quiz
Fitness Test Sprint/Interval Test (FIFA Women's Referee Test) Male - Category 1 / Female - Category 3. Note: WA will be phasing out the “college” fitness test for 45+ Sprint/Interval Test (FIFA Women's Referee Test) Male - Category 1 / Female - Category 3
Practical Evaluation Same as USSF plus one "self-reported" official assessment as AR.
Note: “as a Referee” means no Assistant Referee Evaluations. Contact WA’s SDA for what qualifies as “at Highest Youth (U18 or U19)”
Two (2) Passing Evaluations as a Referee. One at the Adult Amateur Level One at the Highest Youth Level (U18 or U19) 2 x 45 minute half
Evaluations Must Be Done by 2 Different Referee Coaches
SDA Notes *** Note *** A passing fitness result in the last 12 months is required prior to requesting Upgrade Assessment

*** Note *** “Pass” means both at the field and following SDA review.
  1. Adult game must be USASA affiliated, WAISOA assigned Men's, or assigned by USSF, PRO or FIFA
  2. Youth games must be either State Youth Cup Semi, Final, Regional League or assigned by USSF, PRO or FIFA. Note: Locally assigned youth games do NOT qualify
  3. Assessments are valid for 12 months
  4. All referee assessments must be requested and approved (assigned) in advance via www.WAReferees.org website
  5. Exceptions, by request, might be made for referee assessments done at USSF sponsored and similar events
  6. Assessor must enter Referee Assessment in USSF's Assessment System and WAReferees. Assessments are then reviewed by the SDA for approval.
  7. Any game not considered as meeting the sufficient test / rateable game criteria will be recorded in WAReferees as Developmental and will not count toward assessment requirements. Referees will then have to request and pay for another assessment.
  8. AR assessment must be a "Pass", entered into USSF's Assessment System and considered as meeting the sufficient test / rateable game criteria
Note: Said differently, the requesting referee bears the financial burden if requesting assessments on games that are then determined by the assessor to be not a sufficient test / rateable.
Please Note - SRC selection for Assignments to State Cup games / Tournaments / Out-of-State events / etc., Referees will often be based on a review of the referee's "Portfolio". Click on the following link to find what the SRC considers as part of a referee's Portfolio: SRC Portfolio Guidelines

4. Referee Regional Advanced (2020)

Regional Advanced Certification Requirements (Upgrade)
Criteria WASRC USSF
Personal Conduct State referee candidates must be in good standing with the SRC concerning USSF and SRC expected conduct and ethics on the field, off the field, in public and in all forms of communication. Not Recognized by USSF
Upgrade Review Upon apparent completion of all upgrade requirements, the upgrade request is reviewed by members of the WASRC. Should the review members have specific concerns of any kind, these concerns will have to be resolved before the upgrade is granted / recognized by the WASRC Not Recognized by USSF
Previous Game Experience 50 Adult Division 1 or above Games as a Referee AND
25 Adult Division 1 or above Games as an Assistant Referee
Not Recognized by USSF
Previous Certification Minimum of 1 year as a State/Regional or above Referee Not Recognized by USSF
Training Complete the Online Regional Referee Course only through links on this website, plus attend the Grassroots Advanced to Regional Upgrade Course OR be a Presenter at the Grassroots Advanced to Regional Upgrade Clinic Not Recognized by USSF
Safety and Compliance SafeSport Trained, Safe Soccer Training and Background Check via WA system SafeSport Trained, Safe Soccer Training and Background Check
Laws of the Game Quiz On-line – Regional Quiz via WA system On-line – Regional Quiz
Fitness Test Same Sprint/Interval Test (FIFA Women's Referee Test) Male - Category 1 / Female - Category 3
Practical Evaluation Same as USSF plus one "self-reported" official assessment as AR.
Note: “as a Referee” means no Assistant Referee Evaluations. Contact WA’s SDA for what qualifies as “at Highest Youth (U18 or U19)”
Two (2) Passing Evaluations as a Referee. One at the Adult Amateur Level. One at the Highest Youth Level (U18 or U19) 2 x 45 minute half Evaluations Must Be Done by 2 Different National Referee Coaches
SDA Notes *** Note *** A passing fitness result in the last 12 months is required prior to requesting Upgrade Assessment

*** Note *** “Pass” means both at the field and following SDA review.
  1. Contact WA’s SDA for what qualifies as an Adult game
  2. Contact WA’s SDA for what qualifies as a Youth game
  3. Assessments are valid for 12 months
  4. All referee assessments must be requested and approved (assigned) in advance via www.WAReferees.org website
  5. Exceptions, by request, might be made for referee assessments done at USSF sponsored and similar events
  6. Assessor must enter Referee Assessment in USSF's Assessment System and WAReferees. Assessments are then reviewed by the SDA for approval.
  7. Any game not considered as meeting the sufficient test / rateable game criteria will be recorded in WAReferees as Developmental and will not count toward assessment requirements. Referees will then have to request and pay for another assessment.
  8. AR assessment must be a "Pass", entered into USSF's Assessment System and considered as meeting the sufficient test / rateable game criteria
Note: Said differently, the requesting referee bears the financial burden if requesting assessments on games that are then determined by the assessor to be not a sufficient test / rateable.
Regional Advanced Re-Certification Requirements (Returning Referee)
Personal Conduct Recertifying Regional Advanced referees must be in good standing with the SRC concerning USSF and SRC expected conduct and ethics on the field, off the field, in public and in all forms of communication Not Recognized by USSF
Recertification Review Upon apparent completion of all recertification requirements, the upgrade request is reviewed by members of the WASRC. Should the review members have specific concerns of any kind, these concerns will have to be resolved before the upgrade is granted / recognized by the WASRC Not Recognized by USSF
Training
  1. Complete the Online State Referee Recertification training materials and embedded Recertification Test(s) with a score of 80% or better from the www.WAReferees.org website.
  2. Annual attendance at one or more “State (such as Pro or RDA clinics), “Regional” (such as Presidents Cup or Far West Regionals) or “USSF ID (such as DA Showcase) events is expected.
Not Recognized by USSF
Safety and Compliance SafeSport Trained, Safe Soccer Training and Background Check via WA system SafeSport Trained, Safe Soccer Training and Background Check
Laws of the Game Quiz On-line – Regional Quiz via WA system On-line – Regional Quiz
Fitness Test Same Sprint/Interval Test (FIFA Women's Referee Test) Male - Category 1 / Female - Category 3
Practical Evaluation Same as USSF plus one "self-reported" official assessment as AR.
Note: “as a Referee” means no Assistant Referee Evaluations. Contact WA’s SDA for what qualifies as “at Highest Youth (U18 or U19)”
Two (2) Passing Evaluations as a Referee. One at the Adult Amateur Level. One at the Highest Youth Level (U18 or U19) 2 x 45 minute half Evaluations Must Be Done by 2 Different National Referee Coaches
SDA Notes *** Note *** A passing fitness result in the last 12 months is required prior to requesting Upgrade Assessment

*** Note *** “Pass” means both at the field and following SDA review.
  1. Contact WA’s SDA for what qualifies as an Adult game
  2. Contact WA’s SDA for what qualifies as a Youth game
  3. Assessments are valid for 12 months
  4. All referee assessments must be requested and approved (assigned) in advance via www.WAReferees.org website
  5. Exceptions, by request, might be made for referee assessments done at USSF sponsored and similar events
  6. Assessor must enter Referee Assessment in USSF's Assessment System and WAReferees. Assessments are then reviewed by the SDA for approval.
  7. Any game not considered as meeting the sufficient test / rateable game criteria will be recorded in WAReferees as Developmental and will not count toward assessment requirements. Referees will then have to request and pay for another assessment.
  8. AR assessment must be a "Pass", entered into USSF's Assessment System and considered as meeting the sufficient test / rateable game criteria
Note: Said differently, the requesting referee bears the financial burden if requesting assessments on games that are then determined by the assessor to be not a sufficient test / rateable.
Please Note - SRC selection for Assignments to State Cup games / Tournaments / Out-of-State events / etc., Referees will often be based on a review of the referee's "Portfolio". Click on the following link to find what the SRC considers as part of a referee's Portfolio: SRC Portfolio Guidelines

5. Referee - Late and Lapsed Recertification Criteria (2020)

Categories Any referee who has not registered for the next calendar year with the U.S. Soccer Federation through the Washington State Referee Committee (WASRC) before January 01 is considered:
Late On January 1, are registered for the previous calendar year but have NOT recertified for the current calendar year, that is – are recertifying AFTER December 31.
  1. Late referees cannot be assigned to or work any games until they have recertified based on the WASRC published current year recertification requirements.
  2. Late referees have from January 01 until about June 20 to complete the recertification requirements. Once recertified, they may referee immediately
  3. The WASRC may add "late" administrative fees in addition to the normal WASRC and USSF recertification fees.
  4. Late recertifying referees will be registered for the current calendar year only.
  5. Late referees NOT recertified before July 01 move to the category - Lapsed
Lapsed On July 1, are NOT registered for the previous calendar year.
  1. Lapsed referees cannot be assigned to or work any games until they have recertified based on the WASRC published current year recertification requirements.
  2. Lapsed referees may start / finish the recertification process as early as July 01.
Process -
Late
  1. Grassroots, Grassroots Advanced and Emeritus Referees will be registered at the grade previously held after successfully fulfilling all of the grade specific WASRC published recertification requirements published for that year.
  2. Regional and Regional Advanced Referees can only be initially registered as Grassroots Advanced or Emeritus [if qualified] after successfully fulfilling all of the grade specific WASRC published recertification requirements published for that year. Once registered at Grassroots Advanced or Emeritus they may then regain Regional or Regional Advanced after successfully fulfilling all the appropriate WASRC published recertification requirements published for that year for Regional or Regional Advanced. There will be additional fees for this process.
Process -
Lapsed 1-2 Years
  1. Referees previously registered as Grassroots, Grassroots Advanced and Emeritus Referees will be registered at the grade previously held after successfully fulfilling all of the grade specific WASRC published recertification requirements published for that year or by completing the New Grassroots requirements published for that year. However, recertification material may not be available until mid to late October and completing the New Grassroots requirements may be the only option available to recertify for the fall season.
  2. Referees previously registered as Regional or Regional Advanced Referees can only be initially registered as Grassroots Advanced or Emeritus [if qualified] after successfully fulfilling all of the grade specific WASRC published recertification requirements published for that year or by completing the New Grassroots requirements published for that year. However, recertification material may not be available until mid to late October and completing the New Grassroots requirements may be the only option available to recertify for the fall season.

    Once registered at Grassroots Advanced or Emeritus they may then regain Regional or Regional Advanced after successfully fulfilling all the appropriate WASRC published recertification requirements published for that year for Regional or Regional Advanced. There will be additional fees for this process.
Process -
Lapsed 3+ Years
  1. Referees previously registered as any Grade - Referees will initially be registered as Grassroots after meeting all the WASRC published requirements for New Referee certification.
  2. Referees previously registered as Grassroots Advanced, Regional, Regional Advanced or Emeritus Referees can only be initially registered as Grassroots after successfully meeting all the WASRC published requirements for New Referee certification. Once registered as Grassroots they may then regain Grassroots Advanced, Regional, Regional Advanced or Emeritus after successfully fulfilling all the appropriate WASRC published recertification requirements published for that year for the previously held Grade. There may be additional fees for this process.

SRC Portfolio Guidelines

SRC selection for Assignments to State Cup games / Tournaments / Out-of-State events / etc., Referees will often be based on a review of the referee's "Portfolio". Click on the following link to find what the SRC considers as part of a referee's Portfolio: SRC Portfolio Guidelines