Soccer Referee Training: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

Is there a minimum age?

In order to register to become a US Soccer certified Grassroots Referee, you must be at least 13 years old.

How do I become a certified Grassroots Referee?

To become a US Soccer certified Grassroots Referee, you must complete the following:

  • Online training through the US Soccer Learning Center – Approximately 4.5 hours.
  • Additional online lessons within OMS (Registration/education site).
  • In-Person training session – Approximately 5 hours. These can be found on the Maryland Referee web site (Grassroots Referee Field Sessions | (marylandreferees.com).

When are In-Person Field Sessions for newly certifying Grassroots Referees held?

In Maryland, in-person field sessions are held throughout the year across the state; however there are an abundance of sessions just before the Spring and Fall seasons.

Do I need to pre-register to attend the course?

You must register for and complete all of the online prerequisite lessons. Once you have completed all of these lessons, you can pick a field training session to attend.

How do I sign up to become a Grassroots Referee?

Step-by-step instructions can be found on the Becoming a Grassroots Referee page.

What do I need to bring to the in-person session?

  • At least 2 full water bottles (more if temperatures warrant) – public drinking fountains may not be available
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Healthy snacks

What to wear:

  • Sunscreen
  • Comfortable fitting clothes appropriate for outdoors
  • Comfortable shoes for use on the outdoor parking lot or field
  • Dress appropriately for the weather – we will be outside for the entire session!

Do I have to complete all sections of the course? 

Yes. Students must complete the online training as well as the in-person session in order to become certified.

Where do I obtain the required COVID and Waiver Form?

The COVID Health Form and Waiver of Liability are available by Clicking Here.

How much does it cost to become a referee?

The charge for the Grassroots Referee course is $95.00. This includes the course fee, a Referee accessories kit (flags, cards, wallet, etc.), as well as the annual referee registration fee for US Soccer.

Can I get a refund if I change my mind after registering for the course?

The refund policy is clearly stated on the Grassroots Refund Policy  page of the Maryland Referee web site. You should read and understand this before registering.

How do I get assigned to referee games?

Upon completion of the referee course, it is your responsibility to contact the assignor for the areas in which you would like to work games.  A list of assignors is available on the Maryland Soccer Referee website – Assignors | (marylandreferees.com). This will be discussed in detail during your in-person training session.

Can I use my parents’ email address?

No.  Each registered referee must have a unique email address.

How do I get paid when I referee games and how much do I get paid?

Different associations pay at different times. The assignor for the referee association with whom you accept games will gladly explain to you their payment procedures.

Do I have to have the full referee uniform?

Yes. You must have a uniform before requesting any game assignments.  “Full referee uniform” consists of a regulation jersey, shorts, and socks.  At a minimum, you must have the primary jersey (gold with black pinstripes), black referee shorts, and black US Soccer Referee socks.  You may not substitute your team shorts or other non-regulation uniform items.  Remember, when you are wearing your uniform you are representing every referee in Maryland.  Act in a professional manner at all times.

Are there other requirements to be a referee?

Every year you must recertify with US Soccer. You can do this by attending a single session or several separate In-Service sessions totaling a minimum of 5 hours. In addition, you must pass a recertification exam.  The cost to recertify annually is $60.00.

What about High School or Indoor Soccer games?

This course is only for US Soccer referee registration. It is not high school, college, futsal, or indoor soccer.  These organizations have different rules and administrative procedures.  Contact the local referee organization, league or facility concerning requirements for these games.


Please note: This is a classroom/field setting and attendees are expected to act accordingly.  Private conversations, text messaging, sleeping, etc. are unacceptable.  Anyone participating in these activities will be asked to leave.