Soccer Referee Training: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

Is there a minimum age?

In order 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 US Soccer’s Digital Learning Center – Approximately 4–5 hours
  • SafeSport Training (if you are 18 or older) – Approximately 2 hours
  • In-Person training session – Approximately 5 hours. These can be found on the Maryland Referee web site (https://marylandreferees.com/msr2/?page_id=21).

When are In-Person Grassroots referee courses held?

In Maryland, in-person courses convene before the Spring and Fall seasons.

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

You must register online in order to attend an in-person training session in Maryland. All online prerequisite work must be completed prior to attending the session.

How do I sign up to become a Grassroots Referee?

You can find a listing of In-Person training sessions on the Maryland Referee web site (https://marylandreferees.com/msr2/?page_id=21). Read over the instructions on this page and follow the link to find the most convenient location for you.

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

  • At least 2 full water bottles (more if temperatures warrant)
    • Clearly labeled with your name
    • No public water fountains will be available
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Materials necessary to take notes
    • Notebook/notepad and pen(s) and/or pencil(s) or
    • Electronic media (for note taking purposes only)
  • Healthy snacks

What to wear:

  • PPE (Mask and latex gloves)
    • Must be worn at all times when not participating in physical exertional activities
  • Sunscreen
  • Comfortable fitting clothes appropriate for outdoors
  • Comfortable shoes for use on the outdoor parking lot or field
  • Dress appropriately for the weather

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.

How much does it cost to become a referee?

The charge for the Grassroots Referee course is $80.00. 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 Referee Courses” page of the Maryland Referee web site (https://marylandreferees.com/msr2/?page_id=210). 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 (https://marylandreferees.com/msr2/?page_id=12). 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.  In Maryland there is no cost for the clinic(s). There is, however, an annual registration fee is $50.00.

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.