How do I get trained to be a soccer referee?

The United States Soccer Federation (USSF) has two entry level training courses, Grade 8 and Grade 9. A Grade 9 referee is certified to do small sided games and Assistant Referee (AR) on games up to U14. Becoming a Grade 8 referee is the best option. A Grade 8 referee is certified to referee and AR all games up to U19 as well as adult matches.

Where do I find referee training classes?

Check the Washington State Referee website at

How do I get games?

Contact our Referee Assignor at if you are interested in refereeing games for Marysville.

What does MYSC expect from me?

The league "hires" you to do a job for us. It should be approached by you no differently than any other job. You are expected to -

  1. Communicate your availability to your assignor.
  2. Show up on time (at least 1/2 hour before your first game).
  3. Inform the assignor immediately if you cannot show up for a game..
  4. Wear the proper uniform.
  5. Act like you want to be there and give both teams their money's worth.
  6. Maintain a courteous and professional manner.
  7. Fill out all necessary paperwork completely and legibly and turn in promptly.

What uniform is required?

The basic uniform required of all referees is:

  1. Shorts (black referee shorts, not soccer shorts)
  2. Proper Referee Jersey - TUCKED IN! (yellow, black, red, blue or green)
  3. Referee 3 stripe Socks or USSF logo socks
  4. Predominantly Black shoes
  5. Current Badge (given upon the completion of the USSF training course or recertification)

What about other equipment?

Referees will also need a set of yellow/red cards, whistle, watch and a set of AR flags.

What else might I have to purchase?

The most common purchases are additional jerseys of different colors and sleeve length, because the referee must wear a different color jersey from the players. A bag to hold all of your gear is also nice.

What is the difference between the AR and the Center Ref?

The Assistant Referee has responsibility to call offside, ball in and out of play, and can assist the referee with fouls and game/player management. The Center referee has full responsibility for the safety and flow of the game, and enforcement of all of the Laws of the Game.

What happens if I can't do a game?

Let the referee assignor know as soon as possible. Things do come up, schedules change. However, it is not fair to the teams to have referees not show up for a match, and not fair to the assignor to not give them notice that you can't make it. NOTE: NO-SHOW FINES ARE ASSESSED TO REFEREES AT 1 ½ TIMES THE PARTICULAR GAME FEE.

What happens if I miss a foul or an offside?

Nobody has ever called a perfect game. All that anyone can ask is that you do your best and continue to develop your skills. Matching the level of game with your experience and fitness level will help this process.

What about the screaming parents/coaches?

It is unfortunate that some spectators/coaches get out of hand. Remember that there are many factors involved in their behavior; work problems, family problems, and life problems. Don't take any criticism personally. Youth sports referees have an enormously high turnover rate so we all need to work together to remedy the problems with overly anxious spectators/coaches. There are Zero Tolerance rules for the referee to deal with this situation if required. REPORT COACH AND OR SIDELINE CONCERNS TO DEE WHITE as soon as possible.

What about weather cancellations?

It is the referee's responsibility to check for weather related problems. When make-up games are rescheduled, different referees may be used on the make-up game.

How often should I check my email?
During soccer season, especially when there are weather problems and lots of make-up games, you should check your email at least once each day.

What resources are available to me? is the main website for information and games for North County Referees (which we are all part of). All Marysville referees should register on this site to at least insure your certification information is up to date each year and available to the assignors.

You can also check out these websites for other resources and discussions on refereeing - or

What opportunities are there to referee?

MYSC has a Fall league and there are summer tournaments. League games are played on weekends from 9 am to 5 pm. Summer tournaments often run from Thursday through Sunday.

What are the age requirements?
Currently there is no minimum age for a Grade 8 certification . MYSC recommends that the referee be at least 13 years old before they attend the Entry Level Clinic. A good rule of thumb is for beginning center referees to be at least 2 years older than the players. However, this will vary with referee experience and ability.

What are the fitness requirements?
Fitness requirements do not come into play until Grade 8 referees upgrade to a Grade 7. However, it is incumbent upon the referee to be in shape for the level of game that they accept. Obviously, there are major differences between U-19 boys and U-10 girls. These include size of the field, duration of the match and pace of play. A wise person once said "Stay in shape to referee-don't referee to stay in shape."

How do I find the fields?

Click here for a link to our fields.

Do I report the score of the game?

Our U6 through U10 games do not keep score and there are no standings; however, you should get used to keeping score on these games so you are ready when you begin doing U11 and older games. The referee is not responsible for reporting any league scores for U11 and up. It is recommended that the referee keep their own score cards through the season in case a match score is questioned.

How do you know what games I do to get paid for?

The Referee is responsible for keeping track of games they officiate. You can then compare this to your check when you receive it. If there is a difference, contact the assignor.

Can I do games with a friend or family member?
It is not common practice to place friends or family members together in the same match. However, this may happen at times.

Is there a referee development program?

Marysville has monthly referee training meetings from September through November. If you want additional mentoring, we will also provide that. Contact Angie Blankenship.