Referee Development

Rise Programs  /  Referee Development

RISE SC offers the opportunity for interested affiliates to become a certified referee.

Previous playing experience is not required. To start refereeing, you must be at least 13 years or older and successfully complete all parts of a referee clinic to get certified. The purpose of the U.S. Soccer Referee Course is to prepare officials for the competitive youth game. Based on the level of training provided, U.S. Soccer recommends that these officials be assigned to the most appropriate age group and level to best serve the game and the referees.

Starting with the 2020 registration cycle (beginning July 1, 2019), U.S. Soccer will move from nine referee grades to five referee licenses. For more information, see: New Grassroots Referee Program

To get certified as a referee, you must:

  • Download the IFAB Laws of the Game app (via Apple App Store or Google Play) to get the latest rules.
  • Complete a self-paced online referee course through U.S. Soccer (about 4-5 hours)
  • Complete an in-person on-field training clinic (usually about 3 hours)
  • Pass the Grassroots Referee Certification Quiz
  • Complete a background check and Safe Sport training (if 18 years or older)

The online course does not need to be completed prior to attending the in-person clinic, though it is highly recommend that you do.

Future referees must complete all of the above to be registered with U.S. Soccer. This simple process offers a great opportunity to learn more about soccer while staying fit and making extra money.

Referee Clinic Schedule:

The online portion of the class can be done anytime on the US Soccer Learning Center for Referees. If you have a US Soccer Coaching license via the DCC (Digital Coaching Center), you can use the same registration.

To finish the certification process, you must participate in a short in-person clinic. The schedule of in-person clinics and registration can be found on the US Soccer Learning Center for Referees.

New referees in South Texas must register on the South Texas Soccer Referees website in order to be eligible for game assignments.

The clinic fees (about $80 in total) are eligible for reimbursement from RISE SC once a new referee has worked six games or more for the club.

Upcoming Clinics hosted by RISE:

Grassroots (First-time Referee) Course – No In-Person Field Session (through Apr 30th)

Due to COVID-19, the Grassroots licensing In-person field sessions are suspended through April 30th. However, STSR will still allow new referees to be certified without the In-Person Field Session and will help those referees find assignors in their area, once games resume, so they can receive training from working with experienced referees in games. Register using the link above!

If you are an adult that wants to attend a session that is scheduled to be start in the next few days, you need to do the following:

  • Register on the US Soccer Learning Center for Referees
  • Complete the forms and pay for the background check to be completed ($30). However, this can take up to 10 days and it won’t allow you to register for the course until this is completed, so there is a workaround
  • Email Rick Friedman (the STYSA Deputy Director of Instruction) at at least 48 hours in advance to get added to the class

Additional clinic dates and times hosted by other organizations can be found on the US Soccer Learning Center for Referees.

RISE normally hosts referee clinics every August and in January/February with additional clinics as needed.

Benefits to Refereeing:

  • Learning the laws and rules of the game
  • Be part of a networking circle that is just as passionate about soccer as you are
  • Flexible scheduling
  • Improve your communication and decision-making skills
  • Boost your income


Referees are paid by age group (length of game) and position (center/assistant). Certified referees can work games at RISE SC fields, as well as work games sanctioned by other US Soccer affiliated organizations. A center referee can earn from $25-$60 per game, while an assistant referee can earn $15-35 per game.

RISE will reimburse referees for the cost of the course once a minimum number of games have been refereed for games that the club sponsors (PDF, Rec, HYSA).

For more information or questions:

South Texas Soccer Referees
US Soccer Referee Program
US Soccer Learning Center for Referees

RISE SC Ref Assignor   /