Soccer Referee Training: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

How old do I have to be to become a referee?

The Maryland State Instructional Staff recommends that students be at least 13 years old before starting the class.

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

Pre-registration helps organizers plan for the appropriate class size.  Email the “Contact” for the course to register and to verify details of that course.

What do I need to bring to class?

Standard note taking materials.  A Law Book (rules) and other materials are provided at the first class.  Individual instructors may provide hand-outs.

When are entry-level referee courses held?

Typically in Maryland, courses convene before the Spring and Fall seasons: January-March and July-August.  Courses will be posted on Maryland Referee website (www.marylandreferees.com) when scheduled.

How long does it take to become a referee?

The Grade 8 referee course is 16 hours of instruction plus testing (~2 hours).  This may be one weekend or spread over several weeks.  Review of online material maybe required for some  courses. Some organizations also hold a Field Practice, about 1/2-day.

Do I have to attend all classes?  What if I miss a session?

Yes! Students must attend the full course of instruction covering the 17 Laws (some laws maybe covered online), plus several other topics designed to teach you the basics of refereeing.  It may be possible to attend a session elsewhere with the permission of both  Lead Instructors, but the other class must be teaching the same material.

How much does it cost to become a referee?

  1. The Grade 8 Course Fee in Maryland is $35, paid online at the time of registration along with the USSF annual registration fee of $45.00.
  2. Basic uniform kits are available from several suppliers, though the cost may vary, but typically about $70.00.
  3. Local associations may also have a membership or assigning fee.  This is separate from the registration fee.

What is the test like?

The test is 50 questions True/False and Multiple Choice, plus 5 short answer questions.  The passing score is 80%.

How and when do I register with USSF?

After the exam, you will be asked to complete a registration form for USSF.  This registration is submitted through the Maryland (or state of residence) Referee Administrator.  Technically, you may work anywhere in the U.S. through a USSF assignor.  If you move to a different state, your registration will be transferred to that state.

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.

Can I use my parents’ e-mail?

No.  For game assignments, you must have your own individual e-mail and be responsible to accept or decline assignments.

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

It depends.  Different associations pay at different times. The referee association with whom you accept games will gladly explain to you their pay procedures.

Do I have to have the full referee uniform?

Yes, you must have a uniform before accepting any game assignments.  Uniform consists of a regulation jersey, shorts, and socks.  As a minimum you must have the primary jersey – gold with black pinstripes, black referee shorts, and black socks with three white stripes.  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 re-certify with USSF, which entails rules training, which may be a single session or several separate sessions totaling a minimum of 5 hours, and then take a recertification test.  In Maryland there is no cost for the clinic(s), but the annual registration fee with USSF is $45.00.

What about High School or Indoor Soccer games?

This course is only for USSF 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 or league/ facility for requirements for these games.


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

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