District II Referee Program

The District II Soccer Referee Administration site is an external site designed to be an information resource and to provide assistance to all referees no matter what their experience level. The Referee Administration site is where up-to-date information on referee assignments and clinics can be found.

Table of Content

What is a referee ?

You see them at all games. They are the three individuals carrying either a whistle or a flag. Their uniforms up were once black, but now referee fashions include gold, red and blue. They are the referees or more correctly the referee and the assistant referees. Referees are an integral part of the game of soccer. Their primary functions are to ensure that the laws of the game are followed and that the safety of the player is ensured. The duties of the referee are specific and carefully outlined.

The referee has the authority to:

  • Enforce the laws of the game
  • Apply the advantage of the game
  • Terminate a game if deemed necessary
  • Caution players guilty of misconduct or unsporting behavior
  • Stop the game for serious injury
  • Allow no person other than players and assistant referees to enter the field of play
  • Send a player off the field
  • Signal for the game to start after a stoppage of play
  • Decide whether all other conditions are appropriate for play including the ball, field of play, and player’s equipment

Referees are proud of their contribution to soccer and take their appointments seriously. Their basic requirements are: an understanding of the spirit and the letter of the laws; good physical condition; cooperation with fellow officials; personal flexibility that allows for a totally unemotional approach to all decisions despite experiencing the myriad of participant emotions during a typical game; and to make the game of soccer enjoyable to play and watch.

How to become a referee

So what does it take to become a referee? The first step is to sign up for an entry level clinic in your league or local area. Many USSF Grade 8 clinics are held throughout the year — with quite a number scheduled right before the spring season in February and March, and many more concentrated in the summer before soccer’s major fall season.
Earning your Grade 8 license requires attending 18 hours of instruction and testing, passing the final exam, and paying appropriate fees. Clinics are also occasionally held for USSF Grade 9 recreational referee licenses, which are primarily attended by youth referees who would like to referee U14 and younger recreational games within their league.

Referee Advancement

Obtaining your entry-level badge is just the start for many dedicated referees. Local leagues often provide mentoring and on-field observation for youth or newer adult referees.
District II offers informative clinics and instruction to help you better understand how the Laws should be interpreted and applied, and to improve your abilities in player management and foul recognition. District II also arranges a number of “fun runs” — typically in late summer and fall — to enable all referees of Grade 7 or above to pass their fitness tests and written tests for maintenance or upgrades.
The District II Soccer Referee Administration site has information of interest to the entire referee community — from scheduled fun runs and assignment opportunities to how to upgrade your license and there are even chat boards.

Latest Law Changes

The latest USSF memoranda, instructions, and advice to referees are available from the US Soccer Referee pages.