Official site of the

Kentucky Soccer Referee Association

New Referee Levels Explained

Licenses are issued by U.S. Soccer for the calendar year (Jan-Dec). If a referee's initial license is issued between July and December, that year's license will be valid for the remainder of that year through December 31st of the following year. Referees recertify completely online. All course registrations, background checks, online coursework, and licenses are issued through the U.S. Soccer Learning Center. Referees are independent contractors and can work for any U.S. Soccer licensed assignor in the country. More information on new referees and hosting courses can be found here. 
Old System Referee Level Old System Requirements New System Referee Level New System Requirements
9 - Recreational Referee - No minimum age
- Complete online coursework in GameOfficials (group 1280)
- Attend 8 hour classroom session
- Pass written certification exam
Grassroots Referee - Must be 13 or older to register
- Those 18 and older must pass background check in system before being able to register (10-14 days needed for processing)
- Complete online coursework (includes SafeSport and Safe Soccer Training along with Grassroots Quiz) (approx. 4.5 hours) (MUST BE COMPLETED BEFORE COMPLETED BEFORE ATTENDING GRASSROOTS ON-FIELD EXPERIENCE)
- Attend and pass Grassroots On-field Experience (involves running on field, whistle needed) (Must Attend entire session)
- While a fitness test is not required for licensure, it could be required by a competition authority (ex. league or tournament)
8 - Competitive Referee - No minimum age
- Attend 8 hour classroom session
- Pass written certification exam
Grassroots Referee
7 - Adult Referee Not available for entry level Grassroots Referee

Recertifying Referees
Unlike in the past, all recertifying referees will register for recertification courses through U.S. Soccer's Learning Center instead of through GameOfficials. All course registrations, background checks, online coursework, and licenses are issued through the U.S. Soccer Learning Center. Grassroots Referee recertifications are completed completely online. Regional Referees have additional requirements.
Old System Referee Level Old System Requirements New System Referee Level New System Requirements
9 - Recreational Referee - Complete online coursework in GameOffiicals (group 1280) Grassroots Referee - Must be 13 or older to register (no grandfather clause)
- Those 18 and older must pass background check in system before being able to register (10-14 days needed for processing)
- Complete online coursework (includes SafeSport and Safe Soccer Training along with Grassroots Quiz) (approx. 4.5 hours)
- While a fitness test is not required for licensure, it could be required by a competition authority (ex. league or tournament)
8 - Competitive Referee - Complete online coursework in GameOffiicals (group 1280) Grassroots Referee
7 - Adult Referee - Complete online coursework in GameOffiicals (group 1280)
-  7+ required assessment, fitness test, and advanced recert course attendance
Grassroots Referee
6 - State Referee - Complete online coursework in GameOffiicals (group 1280)
- 2 assessments as a referee (1 adult and 1 youth game over U17 / must be assessed by State Assessors or higher)
- pass FIFA Fitness Test (9.0 sec high intensity test & 45/45 interval test)
- attend advanced recertification course
Regional Referee - Must complete a Regional Referee Course and Regional Referee On-field Experience
- Pass a background check through the U.S. Soccer Learning Center (10-14 days needed for processing prior to course enrollment)
- Through the U.S. Soccer Learning Center, register, attend, and pass a Regional Referee Course and Regional Referee On-field Experience (online coursework will include SafeSport and Safe Soccer Training)
- Pass On-line - Regional Quiz (within the Learning Center)
- Pass the Sprint/Interval Test (FIFA Women's Referee Test)
[Male - Category 1 / Female - Category 3]- Two(2) Passing Evaluations as a Referee - one at the adult amateur level and one at the highest youth level (U18 or U19) 2 x 45 minute half. Evaluations must be done by 2 different referee coaches (formerly called assessors)
5 - State Referee - Complete online coursework in GameOffiicals (group 1280)
- 3 assessments as a referee (1 adult and 1 youth game over U17 / must be assessed by National Assessors)
- pass FIFA Fitness Test (9.0 sec high intensity test & 45/45 interval test)
- attend advanced recertification course
Regional Referee
15 - State Referee Emeritus - Complete online coursework in GameOffiicals (group 1280) Regional Referee Emeritus - Must be at least 45 years old
- Must pass a background check through the U.S. Soccer Learning Center (10-14 days needed for processing prior to course enrollment)

- Through the U.S. Soccer Learning Center, complete all online coursework (includes SafeSport and Safe Soccer Training along with Regional Quiz) (approx. 4.5 hours)
13 - National Referee Emeritus - Complete online coursework in GameOffiicals (group 1280) National Referee Emeritus - Must pass a background check through the U.S. Soccer Learning Center (10-14 days needed for processing prior to course enrollment)
- Through the U.S. Soccer Learning Center, complete all online coursework (includes SafeSport and Safe Soccer Training along with National Quiz) (approx. 4.5 hours)
Upgrading/Downgrading Referees
Contact the State Referee Administrator (Chad Collins - chad.sra@kyreferee.com) if you are considering upgrading to, or downgrading from, Regional Referee or higher.
Old System Referee Level Old System Requirements New System Referee Level New System Requirements
6 - State Referee   Regional Referee - Must be at least 18 years old
- Must have a minimum of three (3) consecutive years as a Grassroots Referee
- Must submit a game log including the following to the State Referee Administrator: 50 Games as a Referee and 25 as an Assistant Referee at the local adult amateur level
- Pass a background check through the U.S. Soccer Learning Center (10-14 days needed for processing prior to course enrollment)
- Through the U.S. Soccer Learning Center, register, attend, and pass a Regional Referee Course and Regional Referee On-field Experience (online coursework will include SafeSport and Safe Soccer Training)
- Pass On-line - Regional Quiz (within the Learning Center)
- Pass the Sprint/Interval Test (FIFA Women's Referee Test)
[Male - Category 1 / Female - Category 3]
- Pass three (3) evaluations as a referee - two at the adult amateur level and one at the highest youth level (U18 or U19) 2 x 45 minute half. Evaluations must be done by three (3) different Regional Referee Coaches (formerly called State Assessors) or higher.
5 - State Referee   Regional Referee
15 - State Referee Emeritus   Regional Referee Emeritus - Must be at least 45 years old
- Must pass a background check through the U.S. Soccer Learning Center (10-14 days needed for processing prior to course enrollment)

- Through the U.S. Soccer Learning Center, complete all online coursework (includes SafeSport and Safe Soccer Training along with Regional Quiz) (approx. 4.5 hours)
13 - National Referee Emeritus   National Referee Emeritus - Must be at least 45 years old
- Must pass a background check through the U.S. Soccer Learning Center (10-14 days needed for processing prior to course enrollment)

- Through the U.S. Soccer Learning Center, complete all online coursework (includes SafeSport and Safe Soccer Training along with National Quiz) (approx. 4.5 hours)