Become a Referee

Step by Step--Become a Referee

On behalf of the Idaho Soccer Referee Committee, we are excited you are interested in becoming a United States Soccer Federation certified referee. This is the beginning of a journey that will be challenging, rewarding, and offer you skills that may impact your life on and off the field. We are glad you are standing at the beginning of the journey! On behalf of our State Referee Committee and our Idaho team of instructors and assessors (sometimes called referee coaches), please know we are here to help you attain your goals and help you become the best referee you can be. Contact us at reveland@idahoreferee.org with questions.

Step 1: Create a Profile at the US Soccer Learning Center website

  1. Go to the US Soccer Learning Center website US Soccer Learning Center where you can read about the path from your first day to refereeing the World Cup!
  2. Click “Sign-up” at the top and fill out the form. Then, be sure to click “Sign up now” at the bottom to finish up.
  3. If it recognizes you from coaching or anything else, it may ask you to confirm your information. If so, say “Yes” and update it please!

If you are over 18 you will need to complete a background Check prior to registering for any class

Complete the US Soccer NCSI Background Check which is valid for 2 years and costs an additional $30 payable. The check may take up to 10 days to complete and you can not register for the class until this comes back! So you should count on completing this at least 2 week prior to the class you wish to take.

Step 2: Sign-up for the Grassroots Online Course

  1. Register for a Grassroots In-Person Course and pay the $65 fee (which is reduced from 2018) This course is on a field with an Idaho instructor where you will practice what you have learned in the Grassroots Online Course and gain new skills so check-in 15 minutes before your course starts. Dress in clothes and shoes that allow you to run. Bring a whistle and water and note taking material. Current New Grassroots Courses Available
  2. Complete Grassroots Online Course under "Assignments". This video-based course that will teach you many of the Laws of the Game and test your knowledge as you go. You will need to complete 100% of this prior to attending the Grassroots In-Person Course. Estimated time to completion is about 5 hours, but you can stop and come back later
  3. Complete all other "Assignments" prior to attending the In-Person class.

If you are 18 years old or above, you have an additional assignment to must complete prior to attending your In-Person Course.

      • Complete SafeSport Training as this is a federal requirement for managing injuries. It is about 2 to 2/12 hours in length and is valid for 2 years.


Step 3: Download the Laws of the Game to Mobile Device

Go to IFAB Laws of the Game It is helpful to bring this device to your course and keep it with you when you referee. Hard copies are available for purchase, but nearly everyone uses a digital version now.

Step 4: Get Referee Gear

The Learning Center provides a list of the equipment you will need in the Resources section of your Grassroots In-Person course.

At your In-Person course, Idaho referees will receive a yellow jersey to wear after you successfully complete your course. You may wear it as your main jersey if you referee youth games the first year you referee.

Other jerseys for out-of-state or adult games, plus whistles, cards, etc., can be borrowed from a friend, donated from a retired referee, or purchased from a local vendor, online vendor, or Official Sports who is US Soccer’s official provider for referees.

We suggest Starter Kits that contain what you need in a more affordable manner but remember, the yellow shirt provided by Idaho is fine for all youth games.

Step 5: Begin refereeing

Contact a local referee assignor in your area or contact a local league or club and they will connect you with the referee coordinator. If you are unsure who the assignors are, do one of the following:

  • Check the Library section of the Learning Center.
  • Visit with your instructor for advice at your In-Person course.