How do I become a referee?

Throughout the year the State Referee Committee, Referee Chairman and referees from around the area are asked the question, “How do I become a referee?” The answer is simple, attend and successfully complete a referee training program. North Texas and its’ member associations offer two entry level programs for individuals interested in becoming a referee. Let’s take a minute and discuss both options.

We will start with the Grade 9 Recreational Referee program. As a candidate, you must be 12 years old or older on, or before the clinic start date. Playing experience is desired. One will have a better chance of successful completion with a basic understanding of the game. Requirements to successfully complete the Grade 9 Recreational Referee program include 4 1/2 hrs of classroom instruction, a field session where you must demonstrate the lessons learned during the classroom, and a written exam that requires a score of 75 or better in order to pass the course. At the completion of the program you will register with North Texas and the United States Soccer Federation as a Grade 9 Recreational Referee.  A student taking the course after July 1, 2013 will be trained to referee games which require only indirect free kick restarts.  Generally, these are games involving players from U4 through U8.  Although some Associations may use these playing rules on other ages, Grade 9 referees first registered after July 1, 2013 will be authorized to serve as center referee only on games with indirect free kick restarts.   These are primarily “small-sided” games.

Now let’s discuss the Grade 8 Basic Referee Program. As a candidate, you must be 13 years old or older, on or the start date of the clinic. Playing experience is desired.  One will have a better chance of successful completion with a good understanding of the game. Upon sign-up in a Grade 8 clinic, the student’s work begins.  The student must successfully complete an on-line session of Law videos and review questions.  Upon successful completion of the on-line session you will attend an on-site clinic hosted by a local Association.  The on-site session includes 6 hours of classromm instruction, a field session where you must demonstrate the lessons learned during the classroom, and a written exam that requires a score of 75 or better to pass the course.  Total clinic time is 8 hours generally broken into two sessions with a lunch break.

At the completion of the program you will register with North Texas and the United States Soccer Federation as a Grade 8 Referee. As a Grade 8 Referee you will be allowed to referee youth recreational and competitive matches.  Effective with the new Grade 8 clinic introduced Jan 1, 2014, referees who complete after this date will be limited to U16 competitive and younger matches.  Information on upgrade to Grade 7 will be available by July 1, 2014.

Clinics are requested by the member associations several weeks to a month or more in advance. Most of the clinics occur late January through early March and then again from late July through September. A link to the current list of available clinics can be found below. Keep in mind, the list is being updated constantly, so keep checking back till you find what you’re looking for.

Good luck