US Soccer Referee Grade Restructure




Most of us have heard that our referee grades are being restructured. US Soccer has been working on this restructure with US Youth Soccer and US Adult Soccer  so that the grades of referees better serve the youth and adult games.  Whether you are a referee, referee assignor, or Association board member you need to understand these changes.

While US Soccer has set down the basic requirements and game levels, the  State Associations have been allowed to further define these requirements and game levels to better serve the games in their State.  Your State Referee Committee has been meeting, discussing and coming up with the best  program options to serve the players, associations and games in North Texas Soccer. We have discussed this restructure with US Soccer and they have approved our plans for implementing the new referee grade structure.

Implementing the restructure requires an understanding of the levels permitted for each referee grade, as well as the time-line for the transition period.

Referee Grade Level Descriptions


The entry Level courses have changed as well for grades 9, 8, and 7.

The New Grade 9 course only teaches referees to referee the middle in youth Indirect Free Kick games. They are not taught on how to run lines. The course is now 5 ½ hours instead of the previous 10 hours. The minimum age to attend a grade 9 clinic is 12 years old at the start of the clinic they are attending. This new clinic started July 1 2013.

The New Grade 8 course only teaches referees the information to referee in the middle or on the line youth games U16 and under. The Course is now 8 hours instead of the previous 16 ½ hours; however, there is an on-line pre-requisite course that must be completed prior to attending the on-site clinic.  The minimum age to attend a grade 8 clinic is 13 years old at the start of their clinic. There are no prior grade requirements to attend this course. This new course will be able to be scheduled starting December 8 2013.

The New Grade 7 course teaches referees how to referee and manage an adult game. This course will be online, consisting of videos and an exam.  To take this course you must be 16 years old and also a registered grade 8 at the time the course is taken. This course will be available July 1 2014 for 2015 registration.

There will be a program for those Grade 7 Referees that wish to stay at a higher level and/or be considered to be State Referee Candidates. Detail of this program will be finalized prior to July 1 2014.