Becoming a Soccer Referee

To become a referee you need to be at least 14 years old, you must successfully complete an Initial Entry Referee Clinic and register to be assigned to games. You can attend an initial entry clinic as long as you turn 14 by Feb 1 of the registration year. For example, if you are 13 and wanting to attend a clinic on August 8, 2017, but you will only turn 14 on Jan 16, 2018, you can attend the clinic and register but you will only be approved to referee on or after your 14th birthday.

New Referee Training

Clinics are held throughout the year starting from August 1 of the current year and continuing until March 31 of the following year. The Grade 8 Initial Entry Course has two parts, some training done online and the rest spent in a classroom. Click on Clinic Info to view all initial entry clinics currently being offered in Alabama. Use this study guide to help you be prepared


Age limit At least 13 but must turn 14 by Feb 1 of the registration year to attend a clinic and register.
Must be 14 to be assigned to games.
Length of Course 8 hours of class-room time, 2 hours for taking a 100 question written test (80% to pass) and on-line study which varies.
Field Session Not required.
Cost Typical $100 which includes $40 clinic fee paid in check or cash at the clinic and $60 USSF Registration fee paid online. Some clinics might charge a local admin fee

There are 6 steps to follow (Click on each for more info):

Your first step is to communicate (e-mail is preferred) with your local Area Referee Administrator (ARA), course instructor, State Director of Instruction (SDI) or any State Administrator. Their contact info is located on the Administrator's page. Please note that an Administrator may contact you to offer assistance but that is not required to move onto steps 2-6.
The Clinic Info Page contains a list of all clinics and contact info for courses offered in the state. You must pre-register by contacting the listed instructor. This reserves a spot for you and also provides your instructor a means to contact you if there are any changes. Courses have a minimum attendance and can be canceled if not enough candidates pre-register. Your instructor will provide any details you might need. If you do not see a course date that is convenient, check back as new courses are added as required.

You should go to the US Soccer website in order to register. If you have not previously registered, follow these steps. This is only for NEW OFFICIALS who have not registered beforePlease register only one time.

  • 1. Click (Click Here)
  • 2. Click - Haven’t created a password? Create one now
  • 3. On right side of Page select Alabama from drop down menu and the click Next
  • 4. Click on Registration
  • 5. Click on 2018 Soccer Registration - New Officials
  • 6. Follow the on-screen steps. It would be nice if you upload a photo of yourself.
  • 7. Background check is mandatory for 18 and over. If you are younger, no background check will be done
  • 8. Final step is to pay your $60 regisration fee
NOTE: You can pay the USSF online registration fee at this time ($60) or after attending the in-class instruction.
All participants are required to complete a series of on-line modules prior to attending the scheduled in-class clinic session. These modules are found on the US Soccer Referee Development website. When you first start any online module, you will be requested to register. In the line requesting "Clinic Number", enter 1. No need to enter the USSF ID The following modules must be completed:

  • Law 1 - The Field of Play
  • Law 2 - The Ball
  • Law 3 - The Number of Players
  • Law 4 - The Players' Equipment
  • Law 7 - The Duration of the Match
  • Law 8 - The Start and Restart of Play
  • Law 9 - The Ball In and Out of Play
  • Law 10 - Determining the Outcome of a Match
  • Law 13 - Free Kicks
  • Law 14 - The Penalty Kick
  • Law 15 - The The Throw In
  • Law 16 - The Goal Gick
  • Law 17 - The Corner Kick

The Following Laws will be covered in-class

  • Law 5 - The Referee
  • Law 6 - The Other Match Officials
  • Law 11 - Offside
  • Law 12 - Fouls and Misconduct
Click Online Training Modules to be connected to the Grade-8 course modules.

There is no requirement to print out the completion certificates, however it is expected that know the material since you will be tested on it. The course instructor may review these thirteen laws. The remaining 4 laws will be taught in class.

Videos for Referee Signals, Advantage and Assistance Referee Signals

Download this study guide to help you be prepared
On the day of the course, plan to arrive at least 15 minutes before the scheduled time. Check out the course details for lunch or anything else. In case of unforeseen events causing the course to be rescheduled or delayed, you will be notified by E-mail (if you pre-registered). You will also take a 100 question exam and pass the test in order to receive your badge.
Go here to register and pay your USSF registration fee. If you have not previously registered follow these steps, otherwise login with your email address and password. Please do this only one time.
  • Click on the Registration tab
  • Select "2018 Soccer Registration - New Officials"
  • Follow the onscreen instructions
  • You will be asked for your Social Security number in order to complete a baclground check. A background check is only done on 18 year olds and older
  • Enter credit card info to pay
  • After you have completed your payment, go to the main page in Arbiter and make sure you have checked "Ready To Be Assigned"

Once the above has been completed, our SRA will then approve your regisration (typically within one week). Your name goes on a list for all assignors and you will be ready to do games. It is helpful to load your picture so that assignors can identify you.

Official Sports is the official supplier of USSF referee uniforms, however you can buy your uniform at any soccer supplier. You can click here to buy your starter kit. It is also a good idea to contact the assignors in your area.