How do I become a referee?

Some important points:

  1. Knowledge of soccer is not required (most coaches will tell you that referees know nothing about soccer!).
  2. While some previous playing, coaching or officiating experience is always helpful, no experience is required to become a soccer referee.
  3. While there are age restrictions for the advanced Grades, there are no age requirements for the entry level Grades.
  4. English is the preferred clinic language, but we do have Spanish clinics and can manage instruction in other languages as well.
  5. You should be able to run with (not necessarily outrun) the players; get in shape to referee, not referee to get in shape.

To become a qualified referee, there are a few easy steps everyone must go through. The first is to attend a mandatory classroom training session. These “Entry Level Clinics” are offered in many locations around the state each year, most often during the summer and fall months. Eight-hour clinics are offered as one or two day events; sixteen-hour clinics are often held as either weekend courses (Saturday and Sunday) or weekday courses (3-5 weekday nights) or a combination (Friday night, Saturday, Sunday afternoon).

At the conclusion of the instructional classes a written examination will be given to all who have completed the course. The examination is 100 objective (True-False, Multiple Choice) questions. Candidates must get at least 75 correct to pass the test.

The fee to attend any clinic is $20. United States Soccer Federation (USSF) registration is $20 or $25 depending on Grade. Another expense is the uniform package (shirt, shorts, socks, shoes and referee equipment). Many uniform manufacturers and retail stores offer a money-saving starter package.

If you would like to become a referee, contact Don Chin, RYSL Referee Coordinator at

CNRA offers USSF Grade 8 Referee and Grade 9 Recreational Referee clinics throughout CYSA. Referee clinics are scheduled on a regular basis by the Redding Youth Soccer League. At this time we are only offering the Grade 8 clinic listed below.

USSF Grade 8 Referee

The Grade 8 clinic consists of six (6) 3-hour sessions, for a total of eighteen (18) hours of instruction. Attendance at all sessions is required for successful completion of the course. Upon successful completion of the course, candidates may register as Grade 8 Referees with the United States Soccer Federation for a registration fee ($25.00 as of June 19, 2001).