Welcome to Soccer Refereeing

Soccer officiating is a fun and challenging activity. It offers myriad opportunities for individuals of a wide range of ages, backgrounds, and abilities. Are you a player with many years of experience? A spectator with a love for the game and a desire to learn more about the intricacies of the Laws? A coach who wants to learn the game from a new perspective? A job-seeker who wants to earn some money without having to flip burgers?

Whether you fit into one of those categories or you are in one of your own, we are happy to help you learn more about how you can get into soccer officiating.

Referees who complete the New Referee Class with Nebraska Referee Development Program are certified as Grade 8 Referees by US Soccer. As a Grade 8 Referee you may officiate youth (U16 and below) matches as a referee or assistant referee.


Referees must meet the following requirements:

  • You must be sufficiently fit to service the games you work;
  • You must be emotionally mature enough to handle the responsibilities of a referee;
  • You must be able to understand the Laws of the Game and pass a test to demonstrate your knowledge; and
  • You must be at least 12 years old when you work your first game.

There is a lot of flexibility within those requirements. For example, a person wishing to work only recreational matches for the youngest age groups need not be as fit as somebody who wants to referee competitive U15 matches. We also understand that some individuals take written tests poorly despite having no troubles understanding and applying the content.

If you have concerns about your ability to meet any of these requirements, please contact us so that we may assist you in determining if soccer reffing is for you. We often are able to make accommodations on an individual basis.

The Certification Process

Getting certified as a Referee is a simple four-step process:

  1. Register for a New Referee Class
  2. Pay the $70.00 registration fee
  3. Complete the online training modules
  4. Attend the 8 hour classroom session

Class registration, payment of registration fees, and the online training modules are all managed via Officials Management Systems (OMS). View our upcoming New Referee Classes.

Before the First Match

In addition to meeting the basic requirements and completing the certification process, you will need to do a few more things to prepare for your first match.

Acquire a uniform and equipment. Referees are expected to maintain a professional appearance. Wearing a standard uniform is an important part of that. In addition, referees need to have available for their use a few key pieces of equipment. Learn more about a referee’s uniform and equipment.

Be in contact with an assignor. A referee assignor is a person who matches referees with matches. The assignor’s job is not only to ensure that each game has the requisite number of referees, but also to ensure that the referees assigned to each match are qualified, capable, and confident at that level of play. In general assignors will contact referees within their assigning area. We explain to referees who their area assignors are and how to contact them at the New Referee Class.

Check your calendar. An assignor cannot assign you to matches if you are not available. Most assignors use an electronic system (such as GameOfficials) to manage referee assignments. Keep your availability up-to-date according to whatever instructions your assignor provides.