How Do I Get to be a Referee? - Updated December 2019

How do I Become A Referee??


Because we’re affiliated with the United State Soccer Federation (“USSF”), we’re required to use USSF certified referees to officiate our games. In addition, it’s a standard provision of our liability insurance coverage that we’ll use properly trained and certified referees.  Certification of referees by USSF is done at the local level by the State Referee Committee (“SRC”).  The mechanism to become a certified referee or to renew your annual certification has changed considerably in 2019.  We’ll start by telling you how to become a brand new referee, meaning you’ve never been certified to referee by USSF.  If you have been 10 or 15 years ago, read this first but you may find when you set up your profile with USSF that they still have you in their data base and you want to move on to referees recertifying below.  Everyone will be a Grassroots Grade referee.  No more grade 9, 8, 7 etc.

How to become a referee the first time

If you are an adult, meaning 18 or older, there are four steps you’ll need to complete to become a certified referee. Also, USSF has now set a minimum age of 13 to become a certified referee.  If you or your child had previously registered and remain under 13, you’ll be kept in the program but new referees younger than 13 cannot register.  The cost of the actual course in step 4 is $70.  The cost of the background check is $20.  Every referee must have a unique email address.  That means parent and child cannot use the same email address is each intend to be a referee.  There is the opportunity in setting up the profile to have a secondary email address.  Have the child be the primary email address and the parent be the secondary email address and both will receive email.

First, go here (  and we’ll start the process of setting up a profile in the USSF Learning Center.  If you are already a certified coach with USSF, log in to your coaching account and switch to the Referee function to set up a referee profile.

If you’ve been a certified referee long ago, you may find your legacy data pop up and you can move through creating your profile with that information you may need to correct.  Otherwise proceed through the setup process to make yourself a new referee candidate with no USSF history.

Second, now that you’ve set up your profile, you need to log in and your first step before you can move forward is to complete the Background Check Screening for anyone 18 or older.  Generally, this is required for youth soccer referees, but referees are referees (meaning the registration isn’t differentiated between youth and adult soccer) so all adult referees will need to complete a biannual Background Check Screening.  Until this is completed, and it involves some manual entries at USSF, you cannot proceed. It requires that you pay a fee and if you only do adult games ASL will reimburse you the fee at the end of your first year.  When you’ve got the green light on the background check,

Third, when you have completed the Background Screening Check, you can then move forward and you will need to take the SafeSport course, which takes about 90 minutes, and deals with providing you information on various forms of child abuse that can occur in virtually any sport or activity.  There is no additional fee for completing SafeSport.

Fourth, you’re finally ready to actually get to the real referee training.  You want to select the New Grassroots License Referee Clinic that you select from the list of Clinics for which you’re eligible.  As a new referee candidate, this should be the only clinic you can select.  The course is entirely online and takes about four hours.  When you complete the course, the referee registrar will green light you as completed and in theory, you’re a USSF registered referee.  We will arrange field sessions through our mentoring center to assemble newbie referee for a field session to teach how to actual move, wave flags, and such as that before you try your first game.

There’s no reason to spend a lot of money on referee uniforms and 6 different colored long and short sleeve shirts until you’ve decided you like this refereeing thing, and a lot of people discover they don’t like being yelled at.  Therefore, go here where we've set up a deal with NMYSA and Score sports for low cost referee gear to get started.

If you are currently a referee or have been before

Your main difference is in setting up your profile.  If you’ve been certified with USSF in the last ten years, they have your data and when you set up your profile the first time, you’ll see the opportunity to confirm information about you and your history.  From, there, you’ll need to proceed to step two above and go through the background check and the SafeSport program.

If you were a certified referee in 2019, you need to take the Grassroots License Referee Recertification Clinic.

If you were not certified in 2019, but were certified in previous years, you need to take the Grassroots License Referee Clinic.

Once you are certified, ASL uses a web-based self-scheduling system to enable you to schedule your game assignments around your own team’s schedule. There are certain limitations, since we don’t one you to get your feet wet by immediately scheduling yourself to officiate the top two teams in First Division.

In the Referee Information section, you’ll find a document called ASL Referee Procedures. That’s where you get all the details about what we expect in you officiating games and what we pay for your efforts.


Albuquerque Sol


New Mexico State Soccer Association

United State Adult Soccer Association

United States Soccer Federation