FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How old do I have to be to referee?
Even though USSF does not have an age limit, you must be at least 14 years old in Alabama to referee

How old do I have to be to attend an initial entry clinic?
At least 13 but must turn 14 by Feb 1 of the registration year.

May I arrive late or leave early for a clinic?
ABSOLUTELY NOT! It is disruptive to the class and unfair to those who are there for the entire clinic.

How long am I certified for?
Your certification is good for one year (Jan 1 - Dec 31). The exception to this is if you attend an initial entry clinic and register between August through December you are certified from the date of your registration (so long as you are at least 14 by then) until Dec 31 of the following year.

What are the costs involved?
There is both a clinic fee and USSF Registration fee. Total costs for a Grade 8 Referee would be $100.00. This would not include the cost of the Referee Uniform.

When and where do I pay the fees?
You pay the clinic fee at the clinic and the USSF registration fee online.

What are referee grades?
Referee grades are NOT SCHOOL grades

  • Grade 9: The authorized assignment level for a Recreational Referee (Grade 9) is referee on recreational youth games U-14 and younger only and Assistant Referee on any youth game U-14 or below. This grade is no longer offered in Alabama
  • Grade 8: Most referees begin their careers as Grade 8 having taken the entry training course. The Referee must be at least 14 years of age.
  • Grade 7: Is an experienced referee qualified to officiate all but the highest levels of amateur soccer.
  • Grade 6: The highest level of competition within a state (amateur leagues beyond youth)
  • Grade 5: Grade 5 indicates the referee's readiness to be considered for national service.
  • Grades 3 and 4: Competition at the national level (including professional soccer and MLS) requires Grade 3 or 4. Grade 3 indicates the referee's readiness to be considered for international service.
  • Grade 2: FIFA Assistant Referees are designated as Grade 2.
  • Grade 1: FIFA Referees who officiate in international matches are designated as Grade 1.

I am a registered referee do I have to attend a recert clinic?
Yes. All registered referees must attend a recertification clinic and register every year.

I did not attend a recertification clinic this year, can I still referee?
No, you must be registered for the current year, with a current year badge, in order to referee. Recertification clinics are conducted from August through March (allthough if you wait until after January 1 to attend a recertification clinic, you must pay an additional $25 late clinic fee). You can also wait to attend a recertification clinic for the next year, but then must wait until after January 1 to referee.

I have not registered the past 2 years, can I attend a recertification clinic and register?
Yes, but you must wait until after January 1 to referee. If you have let your registration lapse 3 or more years, then you must attend an initial entry clinic.

Do I have to take a physical fitness test to renew my certification?
Grade 9 and 8 referees are not required to complete a physical fitness test. Grade 5, 6, and 7 referees are required to pass an annual fitness test.

I cannot login to the ussoccer.info website
If you forgot your password, use the "forgot password" button to retreive it. If you do not have access to the e-mail address you put down when you registered or you do not remember your username, please contact our SRA.

How can I get a replacement referee badge?
Click on this link To Order Replacement Referee Badge Follow the instructions on the website to login. Once logged in, look for a menu on the left side for the referee badge for your grade and order it.

How does my club host a referee clinic?
First, you will need to make arrangements for a public meeting facility (local school, library, conference room) with a projector, TV/DVD and screen, You’ll then contact our State Director of Instruction to discuss the appropriate dates and times. The SDI will schedule the USSF instructors. Clinics are typically a one day event 8-10 hours.

What are game reports?
There are 2 types of game reports. There is an Arbiter game report where you enter the score for the match,mark if the crew showed up on time and any pertinent comments about the game (such as injuries, cautions or send offs). Then there is a USSF Referee Game Report and USSF Supplemental Game Report which you MUST fill out if you had any send offs (Red cards to players or dismissing a coach). The referee also fills out a USSF Supplemental report for injuries

What information should I include in the report?
You will need to include the following information in the USSF Referee Report:

  • 1. The Home and Away team names
  • 2. The score
  • 3. The league, Division, Age group and Game number
  • 4. The referee crew names (and grades if you know them)
  • 5. All cautions (yellow cards). You MUST include the player's Name and ID and the reason
  • 6. All send-offs (Red cards or coach dismissals). Again player's/Coach's name, ID and reason
  • 7. Sign the form by entering your name and e-mail address
  • 8. Fill out the USSF Supplemental report

Check out these sample reports


icon Sample USSF Referee Game Report
icon Sample USSF Supplemental Game Report

Do Assistant Referees (ARs) have to fill out a game report?
Yes, but only for Violent Conduct offenses. ARs MUST fill out a USSF Supplemental Game Report for any send off involving Violent Conduct even if the AR did not witness it

Where can I find the reports?
Reports in pdf format that can filled in or in word format can be found under the Resources tab on our website

Who do I send the reports to?
You MUST email the reports to the SYRA and cc the SRA within 24 hours of the game. ASA rules state within 48 hours, but we require the reports within 24 hours.

What if I need help in filling the report, who do I contact?
You can contact your assignor, a mentor or the SYRA.

Sample Referee Reports
In the (XX) minute, (Name), (Number) from (team) committed (SFP, VC, etc) against (opponent Name), (Number) from (team). I showed the player the Red Card and sent him off the field. No substitution was permitted for the dismissed player. The player left the field without further incident. Play was restarted in a (Penalty Kick, Free Kick) for (team).

In the (XX) minute, I heard the whistle blow and saw the referee show (Name), (Number) from (team) the red card. I did not witness what exactly happened. Player (name) left the field without further incident.

Search Alasoccerref.com