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Outdoor Referee Certification Requirements

U.S. Soccer Federation Referee Program
Outdoor Referee Certification Requirements
July 2023


State Referee Association Standards

Where provided, U.S. Soccer expects State Referees Associations to establish requirements that best support the needs of the local competitions and the referees servicing them. This means that State Referee Associations are expected to work collaboratively with State Association(s) leaders and local competition authorities.

Specific to requirements associated with grade, this includes:

  • Minimum age
  • Previous game and grade experience

State Referee Associations are also empowered by U.S. Soccer to establish fitness, assessment and training standards outside the parameters of grade. Although independent of grade, these standards should be advanced when compared to the existing U.S. Soccer grade requirements. These advanced standards should be specific to the needs of local competitions or specific to participation in state level development programs.

If fitness standards are required for specific state level competitions, they should be conducted in accordance with the FIFA Sprint and Interval Tests. U.S. Soccer recommends that State Referee Associations use the established State Referee standards but the required time intervals can be adjusted if needed.  It is required that a set of speed gates be used to administer the sprint tests.

If assessment standards are required, they should be conducted in accordance with the current guidelines specific to formal assessments. State Referee Associations are also able and encouraged to utilize the following:

  • Development and guidance evaluations
  • Scouting and identification
  • Mentoring

Additional training standards can include, but are not limited to attending:

  • Clinics
  • Workshops
  • Tournaments or other competitions

For national competitions looking to establish requirements specific to assignment, U.S. Soccer can assist in the formation and communication of these standards.

These additional standards can be instituted by State Referee Associations outside the scope of grade requirements and are intended to promote the development of referees and support the needs of local, regional and national competitions.

Outdoor Referee - 

The purpose of the Outdoor Referee Course is to prepare officials for the competitive youth game. Based on the level of training provided, U.S. Soccer recommends that these officials be assigned accordingly to best service the game.


Certification Requirements


13 years of age - per Child Labor Laws for MO.

Previous Game Experience


Previous Grade Experience



Complete the Entry Referee Course *

Complete Concussion Training

Complete State Small Sided Games Training

Complete SafeSport Training online

Laws of the Game Test

Pass the Entry Outdoor Referee Test

Fitness Test

Not Applicable unless required by competition

Practical Evaluation

Not Applicable

Annual Recertification Requirements


Re-register and pay fees online

Attendance of a MO re-certification clinic

Laws of the Game Test

Pass the Outdoor Referee Test

Fitness Test

Not Applicable

Practical Evaluation

Not Applicable



All State Referee Association requirements must be made public. 

All training requirements can be completed online and/or in the classroom setting as determined by the State Referee Association and there are no minimum number of hours associated with either requirement.

At a minimum, U.S. Soccer recommends that training includes the completion of all online training materials for the Grassroots Referee Course.

* MO requires classroom session and field training