Mass Youth Soccer Referee
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Frequently Asked Questions


Q1: Do I need to use an electronic whistle? [updated 2021-05-29]

Whether or not you need to use an electronic whistle versus a traditional, blow-in whistle depends on the level of the match you are working. The expectations are different whether you are working an adult or a youth match, as follows:

  • MASS Soccer makes no assumptions with regard to the type of whistle a referee should use.
  • Mass Youth Soccer allows for use of a regular whistle but highly recommends an electronic whistle or another handheld device (e.g. bell, horn).

For reference see the section for C.SAFETY STANDARDS FOR PLAY within the MASS EEA guidance.


Click to see the overview and requirements.

  • MSRC will be offering online recertification course modules (via Zoom) and a limited number of in-person sessions.
  • Referees (and other roles) will need to satisfy requirements (Supplemental Courses) offered through the US Soccer Learning Center.
  • Among the required Supplemental Courses for those over the age of 18 is a "Safe Sport" Course and a national background check (which costs $30 for a 2-year coverage).
  • You can/should check your own status in the US Soccer Learning Center.

Q1: Who must recertify?

Every Massachusetts referee certified and registered with the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) must recertify every year, regardless of grade.


  • If you have taken an Entry Level course after July 1, 2023, please see Question 18.
  • The Registration year runs from January 1 to December 31, regardless of when you take the class.

Q2: What are the Recertification requirements?

Click to see Recertification Requirements New in 2021 are Supplemental Courses. Check out Video – Help With Supplemental courses

The Annual Recertification requirements for all Grades of Referee, including Futsal, are as follows:

In-Service Training Minimum 4.5 Hours of Educational Modules (3 modules)
Laws of the Game Test 50 Question Test
80% Passing Grade
[ALL] Introduction To Safe and Healthy Playing Environments (Intro to Safety) [Free] Supplemental Course in
US Soccer Learning Center
[18+] SafeSport [Free] Supplemental Course in
US Soccer Learning Center
[18+] National Background Check [$30 for 2 years] Supplemental Course in
US Soccer Learning Center

Q3: What is new this year?

The MSRC will promote the notion of “continuous education” for all referees. The hope is that each referee will engage in educational opportunities — online classes, in-person events, field sessions, advanced training — throughout the year rather than wait until late-winter to cram all requirements in a tight timeline. The requirement of educational hours may best be met in small bits.

Q4: When must I Recertify?

Recertification classes typically are offered between July of one year to the March of the recertification year (Classes are schedule during the Summer and at every major holiday to enable students, who are away at college, to attend.

The USSF Registration Year runs January 1 to December 31. Registration for a recertification year closes on June 30th of that year. It is not possible to be certified for a year on or after July 1.

Q5: How do I enroll in a Clinic?

Log into your MassRef Account at MSRC Central and select “Course Schedule” from the menu at the top of the screen.

Select the recertification course modules you would like to attend and click “Enroll” on the right of the screen. You can use the “Advanced Search” function on the right near the top of the Course Schedule screen to view only Recertification classes. When we are having on-site sessions, adding your zip code to the search will help you find the sessions nearest to your location.

Carefully read and follow the instructions on each screen.

Successful enrollment will generate a system automated email, to the email address you have entered on your MassRef Account.

Q6: I enrolled in one of the Recertification course modules and have not received a confirmation, what should I do?

E-mail confirmations should be sent immediately. If you did not receive one, you should check that any spam filtering did not mistakenly catch the confirmation. You can also see the confirmation message on your Main page when you are logged into the web site. If you are still concerned of your status, you can contact the Course Administrator.

Q7: How do I access the Online Modules

Within your MSRC profile is a MyStatus tab which presents and organizes the progress of your pathway through new and recertification requirements. Each requirement should have a link to send you in the correct direction to satisfy that requirement.

Q8: What should I bring to an in-person referee clinic?

Referees should bring: a notebook and pen or pencil for taking notes during the session, a list of questions that they would like addressed at the meeting, and a willingness to share your experiences.

Q9: Do I have to attend the referee clinic in my area?

No, you can attend any referee clinic on the list. If you miss one nearest you, you can go to any of the others.

Q10: How long will a recertification course module be?

From the Course Schedule, click on the Location for details about the clinics you have selected, including start and end times. You are expected to attend for the entire duration of the clinic unless otherwise noted in the description. The duration of a course module is expected to be between 90 and 120 minutes.

Q11: Can I stay for part of a Recertification course module and still be recertified?

No. Plan your schedule accordingly. You will not be recertified until all of the requirements have been met.

Q12: What is the cost for Recertification?

The registration fee amount varies according to referee grade level. The following table shows the amounts due:

Referee Grade Registration Fee
Grassroots (formerly Grades 7 & 8) $50
Regional (formerly Grades 5 & 6) $85
National (formerly Grades 3 & 4) $100
Grades 1 & 2 $100
National Emeritus $50
Regional Emeritus $50
Futsal $55

Q13: Can I pursue Recertification if I did not recertify last year?

Yes. Referees are expected to maintain their certification from year to year. You can recertify as a referee if you have not let the license lapse for more than 3 registration years. If you have not been licensed for a period greater than 3 registration years, you will need to undergo the full certification process. See US Soccer’s Recertification vs Signing Up as a New Referee. This policy is in place to assist in cases when referees have been injured or had some other unusual occurrence. However, this is not an advisable alternative and there are some considerable drawbacks for referees when this happens. Among other things, assignors may bypass them in favor of more experienced referees. This will also have a negative effect on the referee.

Q14: I am away in college, and cannot get to any of the in-person clinics. What do I do?

There are many online options to meet recertification requirements as well as in-person clinics in the summer and during holidays around the New Year. If you have questions, contact MSRC.

Q15: I still have not recertified but I want to ref, what else can I do?

Please send email to MSRC if you want to know what options are available to you.

Q16: I recently moved to Massachusetts from another state where I was certified. What do I do to certify here in Massachusetts?

All transfers to and from State Associations are usually coordinated by the State Referee Administrator from the state which the referee is leaving, however you may contact the Massachusetts SRA directly by e-mail.

Q18: I took a New Referee course in the Summer, do I have to attend a Re-certification class?

After successfully completing a New Grassroots Referee class in the summer of one year, you are certified until December 31 of the following year. While you are not required to attend a Recertification class, it is an excellent opportunity to listen to more experienced Referees share their experiences. You do not need to enroll or pay to attend.

Q19: If I have any other questions regarding Recertification requirements what should I do?

If your questions have not been answered on this webpage, feel free to contact the MSRCby e-mail.