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Steps To Become a Referee

With an emphasis on safety and education the process to become a USSF-certified referee through the MSRC has several steps. In the process you will create accounts on our website and on the US Soccer Learning Center website, learn about safety with children, do some guided instruction before a class, take a class, and take a post-course test. For those over 18 years old, you have a couple other requirements. This page outlines the steps.

1. Create an Account — MSRC/Massref

Creating an account with the MSRC allows you to fully utilize the features of our site, sign up for courses online, and speeds up the registration process during annual recertification clinics. Required fields are indicated with *.

After you sign up, you will be sent an email with your password information. You will need to upload a clear headshot photograph to be included in your MSRC referee profile.

Note: You are creating a referee account! Please enter only the name and information for the person who will be refereeing — not the parent!

2. Enroll in a Course

For new referee candidates you will want to look for a New Grassroots Referee – Entry Level. These courses are offered throughout the year, but are concentrated more in “off season” months (i.e. summer and winter). Referee candidates must be at last 14 years old at the time of the course.

3. Create an Account — US Soccer Learning Center

US Soccer has developed a platform to present online content for referees. You will create an account at the US Soccer Learning Center. You will have multiple steps to complete within the US Soccer Learning Center in order to be certified.

4. US Soccer Supplemental Courses

Once you are in the enrollment/attendance phase of taking a course, you can get started on the Supplemental Courses that are available in the US Soccer’s Learning Center. The required Courses depend on your age:

  • The course called Introduction to Safe and Healthy Playing Environments or, more simply, Intro to Safety is required for ALL (Free)
  • The SafeSport certification is required for those 18 years old or old (Free)
  • A National Background Check is required for those 18 years old or old ($30 covering 2 years)

Each of these requirements must be completed prior to your being certified as a referee. You should get started with these requirements even before attending the referee course. This will minimize any delay in processing your certification at the conclusion of the course.

Don’t worry, we will guide you!

5. Complete Pre-Course, Online Study Modules

A Massachusetts-specific link to the US Soccer Learning Center exists for Online Study Modules. In order to access the study modules, first, log into the US Soccer Learning Center and then click on the provided link. All students will be expected to have completed this pre-course work 72 hours prior to the course date. The time expected to complete the modules is 4-6 hours. The link is shown in the Notes section of your course listing under MyCourses in your MSRC Profile, as shown (click to enlarge).

MyCourses links

6. Print Registration Letter

Once you enrolled in and paid for a course, you can log in to your MSRC Account and print your Registration Letter. This Registration Letter must be printed before your course.

7. Attend a Course

Attend the course that you have selected and learn all you can! For in-person courses, plan to arrive early and bring something to write with, something to write on, a snack, water, and your Registration Letter. For online courses, prepare to be in a safe location with limited distractions during the meeting; you will need a suitable web camera and microphone to be used continuously during the session.

8. Submit Registration Letter

Once you have attended and participated in the referee course you will need to submit your Registration Letter, signed and dated. For in-person classes this means simply handing your Registration Letter to the instructor. For online classes this means scanning and emailing the registration form; typically one or more code words given out by the instructor will need to be written on the Registration Letter that is submitted electronically.

9. Attend a Field Session

Referee practical training will take place at an in-person, field session in locations around the state. Each referee must attend a field session to complete certification.

10. Complete the Post-Course Test

A course-specific link is shown in the Notes section of your course listing under MyCourses in your MSRC Profile, as shown (click to enlarge). You must complete the test, achieving a passing grade.

MyCourses links

11. Get Your Badge!

Once you have completed the “paperwork” (modules, test, Supplemental Courses), you will be a certified referee and a referee badge will be sent to you! Your name will appear on the lists used by referee assignors. You do not need to wait to communicate with an assignor directly and tell the assignor of your interest in getting started!