Referee Recertification Requirements

United States Soccer Federation (USSF)

The following are the re-certification requirements for all Grade 8, 7A/ 7B, 6, and 5 Referees in the state of Iowa. These are similar to the National requirements with some slight modifications. If for any reason you feel that you cannot meet these requirements, you must notify the IRC and the SRA well in advance of the end of the licensing year.

Grade 8 Referees -

  • Complete 5 hours of continuing education in the previous 12 months.
  • Pass the Grade 8 Laws of the Game Exam.
  • Complete online registration by the published deadline.
Grade 7B Referees -
  • Complete 5 hours of continuing education in the previous 12 months.
  • Pass the Grade 7 Laws of the Game Exam.
  • Complete online registration by the published deadline.
Grade 7A Referees -
  • Officiate a minimum of 5 games as a Referee in any USSF youth affiliated games.
  • Officiate a minimum of 3 games as an Assistant Referee in any USSF affiliated games.
  • As a Referee, pass 1 field assessment in a USSF, U-14 or higher, affiliated game. Assessor must be assigned by the SDA.
  • Complete 5 hours of continuing education in the previous 12 months.
  • Pass the Grade 7 Laws of the Game Exam.
  • Complete online registration by the published deadline.
Grade 6 Referees -
  • Officiate a minimum of 5 games as a Referee in any USSF youth affiliated games.
  • Officiate a minimum of 5 games as a Referee in any USSF, U-19 or higher, affiliated games.
  • As a Referee, pass 2 assessments on games that are 80+ minutesAssessor must be assigned by the SDA.
  • Pass the USSF Fitness Test.
  • Complete 5 hours of continuing education in the previous 12 months.
  • Pass the Grade 6 Laws of the Game Exam.
  • Complete online registration by the published deadline.
Grade 5 Referees -
  • Officiate a minimum of 5 games as a Referee in any USSF youth affiliated games.
  • Officiate a minimum of 5 games as a Referee in any USSF, U-19 or higher, affiliated games. 1 game must be in Division 1 Amateur or higher.
  • As a Referee, pass 1 field assessment in a USSF U-19 or higher, affiliated game. Must be assigned by the SDA.
  • As a Referee, pass 3 assessments by 3 different national coaches — 2 must be on adult games and 1 on youth 18+.
  • Pass the USSF Fitness Test.
  • Complete 5 hours of continuing education in the previous 12 months.
  • Pass the USSF National Referee Laws of the Game Exam.
  • Complete online registration by the published deadline.
Continuing Education / Recertification Requirements:

All Iowa referees, regardless of grade level, must attend a cumulative minimum of 5 hours of recertification clinic hours per calendar year in order to re-register. The following options are recognized by the Iowa Referee Committee (IRC) as approved methods of receiving recertification credit. Any combination of these methods is acceptable:
  • Attendance at the annual Terry Vaughn Referee Academy — meets full requirement.
  • Attendance at an organized Recertification Clinic — meets full requirement.
  • Attendance at the annual Terry Vaughn Referee Academy and Advanced Referee Clinic for Grades 7A, 6 and 5 referees — meets full requirement.
  • Local Association Meetings (1 hour per meeting) — only Local Referee Associations recognized by the IRC shall receive credit hours.
  • League Referee Training Seminars taught by a registered USSF Instructor — 2 hours maximum per seminar.
  • Attendance at an Entry-Level Clinic during the presentation of the major laws, i.e., 11-14 and 5-6. The Instructor must have prior notification — meets full requirement.
  • Completion of Online Recertification Training Module (4 hrs.) and Exam (1 hr.) — meets full requirement.
Recertification vs. Registration:

In order to be able to referee United States Soccer Federation (USSF) matches, e.g., Iowa Soccer League (ISL), ILLOWA, State Cup / Regionals, other US Youth Soccer sanctioned matches, etc., you have to be registered each year. And, you cannot re-register unless you have recertified.

Certified means you have satisfied the USSF
’s (i.e., U.S. Soccer’s) annual continuing education requirement of 5 hours of training. Referees in Iowa typically meet this requirement either by regularly attending Referee Association Meetings where training is provided (as posted on the IRC Website Event Calendar), attending the annual Terry Vaughn Referee Academy, attending an Instructor-led Recertification Clinic, or by successfully completing the on-line recertification and testing module provided in the Fall.

Registered means you are current with your annual registration fees with the USSF and have been issued a badge / patch for the current year.

Recertification is free; you are only out the time that it takes. Annual registration fees are based on what referee grade you are, i.e., 9, 8, 7, ... . Just because you
’ve taken the required steps to recertify doesn’t automatically mean that you have re-registered.

One other note: Those individuals who successfully complete an Entry-Level Referee Clinic to become a Grade 8 or a Grade 9 Referee are both certified and registered for that year. First year referees do not need continuing education hours to register for the following year.

NISOA
  • Annual assessment requirements vary by local chapter / association.
  • Attend an annual mandatory re-certification clinic and pass both the NISOA physical and written exams.
IHSAA / IGHSAU
  • Attend an annual rules meeting at minimum every-other year.
  • Register by the spring deadline by submitting your registration form and payment via the IHSAA and IGHSAU web sites.
  • It should be noted that, although the respective state associations do not require annual assessments, physical or written exams, various local associations may have different qualifications for officiating games in your local area. Contact your assignor to find out local association policies in this regard.