Want to become a Referee?

If you are interested in officiating for NVSC, but are not yet certified as a USSF Soccer Referee, please visit the State Referee Website (see State Referee Program Link). 

To see a list of available courses, on the State Referee Program main page click on the "CLINIC LISTING" link on the upper left side.  To begin, you will need to register with the the state office and select a clinic that fits your schedule for the referee grade you want to attain.  When searching for a clinic to attend, we are in the North Region, and you are looking for the New Referee Clinic. The new referee clinic registration fee for either entry level referee grade costs $70.  New referee and re-certification clinics are scheduled prior to the Fall and Spring Seasons.  They typically start in late July through the beginning of the Fall season and continue through late March/ early April of the Spring season.

There are two entry level grades for a referee:

  1. Grade 8 - This grade requires completion of the Grade 8 referee course and passing the end of course exam.  The purpose of the Grade 8 Referee Course is to prepare officials for both competitive youth (travel) and recreational games  up to U19.
  2. Grade 9 - This grade requires completion of the Grade 9 referee course and passing the end of course exam.  The purpose of the Grade 9 Referee Course is to prepare officials for the small sided and recreational youth games U14 and younger. 

Though either entry level course will allow you to officiate games with NVSC, if you are 15 or older it is recommended that you attend the grade 8 course as this reduces the limitations of the types of games you can be assigned.  The DCV State Referee Program has set a minimum age requirement of 13 for certification.

Both courses combine online training with classroom training. The classroom portion is typically 10 hours and may be scheduled over a couple evenings, a single weekend or two weekends. The online training takes about 3 hours depending on the Grade.  The course you select will have details about how the classroom time is structured as well as the location and instructor info. 

A referee initially certified as a Grade-9 can attend a New Grade-8 course later or take a special "Bridge" Course designed to upgrade Grade-9 referees to Grade-8.  This is typically done during the time a referee has to re-certify (referees have an annual re-certification requirement).

Registering for a course does not mean you will become a referee automatically.  There is an exam and you must qualify by passing. Having stated that, almost everyone who watches the required videos and listens to the instructor during the classroom portion should do well. Another way to improve your likelihood of passing is to review the Laws of the Game before the clinic. If you do not pass the exam during your classroom session, you will usually have an opportunity to re-test in another clinic – talk to your instructor.  Instructors want to put referees on the field, but only after they have demonstrated a basic knowledge of the Laws.

If you have any questions throughout this process, please contact the State Office directly at mdcvasrp@erols.com.

Once you have completed the required instruction and received your patch, you will need to obtain the Official US Soccer Referee Uniform and some basic equipment - see our General Information section for more details. A basic uniform package (jersey, shorts, and socks) will cost approximately $40 to $60 depending on the package. They typically include additional accessories such as flags, whistle, data wallet, red/yellow cards and patch velcro. The starter kits are typically less expensive than purchasing the individual components.

A referee officiating recreational games can typically get by with one short-sleeve yellow jersey. Referees who work competitive matches should have alternate color jerseys (black, red, blue, green) to eliminate any color conflicts.

Don't wait until the last minute, especially if you have to order the uniform. You will not be permitted to officiate a game without having the minimum uniform elements. There are several online sources for uniforms - Official Sports, Soccerone, RefereeStore, etc... Examples of the approved referee shirt and other accessories can be found in our uniform section under General Information.

Once certified, a new referee needs to contact an assignor for a local club or league. The assignor will work with you to give you appropriate skill level games based on your age and qualification.  You can contact me at  nvscrefassignor@novasc.org  to be placed on the email distribution lists.  That will ensure that you receive vital information about upcoming referee events as well as being up to date on the process for getting assignments, officiating matches, etc.

I often get questions about how much a referee makes.  Game rates vary widely and depend on the Age Group, the Referee Position (Center Referee or Assistant Referee) and the level of the game (recreational or competitive). The higher the level and age (and the longer the game) the more a referee can earn. For one game as a U10 Center Referee, the rates can be approximately $22-$45. Center Referee for a U19 game can range between $48-$80 where as an Assistant Referee can earn between $28-$40.

We look forward to having you work with us on the pitch!!!!

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Serving the soccer needs of the Prince william county area since 1973