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For First-Time Referees

Why become a referee?


            There are many people who make the decision to become a Soccer Referee.  Being a referee is both challenging and rewarding.  Many become referees because of their love of the game, the chance to be positive role models, to develop leadership skills, to make life-long friends, or to have a part-time job (Referees are Independent Contractors).  Refereeing is a commitment to the game, to other officials, and to yourself.  Consider becoming a referee.  As the number of leagues, tournaments, and games continues to grow, there are always opportunities.


What is required?


            The first step to becoming a referee is to become certified by the USSF.  Once you are certified you can accept assignments as a  Referee in any of the local leagues in your area.

           There are 3 requirements to complete your USSF Certification:

        1.      Register and attend the ELC Class (2 days)

        2.      Pay the Registration and Clinic Fees ($65)

        3.     Complete the online Modules (USSF and online test with a score of 80%)

How do I get started? 

1.      MAKE THE DECISION TO BECOME A REFEREE: Read all the material that is provided here.  Look around the website.  Begin watching games more and more often, especially watching the referees at upper levels.


Register for an entry level class:

1.      SELECT A COURSE:  As soon you are committed to join the Soccer Referee Community, find an Entry-Level Course near you that fits your schedule.

2.    REGISTER: As soon as you have found a course, register for the selected Entry-Level Course here.  The number of seats in each class is limited.  If a class is full, select the next class.  When you register, you are provided with a seat in the class (which means no one else can take that seat).  If you find out later that you cannot attend the class, please be sure to unregister from the class.  This gives someone else the opportunity to take the class. 


  • NOTE TO PARENTS:  When you register a referee candidate, please provide information about the Referee who will be attending the class, NOT the parent assisting.  Parents, if your child does not have e-mail, use your own e-mail address.  You may use your e-mail for multiple children, if needed. Please provide birth dates and names for your Referee, not you.


3.   CONFIRMATION EMAIL:  After you have registered, you will receive a confirmation e-mail within 24 hours.  If you do not receive this e-mail for any reason, check your junk mail or Spam.  If you still do not find it, contact the webmaster for confirmation.

Before you go to class:


COMPLETE THE SELF-STUDY COMPONENTS: After you have registered for a course, start the Self-Study using the training aids we provide here.  It is recommended that you complete these Self-study items before you attend the class.  

1.      Download the Laws of the Game.  These are the Laws that Referees are paid to enforce.

2.      Download the KansasELC Workbook.  Complete it as you go through the modules in the next step below

3.      Complete all the required US Soccer Modules for Laws 1- 4,7-8. 

a.      While we recommend that you go through all the modules, the following are required to meet the pre-requisites for the online test.  You must login to Game Officials and go into the Session Tracker.  The pre-course modules are sessions 1 and 2.  Click here for instructions.

                                                              i.      Law 1:  The Field of Play

                                                             ii.      Law 2:  The Ball

                                                           iii.      Law 3:  The Players

                                                           iv.      Law 4:  The Player’s Equipment

                                                             v.      Law 7:  The Duration of the Match

                                                           vi.      Law 8:  The Start and Restart of Play

b.      Finish going through the other US Soccer Modules for Laws 5-6, 9-17 using the KansasELC Workbook.

The classroom sessions:

1.  DAY ONE:  On your class day, arrive 15 minutes early. And be sure to bring the following:

  • your completed “Kansas ELC Workbook” from your self-study.
  • something to write with and paper to take notes.
  • Wear comfortable clothes for working indoors.

2.  AFTER CLASS ON DAY 1:  Complete the online test.  To do so, you need to log into Kansas Game Officials.  You will not be able to access the test until after your first day of class is complete and only after you have completed the online USSF modules for Laws 1, 2, 3, 4, 7 and 8).  The test is open book and the passing grade is 80%. You may take the test as many as times as required to get the required grade.

3.  DAY 2:  Arrive 15 minutes early.

  • Wear running shoes and appropriate clothing for the weather.  Day 2 includes Field exercise so you will be outside and will be running.  Bring your whistle also.

4.  CERTIFICATION:  At the conclusion of Day 2, assuming the successful completion of the requirements, you will be certified to referee and with your badge for the current calendar year ahead.

Additional information:


·         Certification allows you to accept assignments for matches anywhere in the United States.  Certification does not guarantee that you will get assignments.  We suggest that you check with your local leagues to understand what their requirements are for assigning Referees to matches.

·         Certification is not the end of your learning—it is the beginning.  Soccer Referees, like soccer players, are made on the field during games.  The State Referee Committee works with the leagues across the State to develop the skills of those people who will work with you and to continue to develop your skills.

·         If you are 18 years old or older you MUST complete Risk Management through the Kansas Youth Soccer Association before you can referee any youth match in the state of Kansas.  For more information click here.

·         In Day 2 of the classroom session you will be given instructions on how to print out your registration card (the USSF no longer mails out registration packets).  Approximately 6 weeks after the class you should use these instructions to print out your registration card.  If you can’t remember where these instructions are, you can go to the FAQ section of the web site to access the instructions.

If you have additional questions, contact the State Director of Instruction, Larry Weigant, Email Larry.