All US Soccer Referees, Assignors, Mentors and Coaches require annual certification. Certification is based on the calendar year January 1st – December 31st. FSR begins the US Soccer certification process for the upcoming calendar year in August (previous year) and closes certification for assignors on December 31 and for referees, mentors and coaches on May 1 of the new calendar year. Anyone not recertified on January 1st of a new year cannot participate until recertification is completed.
All Referees, Assignors, Mentors, and Coaches 18 years of age and older are required to complete the US SafeSports online course, and by Florida law have a Risk Management (RM) background completed each year in order to register each year.
Grassroots Referee recertification is either an in-person certification clinic or a webinar certification clinic depending upon when you were first licensed. For the 2023 Recertification, if you were first licensed in 2017 to 2022, you must attend an in-person certification clinic. If you were first licensed in 2016 or before then, you have the option to attend the in-person certification clinic or a webinar certification clinic. All grassroots referees will have a bi-annual in-person field training experience (“FTE”) required starting for the 2023 certification period and beyond. All in-person certification courses count towards the bi-annual requirement. Further FTE’s will be offered throughout the two years to allow opportunities for all referees to complete the required FTE in the two-year period.
Regional Referees have an annual fitness and online written test, in-person clinic, and other US Soccer mandated game requirements to successfully re-certify at the regional referee grade.
Assignors’ Recertification requirements are online course and in-person clinic. Only five in-person clinics are offered in the fall of the previous year’s certification. No further courses will be offered for the upcoming calendar year certification after December 15th. One course at the FYSA AGM and the other four courses offered in each Area at a date scheduled by August 1 to allow appropriate time for assignors to plan which course they can attend.
Mentors and Coaches Recertification requirements are an online module and test and instruction at one (1) in-person certification course. Mentors and Coaches need to contact their ARA and the State Director of Assessments (SDA) to be assigned to an in-person course. If the mentor or coach is also a grassroot referee, instructing at an in-person clinic counts towards their bi-annual in-person FTE.
National, Professional, and FIFA Referees must renew through the U.S. Soccer Federation Referee Program Office with the collaboration of the State Referee Administrator. Florida’s RM background check satisfies both FSR and US Soccer’s requirements for a background check to participate in activities as an official or mentor/coach, or an administrator.
Emeritus National and Regional Referees. FSR only requires the online modules and online written test to be recertified as an emeritus after satisfying US Soccer’s requirements. The emeritus license was established by US Soccer to allow an official who meets the US Soccer requirements to retire from the highest level the referee has attained. US Soccer is adamant that the license is not to be used to circumvent the fitness testing and registration procedures of US Soccer. The emeritus license allows a National or Regional official to retire from those levels of officiating while retaining that license and continuing to referee at a lower level. The current US Soccer requirements to be eligible for emeritus: (i) Must meet the minimum age of 45, (ii) 3 years registered as a regional or national referee (does not have to be continuous); (iii) satisfy the annual safety and compliance including FSR’s background check; and (iv) online national laws of the game test. US Soccer Referee department has eliminated the exception for FIFA Referees to attain emeritus who retire from the panel if they have not met the minimum age requirement, as was historically held in the past.