How to Become a Soccer Referee


If you are interested in refereeing for Coventry Soccer Association, but are not yet certified as a USSF Soccer Referee, please visit the RI State Referee Website.

You will need to register as a referee on the RISCR website and THEN enroll in a class.

When searching for a clinic to attend, you are looking for the New Grade 9 Referee class

Once you have attended the Certification Clinic and passed the test you will need to contact our , to get placed on the email and mail distribution lists. That will ensure that you receive vital information about upcoming referee events as well as be updated on the process for getting assignments, officiating matches, etc.

You will also need to obtain an official US Soccer Referee uniform and equipment: Your appearance as a referee sends a message to players, coaches, spectators and your fellow referees. That first impression is vital. If you expect to command respect you must look and act professional! Click to view what is required

There are different grades of referee that you can become certified at. The basic and their requirements are listed below:

Grade 9 - Grade 9 qualification is the entry level grade for referees 12-15. A Grade 9 referees are authorized to work any recreational or small-sided youth game, either as Referee or as AR.  This includes Super Liga U12 and below, as well as recreational games in any age bracket. After a year of refereeing a Grade 9 referee can take an up-grade 8 class to advance to the next level. 

Grade 8 – is also a beginner but with a little more soccer experience and a little more maturity. A Grade 8 referee can do most any type of game, recreational, travel or adult, depending on their ability and desire. Grade 8 qualification is the entry level grade for referees 16+ (or younger with one year of grade 9 experience) intending to referee ‘competitive’
Super Liga matches. Additionally, a Grade 8 qualification allows for referees to also officiate at the ‘Recreational’ level where games often only involve one center official. Training= 10 hours online training US Soccer and grade 8 class. 80% grade 8 test. Recertification=4 hours on field or classroom. 80% on recertification exam.

Upgrade from Grade 9 to Grade 8 - For Grade 9 “blue
badge” Recreational Referees, upgrading to Grade 8 “black badge” Referee will open the door to competitive youth assignments at the U14 level and higher. There are two ways to upgrade from Grade 9 to Grade 8, and both options
are equivalent in terms of cost and time:

Bridge Clinic (Preferred):
Grade 9 Referee should recertify in the fall at an on-field recertification clinic, and attend a Grade 8 “Bridge” class, which is typically offered in the spring. This is the best option, and the training will be appropriate for a referee that already has some on-field experience. 

As an alternate option, Grade 9 referees may complete the Grade 8 New Referee training course, which includes 2 hours of online training and 6 hours of classroom training.


If you have any questions throughout this process, please contact the Director of Referees