FAQ's for New Referees

New Referee FAQs

When is there a need for referees?

The great thing about becoming an official is that there is always work here in California. The great weather allows for continual game play!

  • Fall season is busy with all league play games. (August - November)
  • Spring Season offers game play
  • Summer Season offers game play
  • Cal South State Cup is always looking for good referees  (January - May )
  • Cal South National Cup is always looking for good referees (February - July)
  • Sanctioned tournaments are held throughout the entire year. Work for these are usually through referee associations. For a list of tournaments click here.

When should I register to become a referee?

You can start the registration process anytime during the year. It all depends on when you, as an individual will have the time to officiate. Understanding

the registraion period and the time frame that your certification is valid to is key. Plan accordingly by viewing the chart below to see what certification year you are registering for.

Currently we are inthe 2015 registration period so anyone that starts now will be certified until Dec. 31, 2015.

Registration Year Registration Period Starts Registration Period Ends Certification Valid From Certification Valid To
2014 July 1, 2013 *June 14,2014 The day you register Dec.31,2014
2015 July 1,2014 *June 14,2015 The day you register Dec.31,2015
2016 July 1,2015 *June 14, 2016 The day you register Dec.31, 2016

* Registration End is strict to allow us enough time to process your registration with the federation.

What's the difference between grade 9 & Grade 8? 

Both are entry level referee grades.  Grade 9 allows you to referee ONLY recreational youth matches. Many of these games may be done at volunteer base.

Grade 8 allows you to referee all youth games, competitive and recreational. Grade 8 referees usually get paid. Both have no minimum age requirements.

Does grade 9 & grade 8 have anything to do with what grade my son is in school currently?  

No.  Grade 9 and Grade 8 are simply the classifications that US Soccer Federation uses to designate the different level referees. Everyone starts as an entry level Grade 9 or Grade 8.

They do not need to start as a grade 9 to take the grade 8. They choose where to start depending on your comfort level. They can always choose to upgrade to the following level the following year.

  • Grade 1 - International Referee
  • Grade 2 - International Assistant Referee
  • Grade 3 - Professional Official
  • Grade 4 - National Official
  • Grade 5 - National Candidate
  • Grade 6 - State Referee
  • Grade 7 - Referee
  • Grade 8 - Referee
  • Grade 9 - Recreational Referee


I tried to register but the system took me in a loop, now what?     

The system is designed to keep history records. You or someone in your family was at one point part of Cal South as a parent, coach or player. Please contact Cal South to retrieve your account login.       


How much can a referee make?       

Referee pay differes with each league and referee association.. It all depends on the level of play. New referees can get paid anywhere from 20-50 or get paid as a team along with their assistant referees.

Team pay range can be anywhere from $1.30 to $1.40 per each minute of the game (for club games). The whole crew can then divide that earning. You will have to make sure to ask what the pay scale is for any league or association you choose to work for.          


Who pays the referee?                                                                             

For season league games, cash is usually paid on the field by the league representative (Coach/ Team Manager). Referee associations usually pay the official for tournament games.

Will an entry referee start working as a center referee?

New referee will most likely not start as a center unless they have previous experience and confidence. Referee associations and leagues usually want to start a new referee as Assistant referees before setting them up as a center referee.                                                                                                                 

How far do we need to travel for games?       

You will be the one who decides this. Each association will ask you how much you are willing to travel for work. This is completely up to you.       


Where can I get work?

Once you are certified and have received your ID and badge it’s time to look for work. Referees have two avenues from which to obtain games.

1.) Join a referee association. Each association offers you additional training and support. They will have a referee assignor who will ask about your availability to then send you out to games.

      For our list of referee associations please click here.

2.) Contact your local league to see if they have their own pool of referees. Ask about any requirements as some might ask you to volunteer a few games prior to beginning to get paid or offer certification payment  reimbursement.

      To find local leagues click here.       


What if I lose my badge?

If you lose your badge you can order a replacement at a $5 cost. That can be paid by check made out to Cal South. In the memo line please write “Badge Replacement for (referee’s name)”.       


What if I lose my Referee ID?

If you lose your referee ID you can order a replacement at a cost of $10. Checks should be made out to Cal South. In the memo line please write “ID Replacement for (referee’s name)”.        


What color uniform do I need to buy?

Uniform colors are your decision. It’s always best to have several colors as the official should stand out from the jersey colors worn on the field by soccer players. Please click here for the standards.      


Where do I get my yearly trainings? 

Every official needs to make sure to receive 5 hours of continual training in order to recertify the following year. Trainings are offered by referee associations who each hold monthly lectures/meetings.   


Common Questions/Concerns:

Uniforms - Official Sports Flyer

Advice to Parents of New Referees: Please click here for video

Advice to New Referees Documents - Please review this document