Become a Referee

Welcome and thank you for wanting to become a United States Soccer Referee in California North!

Before you register for a Course please first determine which CNRA Region you live by using the map below. Hover your cursor over the county you live and a Region Label will appear. You will need to enter this Region within your Registration Form.

Image Map North Region West Region East Region South Region


There are no minimum age requirements to become a referee.  However, many local leagues may require a referee to be older than the players that they are officiating.  Parents are advised to assess the maturity level of their child prior to permitting them to take one of the Entry Level Referee Courses.

Start the online registration process with the selection of an Entry Level Course. This is usually a Grade 8 Referee course, unless your local league has instructed you otherwise:

Our guides below can assist you with the online registration and course selection.



How to Create an Account, Register for a Course and Submit Payment:

  1. Go to
  2. If you have never been a referee at any level Click on “New User”from the Menu on the left
  3. Select correctly from:”I am a CURRENTLY registered or USED TO BE registered”  or “I have NEVER BEEN registered “
  4. Check the Box when you meet the requirements and then Click on “Continue”
  5. Create a New Account and enter ALL New User Information
  6. Continue with entering User Maintenance fields
  7. Click on “COURSES” from Main Menu
  8. Click on “Referee Courses”
  10.  Provides information of a listed course. : Course is restricted and requires an Override Code from the Sponsor or Instructor
  11. Select a “Course Number”
  12. Click on “Register For This Course”
  13. Complete USSF Registration fields, Payment fields, and then Confirmation fields
  14. When finished we recommend you print out your Course Confirmation and enter your Class Dates on your Calendar
  15. You will be given a Laws of the Game book at the first class.  Attend each classroom session and prepare to take a test on the final day.
  16. To better prepare for the Course you have just signed up for we recommend viewing the following online video modules before attending the first class and while you are enrolled in the Course. These are also excellent ongoing training modules to refer to throughout the season to further understand the Laws of the Game and correctly apply referee and assistant referee mechanics and procedures.

Grade 9 Referee Instructional Modules – Online Training specific to the small-sided and recreational youth game.

Grade 8 Referee Instructional Modules – Online Training specific to the recreational and competitive youth game.

Should you experience any difficulty with creating an account or registering for an Entry Level Referee Course please contact your Regional Referee Administrator or the CNRA Registrar for assistance.


Review the following course descriptions and video of each course type and then select a Course type that suits you. Most new referees, whether younger or older, register for the Grade 8 Entry Level Referee Course.

Grade 8 Entry Level Referee Course Description (Our Most Common Course)

This Course work will allow the student to referee all Recreational and Competitive Youth Games. After successfully completing the training and testing of the course work the student will be certified as a  Grade 8 Referee.  These classroom sessions are often 3-4 hour long classes over two to three or more days. A final comprehensive test encompassing fifty questions of all 17 Laws of the Game and Mechanics & Procedures is given at the end. The student will need to score at least 80% on the final exam to obtain certification.

There are two types of course structures available:

  • An 18-hour ALL Classroom. This course is taught solely by an instructor(s) within a classroom setting. This course is often scheduled over several days with each session lasting 3-4 hours. 
  • A hybrid of Online Sessions, Classroom Sessions and a Field Session.  Once the student registers for a course the student MUST complete the Online Sessions on their own before attending the first scheduled Classroom Session.  The Online Sessions reduce the hours needed in the classroom and field session to only 13-hours. Each Law is examined and reviewed within the online modules. Some of the more complex laws are re-examined in depth in the classroom. A field session will also be part of the mandatory training. Students should dress and be prepared for physical activity as they will utilize Signals, Mechanics and Procedures as a center referee and an assistant referee.   Click HERE for a Video of Grade 8 Referee Course Introduction

Grade 9 Entry Level Referee Course Description

This Course work will limit the student to ONLY  refereeing Small-Sided and Recreational Youth Games.  This is approximately a 10-hour in-class training to obtain a Grade 9  Referee certification.  This course is taught solely by an instructor(s) within a classroom setting. These are often a 10-hour  course  that may span over 1 to 3 days usually within one week. Each Law is examined and reviewed in class. A final test encompassing 50 questions of all 17 Laws of the Game and Procedures is given at the end. The student will need to score at least 80% on the final exam to obtain certification. Click HERE for a Video of Grade 9 Referee Course Introduction.

All Entry Level Courses that end prior to June 30th will be registered for the current year. Students that successfully complete these courses will receive a  Referee badge for the current year and can begin refereeing immediately. Referees are required to renew their license annually for the upcoming season.

Referees that complete their Entry Level Referee Course on or after July 1 will be registered for the next year and receive a Referee badge. These new referees will be able to referee the remaining season in addition to also being able to referee the next year before needing to renew their annual license.