Grade 5 (State Referee) Upgrade

Effective immediately, all referees who wish to register with US Soccer Federation as a Grade 5 for 2018 and beyond will be required to satisfy the annual requirements listed below. These standards incorporate and extend beyond the minimum expectations established by the U.S. Soccer Federation Referee Program. All requirements must be met prior to December 1 of each year.

Grade 5 Referee Annual Requirements

Previous Game Experience
Ten (10) total matches combined at any of the following levels:

  • MLS, MLS Pre-season, NASL, USL
  • Category B International friendlies
  • Any US Soccer Open Cup match featuring a team from one of the above leagues
  • International friendlies featuring a team from one of the above leagues

Previous Grade Experience
Minimum one (1) year as a Grade 6 Referee or above

2018 Registration: Attend at least one (1) Elite Referee Training session, Attend at least one (1) U.S. Soccer hosted event*

2019 and after: Attend at least three (3) Elite Referee Training sessions, Attend at least one (1) U.S. Soccer hosted event*

* Accepted events include

  • U.S. Soccer Development Academy Winter Showcase
  • U.S. Soccer Development Academy Summer Showcase and Playoffs
  • U.S. Soccer Development Academy Finals
  • USASA Amateur Regional or National Championships
  • Other events as approved by the CNRA Director of Referee Development

Laws of the Game Test
Pass the National Referee Laws of the Game Test

Fitness Test
Pass the appropriate National Referee or National Assistant Referee fitness test

Practical Evaluation
Minimum of three (3) passing assessments from three (3) different National Referee Coaches in the calendar year preceding the intended registration year

The mission of this policy is to promote the very best match officials to the professional soccer level. It is imperative that these officials command understanding and correctly interpret the FIFA Laws of the Game.

Requesting Assessments

Additionally, the policy for requesting an assessment from a National Referee Coach (formerly National Assessor) has been revised to reflect the modifications to the Referee Academy.

Any questions regarding the new Grade 5 Referee Standard or National Referee Coach Policy should be directed to Matthew Buckman, Director of Referee Development.

Download a copy of the PDF Grade 5 Standards