How Do I Become A Referee?

Throughout the year, the State Referee Committee, Referee Chairman and referees from around the area are asked the question, “How do I become a referee?” The answer is simple: attend and successfully complete a referee training program.

North Texas and its member associations offer two entry-level programs for individuals interested in becoming a referee. Let’s take a minute and discuss both options.

We will start with the Grade 9 Recreational Referee program. As a candidate, you must be 12 years old or older on, or before the clinic start date. Playing experience is desired; one will have a better chance of successful completion with a basic understanding of the game.

Requirements to successfully complete the Grade 9 Recreational Referee program include four-and-a-half hours of classroom instruction, a field session where you must demonstrate the lessons learned in the classroom, and a written exam that requires a score of 75 or better in order to pass the course. At the completion of the program, you will register with North Texas and the United States Soccer Federation as a Grade 9 Recreational Referee.

Students will be trained to referee games which require only indirect free kick restarts. Generally, these are games involving players from U4 through U8.  Although some Associations may use these playing rules on other ages, Grade 9 referees trained after July 1, 2013, will be authorized to serve as center referee only on games with indirect free kick restarts.  These are primarily “small-sided” games.

Now, let’s discuss the Grade 8 Basic Referee Program. As a candidate, you must be 13 years old or older on, or before, the start date of the clinic. Playing experience is desired; one will have a better chance of successful completion with a good understanding of the game.

Requirements to successfully complete the Grade 8 Basic Referee program include 16-and-a-half hours of classroom instruction, a field session where you must demonstrate the lessons learned during the classroom, and a written exam that requires a score of 75 or better to pass the course. At the completion of the program, you will register with North Texas and the United States Soccer Federation as a Grade 8 Basic Referee.

As a Grade 8 Basic Referee, you will be allowed to referee all age groups once you have gained the confidence of your local assignor. Effective Jan. 1, 2014, the Grade 8 curriculum and clinic will be changing  After a transition period, and effective Jan. 1, 2015, a Grade 8 referee will be limited to U16 competitive matches.

Clinics are requested by the member associations several weeks to a month or more in advance. Most of the clinics occur late January through early March and then again from late July through September. A link to the current list of available clinics can be found here Keep in mind, the list is being updated constantly, so keep checking back till you find what you’re looking for.

Good luck!

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