Completing New Referee Instruction and Certification from 2020 – Entry Certification for 2021


We transferred many of the referees with incomplete online lessons and/or in-person clinic for their 2020 new referee certification to a temporary 2021 Referee Grassroots Entry clinic, so they can complete the online lessons, attend the field training session, and be certified in 2021.  We made the accommodation for the inconvenience of postponing clinics due to the COVID-19 shutdowns last Spring.  There is no additional registration fee and clinic fee for 2021.

When you complete your online lessons, transfer to a clinic with the field training session.  Click on the TRANSFER option to the right of your reserved clinic to select an available Entry clinic with a field training session.

No matter what online lessons you have previously completed, you will have some online lessons to complete.  We are in a new referee registration and instruction year, starting on 1 July.  Each year has required annual instruction, for example, safety training and the annual referee test.  No matter what was completed in a prior year, the annual requirements for this year must be completed.  Three lessons were added, due to modifications to the field training to comply with COVID-19 health safety protocols.

Your requirements for your new referee certification are a combination of online lessons and an in-person field training session.  

TO START.  Go to our Officials Management System (OMS): 

Select “Member Sign In.”  Enter your username and password.

On your Member Home Page, to the right of your reserved clinic, click on “Online Lesson.”

ONLINE LESSONS.  There are seven online lessons:

1.  2021 Introduction to the Learning Center  (4 hours, 30 minutes)   
2.  2020 Referee Signals  (9 minutes)
3   2020 Assistant Referee Signals  (11 minutes)
4.  Ceremonial Restarts  (4 minutes)
5.  2021 Learning Center Intro to Safety  (15 minutes)
6.  2021 Grassroots Entry Referee Test  (30 minutes)
7.  2021 Learning Center SafeSport  (90 minutes)         


If you already completed the Grassroots Referee Course at the US Soccer Learning Center, you will have credit for the course.  The course is a one-time requirement.  The Introduction to the Learning Center will show complete if the course is completed.  If the Introduction does not show complete, start the lesson.  You will go to the Learning Center by clicking the button to go to the Learning Center.  

The Introduction to the Learning Center lesson is both an introduction on how to sign in and log in to the US Soccer Learning Center, and 4.5-hour Grassroots Referee Course.

Part 1 of the Introduction to the Learning Center explains how to Sign In and create a profile, username, and password at the Learning Center.  BE CAREFUL TO ENTER YOUR NAME THE SAME AS YOUR NAME IN OMS.  If your name does not match, the Learning Center will not match your referee history to your account; instead the Learning Center will create a new account.

Part 2 of the Introduction to the Learning Center explains how to Log In and start and complete the Grassroots Referee Course.  BE CAREFUL TO USE LOG IN.  If you use Sign In, you will create another account at the Learning Center.

There are five Parts to the Learning Center course.  You must complete each Part in sequence.

As you progress through the Grassroots Referee Course, you must view everything on a page/slide.  You will have to click on each option to read or watch a video.  Sometimes you will have to scroll down or to the right to see everything on a page/slide.  If you do not see the CONTINUE button, you have not viewed everything on the page/slide.

If you need to stop the course to resume later, select CLOSE, so your progress will be saved and you can resume where you left the course.

When you complete the course, go back to OMS to complete the other lessons.

REMAINING LESSONS.   Complete the remaining online lessons by selecting “Start” beside each lesson, in order.

Everyone must complete Lessons 2 – 6.

Lesson 7, SafeSport Training, is required for referees 18 years or older.  Lesson 6 will show complete for referees who are not 18.  The first time SafeSport Training takes about 90 minutes to complete.  Subsequent annual SafeSport Training takes about 15 minutes to complete.


When you complete the online lessons, transfer from the temporary clinic reservation to a convenient Entry Grassroots Referee clinic with the field training session.  These clinics are added to the available clinics on a regular basis, as venues can be reserved. Click on the TRANSFER option to the right of your reserved clinic to select an available Entry clinic with a field training session.

You need to bring your own whistle and referee flag to the field session.  We cannot share referee equipment during the pandemic.

Dress for the weather and for mild activity on the field.  You will be outside on the field for 4 hours.

You should receive your referee badge at the end of the field training session.


You can search the internet for soccer referee uniform or equipment.  You should find many alternative brands and vendors.  You can also procure your referee kit at a soccer store.  Generally, retail stores are more expensive.  Official Sports is the brand that sponsors and is affiliated with US Soccer.  However, any brand should acceptable.  Be careful to procure the current referee shirt and socks styles.  You will see the referee uniform during the Grassroots Referee Course and should be a resource at the US Soccer Learning Center.

We recommend that you procure a referee uniform/equipment kit, which includes referee shirt (yellow is primary color), referee shorts, referee socks, referee flags, whistle, yellow and red cards, etc.  The kit will provide the best value and all of your referee equipment.

When you complete the online lessons and the field training session, we can approve your 2021 referee certification.