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USSF Referee Grades
To provide uniform standards for soccer referees in the United States, the National Referee committee has adopted ten referee grades. These grades supersede all grades which have previously been adopted by state associations and leagues so that uniform and comparative grading exists throughout the United States.

12 - United States Soccer Federation Assistant Referee

  • Minimum Age: 18
  • Badge: USSF Assistant Referee, with current year 
  • Authorized Assignment Level: Assistant Referee on all adult and youth games

9 - United States Soccer Federation Associate Referee

  • Minimum Age: None
  • Badge: USSF Recreational Referee, with current year
  • Authorized Assignment Level: Referee on recreational youth games under-14 and younger only, Assistant Referee all youth matches U14 and below. 
8 - United States Soccer Federation Referee
  • Minimum Age: None
  • Badge: USSF Referee, with current year
  • Recommended Assignment Level : All youth games, assistant referee in comparable games.
7 - United States Soccer Federation Referee 
  • Minimum Age: 17
  • Badge: USSF Referee, with current year
  • Recommended Assignment Level : All youth games and mixed leagues, assistant referee in amateur games below the top division.
6 - United States Soccer Federation State Referee
  • Minimum Age: 18
  • Badge: USSF State Referee, with current year
  • Recommended Assignment Level: All youth games and amateur games through second division and assistant referee in the top amateur division and Amateur Cup games.
5 - United States Soccer Federation State Referee
  • Minimum Age: 19
  • Badge: USSF State Referee, with current year
  • Recommended Assignment Level: All youth games and amateur games including first division and assistant referee in professional and international cup games.
4 - United States Soccer Federation National Referee
  • Minimum Age: 23
  • Badge: USSF National Referee, with current year
  • Recommended Assignment Level: All games through thrid division professional leagues; assistant referee for all games through second division professional.
  • US Citizen or Permanent Resident

3 - United States Soccer Federation National Referee

  • Minimum Age: 23
  • Badge: USSF National Referee, with current year
  • Recommended Assignment Level: All games except formal FIFA international matches.
  • US Citizen or Permanent Resident
2 - United States Soccer Federation International Assistant Referee
  • Minimum Age: 25
  • Badge: FIFA Assistant Referee, with current year on international matches *
  • Recommended Assignment Level: All games
  • US Citizen
1 - United States Soccer Federation International Referee
  • Minimum Age: 25
  • Badge: FIFA, with current year
  • Recommended Assignment Level: All games
  • US Citizen

The United Soccer Federation grade and title of an official will be determined solely by the standards and examinations issued by the National Referee Committee and the Unitd States Soccer Federation Board od Directors.  Annual re-examination is required.  Referees who do not meet all published criteria for their grade level will not be eligible for game assignments made through the US Soccer National Program for Referee Development.

A referee must officiate at the next higher level to accumulate experience to be certified competent at that level. Assignors must exercise care to increase the difficulty level of the game assignments in a gradual and orderly manner for the good of the official and of the players.

* International Assistant Referees must wear the USSF National Referee badge when assigned as a referee in all matches.
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