US Soccer - 2016 Changes


SoSH Member
Aug 3, 2010
Your basic town youth league would be smart to grandfather those shirts in... not only are they selling them in the $10-20 range but there should be glut of hand-me-downs from more experienced refs who'd rather not put them in the trash.

Omar's Wacky Neighbor

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jul 14, 2005
Leaving in a bit to the studio :)
Group Email from: NJ SRC
Sent through: (
Username: OWN

As many of you have heard, US Soccer is making changes to the structure of Referee licensing. These changes will go into effect beginning with the 2020 registration year… for all new referees as of July 1st, 2019, and for all recertifying referees receiving their 2020 badges.

We have posted a slideshow from US Soccer onto the page, under the Recent News banner on the righthand side of the homepage.

The change that will affect the most of you will be the move to Grassroots Referee.

All Grade 7, 8, and 9 recertifying referees will become Grassroots Referees. Currently, the badge for grades 7-9 look identical, and they still will, they will simply say “Grassroots Referee” instead of simply “Referee”.

Grassroots Referees will be licensed to work soccer matches from youth through adult amateur.
- Given this very wide band of age groups and skill levels, the NJSRC will be issuing recommendations to the assignors regarding assignment of referees under 18 years old.
- With the elimination of grades with then Grassroots license, there will no longer be a need to maintenance assessments for anyone in the Grassroots license band.
- There will not be any fitness testing required of Grassroots Referees, unless required by the competition.

Recertification of Grassroots referees this year (for 2020) will be done online – details will follow later.
For now:
- All recertifying Grassroots Referees will be required to take the online “Grassroots Experience” which is the new entry training modules. The purpose is to reset the national baseline of referee knowledge.
- All referees 18 or older will also be required to become Safesport trained/certified, in compliance with federal law.

We plan to hold several half-day clinics (5 hours) for those who work, or wish to be considered for working, the adult game.

State Referees will become Regional Referees.

To upgrade from Grassroots Referee to Regional Referee will require:
- 18 years of age or older
- 3 years minimum as a Grassroots Referee
- 50 games as a referee and 25 games as an AR on adult games.
- Fitness testing
- 2 passing assessments as referee on adult games, 1 passing assessment as AR on an adult game. One referee assessment may be on a U18/U19 match.

To recertify as a Regional Referee:
- Online recertification
- Safesport training/certification
- Fitness testing
- Attend a full day clinic
- 2 passing assessments as referee on adult games, 1 passing assessment as AR on an adult game. One referee assessment may be on a U18/U19 match.

We will put out more specific instructions for how to recertify as we draw closer to that time period.

Meanwhile, should you have any questions, please feel free to send me a note ( or reach out to Dan Paolini (

Thank you all, for all you do for the sport of soccer.


Marc Block
NJ State Referee Administrator

Please read the entire message above to ensure that you are aware of any important information it may contain. However, this email was sent to a large number of users and may contain information that does not directly apply to you.