Steps to becoming a grassroots referee


1.) Create a profile on the U.S. Soccer Referee Learning Center (LC) (must be 13+ to be a referee)

2.) Complete background check requirements through the LC (is 18+, check is $30 and valid for 2 years)

3.) Register for, complete all online assignments, and attend an in-person Grassroots Field Training Session ($80). This course is comprised of U.S. Soccer’s online module, SafeSport Training, Introduction to Safe and Healthy Playing Environments, and Grassroots Certification Quiz.

4.) You are a U.S. Soccer/Tennessee referee. Congratulations!

Details on the U.S. Soccer Referee Pathway can be read here.

Becoming a Grassroots Referee in the U.S. Soccer Referee Program consists of completing the following:

  • Signing up for and completing a 2020 NEW Grassroots Field Training Session. This course has the following components:

    • U.S. Soccer Online E-training Module

    • Introduction to Safe and Healthy Playing Environments

    • Grassroots Referee Certification Quiz

    • SafeSport Training (Federal Mandate)

    • If you are 18 years or older, you must also complete the U.S. Soccer NCSI Online Background Check ($30) - valid for 2 years and can be found within the LC. This MUST be completed prior to registering for a Field Training Session, so please plan accordingly as they can take 5-10 days to complete processing.

  • If Field Training Session near you is not yet available, check back later as they are constantly being added throughout Tennessee.

Per U.S. Soccer, new referees must be 13 years of age or older at the time they register. State Referee Committees have no discretion in changing this.

Completing these requirements will certify a referee through December 31st, 2020.

Detailed Version:

Step 1:

Create a Profile at U.S. Soccer Referee Learning Center (LC).

  • The unique account identifier is an email address. Parents may not use their lone email address to register multiple referees. Each referee needs their own email address. Parents may add a secondary email address to each account in order to receive any emails their referee is receiving from either U.S. Soccer or the Tennessee State Referee Committee.

  • A known issue while creating an account in the LC is a browser timeout. If this occurs for you, the U.S. Soccer recommended steps are to close your browser, clear your browser history and cookies, and try again. Alternatively, try a different browser or device to create your account.

Step 2:

Complete a Background Check (if 18+) within the U.S. Soccer Referee Learning Center.

  • Once you have a profile in the LC and log in, click on “Start your Journey” in the bottom left.

  • On the left, you will see “Supplemental Courses” in red on left. The first tab under this is “Background Screening”, click here and follow the instructions.

  • If you attempt to register for a Field Training Session prior to completing a background check, you will be prompted to complete one.

  • Please note: it can take 5-10 days for the background check to finish processing. It MUST be processed and complete prior to you being able to register for a course. This process CANNOT be expedited, so please plan accordingly.

  • The check is $30 and valid for 2 years.

Step 3:

Register for an In-Person Grassroots Field Training Session through your state (Tennessee) at U.S. Soccer Referee Learning Center.

  • To find a course, first log into the LC, and click on “Start Your Journey” in the bottom left. Under “License Pathway” in red, you will see “Grassroots-First-Time Referee”, click this, and you will be directed to a list of available courses.

  • In-Person Entry level courses are typically held July through September, and again January through March.

  • Courses will be continually added. If a convenient course location is not offered, check back at a later date. Courses should automatically populate closest to your registered zip code.

  • After you register for a Field Training Session, you MUST complete all assignments under the “Assignments” tab in the classroom. The assignments are as follows:

    • SafeSport Certification (per Federal Mandate)

      • Access Code: YC3E-6P5G-YYIL-CS2M

      • If you have already completed SafeSport training, log in to your SafeSport account, click on the Menu in top left corner, Update Account, change tab to Profile, scroll down and ensure U.S. Soccer is listed under Memberships. If not, just add it.

      • If you have U.S. Soccer listed under Memberships, SafeSport certification will automatically migrate your information into the U.S. Soccer Learning Center by September.

      • It should take 2-2.5 hours to complete the initial training, then every year after will only take about 30 minutes.

    • E-Learning Module (formerly the separate online U.S. Soccer-hosted course)

      • It should take approximately 4-6 hours to complete this section.

    • Introduction to Safe and Healthy Playing Environments

    • Grassroots Referee Certification Quiz

  • ALL assignments must be complete PRIOR to attending a Field Training Session.

Step 4:

Download the IFAB Laws of the Game (LOTG).

  • The LOTG are also available as an app on both Android and iOS.

Email Jessie Prigge for general questions about the Tennessee Soccer Referee Program.

Email U.S. Soccer's Help Desk for general questions about the Learning Center, issues creating your account, background checks, etc.