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Grassroots Referees' FAQ

Grassroots Referee course: This course is for people 13 years of age and older. You MUST be 13 years of age or older when you go to register for the course. This certification allows a Grassroots Referee to officiate all levels of competition from competitive (D1-D3) through recreational (D4). This certification is good for 1 year and does NOT come with a referee ‘kit.’ Online course code: RecRef08

How old do I have to be in order to become a soccer referee? 
You MUST be 13 years of age, or older, when you register for the referee course. This is a federal regulation that cannot be waived by either Williamson County Soccer Association (WCSA) or Tennessee State Soccer Association (TSSA).

How do I become a soccer referee and where do I go to sign-up?
Go to > TN Referee Program Home > New Referees > Steps to becoming a referee

Where can I go to see what referee courses are available in my area?
You can go to and choose the option that says 'Entry - Never been a USSF referee before' and it will show you all the classes that are available, their times, and their locations.

I am already a soccer referee, how do I recertify?
Go to > TN Referee Program Home > Current Referees > Recertification

How much does it cost to become a soccer referee?
The cost for the online class is $58 and the field session, which is 4 hours long, is $40 for a total of $98. If you are an adult (18 years of age or older) then there will be an additional cost of the background check (currently $30 plus an additional processing fee). If you are an adult, you will also have to complete the SafeSport class, which is free, but does take an hour an a half to complete the first time. Information about SafeSport can be found here and under the Coaches tab.

Are there any other costs to becoming a soccer referee?
Along with the cost of the online class and the field session (plus a background check if you are an adult), you will need to purchase a soccer referee 'kit.' This kit can vary on cost but it is between $35 and $90 depending on your choice. Other items that you will need are black (or dark colored) cleats or running shoes, a watch with either a stopwatch or a countdown timer feature (a smartphone is NOT an acceptable means of timing a game), a pen, and a bag to keep all of your gear together. The most popular sites for finding soccer referee kits are: (We recommend for Boys: 1815Y and for Girls: W1815Y),, and You can purchase a 'kit' or you can purchase each item individually. 

The minimum equipment you need is:
  • Gold/Yellow Short Sleeve Jersey
  • Black officiating shorts
  • Black 2-stripe socks
Highly recommended you also have: 
  • Whistle
  • Flag set
  • Black or dark colored running shoes or cleats (Shoes should primarily be black or dark colored. A little color or white logos/symbols like the Nike swoosh are acceptable)
  • Card wallet with a Yellow card & Red card
  • Ink Pen
  • Wrist watch with either a stopwatch or a countdown timer feature, or both
  • Coin (you can use a normal quarter or any other sort of coin that has a different color or engraving on each side)
  • Bag to carry all your gear
Other optional items:
  • Plain black baseball cap
  • Sunscreen or some other sun block spray or lotion
  • Bug spray
  • Long black pants and a long sleeve black shirt (for when it is cold out)
How do I get assigned games?
WCSA uses the GameOfficials assigning platform to assign games. Once you have completed your referee class and filled out the information sheet, the sheet will be given to our assignor to be entered into the system. An email will then be sent to the new referee with instructions on how to block your calendar, setting up your bank account information so you can get paid, and other items. Your account should, by default, have the notifications set to ‘text’ and ‘email’ the referee with each game assignment. It is then up to the referee to go into the system and accept or decline their assigned games. If you ‘decline’ your games, it will ask for a reason the games are being declined. The number one reason games are declined is because the referee failed to ‘block’ their availability in GameOfficials.

What if I can’t referee at a certain time, day, or week?
If a referee cannot officiate during a certain time, all they have to do is 'block' their calendar in GameOfficials. For example, a youth referee is playing in a soccer game at 10:30 a.m. They would go into their availability in GameOfficials and put in a 'block' from 10:30 a.m. until 11:59 a.m. so they are not assigned a game to officiate during that time. The same thing would apply for a referee who is not available at all on a Saturday. They would go into their availability in GameOfficials and put in a 'block' from 12:01 a.m. until 11:59 p.m. so they are not assigned a game to officiate during that time.

What are ‘standby’ referees?
When all of the games have been covered but we still have additional referees available to work games, they can be assigned a ‘standby’ game. Referees are paid a standby rate for each game that they are assigned ‘standby’. If a fellow referee becomes injured or sick and can no longer officiate their game(s), a ‘standby’ referee will be assigned to replace the sick or injured referee. The standby referee would then receive the pay that they would normally for officiating that game.

How much do I get paid per game?
The pay varies based on the age group playing and the position of the referee. Most games have a referee (otherwise known as the ‘center’ referee) and 2 assistant referees (known as ARs). The pay for a U8 game is $15.00 for the center and $10.00 for each AR while the pay for a U19 game is $50 for the center and $40 for each AR. The pay is also increased for playoff games as well. For WCSA, there are 5 games each Saturday for the U7-U8 age groups. All other age groups (U9 – U19) have 4 games on each Saturday.

How often do we get paid?
Payroll is run every 2 weeks, most of the time. Pay is managed through the GoPay feature (similar to PayPal) in GameOfficials. Sometimes they have glitches or issues with their system that can delay officials getting paid. We will try our best to send a notification out should this happen. Regardless, all officials WILL get paid for any games and/or standby(s) that they worked.

Once I am certified, can I officiate at other venues or for other associations?
Yes! A lot of our referees also officiate for other recreational or competitive leagues. As long as you are certified and in good-standing, you can officiate in other leagues. Just reach out to your local assignor to find out how you can start officiating for other clubs.


Williamson County Soccer Association
Physical Address (NOT for mail): 3157 Boyd Mill Avenue Franklin TN 37064 Mailing Address WCSA: P.O. Box 680037 Franklin TN 37068 

Phone: 615-791-0590
Email: [email protected]

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