skip navigation

Administrative Information

Important Administrative Information
 

The registration of soccer officials in Tennessee is managed by The Soccer Officials of Tennessee (SOTN). Information about some of SOTN's policies/procedures can be accessed by clicking the following links.

 

Referee Information
 

New Referees
Referee grades managed in Tennessee
Referee registration
Referee recertification
Referee upgrade
AYSO to USSF cross-certification in Tennessee
Registration fees charged in Tennessee
TSSA State League Fees
Referee uniforms

Traveling Out of State

Print a USSF ID Card

 


New Referees
 

To become a new referee, you need to take an entry-level referee class. In Tennessee, two types of entry-level classes are offered. One certifies you as a grade-8 referee and the other certifies you as a grade-9 referee.

For the most part, grade-8 referees manage and conduct youth-level matches at a competitive level (Divisions 1, 2, and 3 . . . including 'select' matches). The grade-8 entry-level class takes about 15 hours.

Grade-9 referees (sometimes referred to as 'recreational' referees) are trained to manage and conduct U14-and-younger matches within recreational leagues. The grade-9 entry-level class is about 8 hours; this class is not offered everywhere in Tennessee.

Grade-8 referees can referee recreational games, but grade-9 referees are not supposed to referee competitive games. For every grade-9 referee in Tennessee there are about a dozen grade-8 referees.

To register for an entry-level class, click Approved Classes (top menu bar) and follow the online instructions.

For detailed instructions, click here.

If you need assistance, please contact Peggy Gruzalski.


Referee Certification

CERTIFICATION

  • Referees who wish to officiate outside the State of TN before USSF records are updated must contact the State Director of Instruction (SDI) to have their USSF record manually updated.
  • Certification of a referee is valid from January 1 through December 31.
  • USSF Badges have a yearly date on them; referees should only wear the current year badge when officiating.
  1. Beginner (NEW) Referee
  • In Tennessee this is a simple process once you have decided which level (grade 8 or 9) official you wish to begin at.
  1.  Tennessee Managed USSF Referee Grades 9, 8, 7, 6, and 5 are managed by the State of TN.
  • Grade 9 – (Beginner Level) - U.S. Soccer Federation Recreational Referee
  1. Minimum Age: None
  2. Badge: U.S. Soccer Recreational Referee, with current year
  3. Authorized Assignment Level: Referee on recreational youth games U-14 and younger only and assistant referee on any game U-14 or below
  • Grade 8 – (Beginner Level)  - U.S. Soccer Federation Referee
    1. Minimum Age: None
    2. Badge: U.S. Soccer Referee, with current year
    3. Recommended Assignment Level: All youth games, assistant referee in comparable games
  • Grade 7 - U.S. Soccer Federation Referee
    1. Minimum Age: 17
    2. Badge: U.S. Soccer Referee, with current year
    3. Recommended Assignment Level: All youth games and mixed leagues, assistant referee in all adult games below the top division
  • Grade 6 - U.S. Soccer Federation State Referee
    1. Minimum Age: 18
    2. Badge: U.S. Soccer State Referee, with current year
    3. Recommended Assignment Level: All youth games and adult amateur games through second division and assistant referee in the top adult division and Amateur Cup games
  • Grade 5 - U.S. Soccer Federation State Referee
    1. Minimum Age: 19
    2. Badge: U.S. Soccer State Referee, with current year
    3. Recommended Assignment Level: All youth games and adult games including first division and assistant referee in professional league and international cup games
  1. Re-certification in Tennessee
  • Attendance at an out of state clinic must be approved by the SDI/SRA. Referees transferring from another State to TN are exempt from this requirement.
  • It is a requirement of referees registered in Tennessee that they officiate at the Tennessee division 1 youth tournament for the boys in the fall each year as part of the qualification to maintain their referee grade for grade 6 and 5 referees.
  • Grade 7 referees must attend an advanced re-certification course, pass a fitness test and successfully pass an assessment on a U17 or higher match.
  • Grade 6 (State Referee) must attend an advanced clinic, pass a fitness test and pass a field assessments as referee on a Div 2 adult match or higher.
  • Grade 5 (State Referee) must attend an advanced clinic, pass a fitness test and pass a field assessments as referee on a Div 1 adult match or higher.
  • Referees who have failed to re-certify for a period of time must follow the process listed here to re-certify
  1. Grade 8 referees who fail to re-certify for 1-2 consecutive years can be re-registered as a grade 8 after completing a Referee Re-certification clinic.
  2. Grade 8 referees who fail to re-certify for 3-4 consecutive years can be re-registered after taking the Referee Bridge (Grade 9 to Grade 8) Course or the entire Entry Level Referee Training Course.
  3. Grade 8 referees who fail to re-certify for 5 or more consecutive years must re-take the entire Entry Level Referee Training Course.
  4. Grade 7 Referees and Higher - Referees who were Grade 7 or higher should be downgraded a minimum of one (1) grade. Once they retake the appropriate course as listed above and have completed all the requirements for the previously held grade, they may be upgraded back to the previously held grade.
  5. Grade 9 Referees who miss one or two years of registration may be re-certified after fulfilling all re-certification requirements for that grade. A Grade 9 Referee who misses two years of registration can be eligible to take the Bridge Course (9-8) after he or she has met the requirements to be re-certified as Grade 9.
  1. Failing one or more annual requirements will result in downgrading the referee at least one grade until that failed portion has been resolved successfully.
  1. Failing a written examination
  • Referees must pass the written exam, regardless of grade, to re-certify for the next year.
  • Tennessee has adopted the recommendation from the 2006/2007 RAH as policy.  Requiring a 30 day waiting period for a failed written test before retaking the exam.
  1. Failing an Assessment
  • Maintenance Assessment - Grade 7 & Up - the following procedure from the 2006/2007 RAH has been adopted as TN Policy.
    • No waiting period for retake
    • The first failure will require only one additional passing assessment (1 for 1)
    • For the second, and any additional failures, the two for one criterion applies. (I.e. two passing assessments needed to offset the failed assessment). Make up assessments must be on the same level game, or higher, as the failed assessment.
  • Upgrade Assessment – To Grade 7-6-5
    • No waiting period for retake
    • Must pass two for any assessment(s) that are failed (See RAH for specifics)
    • Failure of two assessments in one 12 month period will terminate the upgrade process and upgrade candidate must re-apply for upgrade, starting the process from the beginning (See RAH for specifics).
  1. Failing a Fitness test
    • No waiting period for retake
    • Must pass to certify at grade 7A, 6 or 5

 

Referee Grades Managed in Tennessee
 

Items listed are applicable to Tennessee certification's.

  • Grade 9 - U.S. Soccer Federation Recreational Referee
    1. Minimum Age: None
    2. Badge: U.S. Soccer Recreational Referee, with current year
    3. Assignment Level: Referee (whistle) on recreational youth games U-14 and younger only and assistant referee on any game U-14 or below
  • Grade 8 - U.S. Soccer Federation Referee
    1. Minimum Age: 12
    2. Badge: U.S. Soccer Referee, with current year
    3. Assignment Level: All youth games, assistant referee in comparable games
  • Grade 7 - U.S. Soccer Federation Referee
    1. Minimum Age: 16 with SRA Approval
    2. Badge: U.S. Soccer Referee, with current year
    3. Assignment Level: Referee (whistle) all youth games and mixed leagues and assistant referee in the top adult division.
  • Grade 7A - U.S. Soccer Federation Referee
    1. SOT designation: The "A" demonstrates that the Official has met the requirements to Referee (whistle) Amateur and State Youth D1 matches. For 2016 it indicates taking of a qualifying Sprint and Interval test. Beginning 2017 it will also indicate the passing of an assessment on a U15 or higher match.
    2. Minimum Age: 16 with SRA Approval
    3. Badge: U.S. Soccer Referee, with current year
    4. Assignment Level: Referee (whistle) all youth games and mixed leagues, adult amateur games through second division and assistant referee in the top adult division. To Referee (whistle) D1-State-League matches or amateur matches, a referee must take one of our sprint and interval tests. Beginning 2017 an assessment on a U15 match will be required to achieve the "A" designator. 
  • Grade 6 - U.S. Soccer Federation State Referee
    1. Minimum Age: 18
    2. Badge: U.S. Soccer State Referee, with current year
    3. Assignment Level: Assignment Level: All youth games and adult games including first division and assistant referee in professional league
  • Emeritus - Grades 13-16 - Emeritus grades allow State and National Referees the option of retiring from that level of officiating while retaining the grade and officiating at a lower level. Referee grades 5 & 6 correspond to emeritus grades 15 & 16, respectively.
  1. Badge: U.S. Soccer Emeritus Referee
  2. Assignment Level: Assignment of Emeritus referees without the “A” designator as Referee (whistle) in Amateur or youth division 1 is NOT ALLOWEDAssignment of Emeritus Referees as Referee (whistle) in youth D2-4 matches and as Assistant Referee at any level as needed to pass on their experience is most welcomed and is encouraged. 
  • Emeritus - Grades 13A -16A - Referees Emeritus with an "A" designator. 
  1. SOT designation: The "A" demonstrates that the Official has met the requirements to Referee (whistle) Amateur and State Youth D1 matches. For 2016 it indicates taking of a qualifying Sprint and Interval test. Beginning 2017 it will also indicate the passing of an assessment on a U15 or higher match.
  2. Badge: U.S. Soccer Emeritus Referee
  3. Assignment Level: Emeritus referees are Retired, may not be used in normal rotation assignments.  Emeritus referees should not be assigned or accept assignments as Referee with a whistle in Amateur or D1 Youth matches more than one DAY a weekUse of Emeritus Referees as Assistant Referee (AR) at any level and in youth D2-4 matches as Referee with a whistle to pass on their experience is most welcomed and encouraged.

 


Referee Registration
 

  1. Referee registration in Tennessee is managed by the Soccer Officials of Tennessee (SOTN), and all SOTN records (registration records, class records, etc.) are stored in a Game Officials database created especially for SOTN and its members. These records are SOTN's official records.
     
  2. About once a month, SOTN's registration information is sent to US Soccer, and US Soccer uploads this information into its database (usually within a few weeks of receiving it). Consequently, Tennessee registration information on US Soccer (www.ussoccer.info) is almost always out of date.
     
    Going to referee out of state?

    The fact that US Soccer's data lags behind SOTN's data can have a negative impact on Tennessee referees who officiate out of state. If you plan to work for an out-of-state assignor who will require that your registration information be in US Soccer's database, then it's imperative to register in Tennessee well before you plan to go out of state. We suggest that your Tennessee registration be complete two months ahead of time.
     
  3. Soccer officials are registered annually, for the period January 1 through December 31.
     
  4. USSF badges have a date on them. Referees should wear only the current year badge when officiating.
     
  5. Many of the Frequently Asked Questions have to do with referee registration.

How to generate lists of referees, assessors, assignors, or instructors

 

  1. Begin here.
  2. Click 'Yes...' to continue.
  3. Select the type of class you are requesting.
  4. Enter the requested information.
    1. In the field called Host League, enter the lead instructor's name and the district in which the class will be taught. For example, if Rufus Woodard is wanting to teach a class in Murfreesboro, he would enter “Rufus Woodard / Central.”
    2. In the field called Special Request (near the bottom of the form), please list the names of the other instructors to be posted.
  5. The class fees that follow are the default. When applicable, a late fee ($15) is added for the two recertification classes.
      Max
    Class Fee
    Registration
    Fee
    Max
    Total Fee
    Referee Entry Level (9) $30 $35 $65
    Referee Entry Level (8) $40 $48 $88
    Referee Bridge (9 → 8) $30 $48 $78
    Referee Recertification (9) $20 $35 $55
    Referee Recertification (8) $20 $48 $68
    Assignor Entry Level (8) $30 $35 $65
    Assignor Recertification (8) $20 $35 $55

    If a different amount from what's listed above is being charged, please indicate this in the field labeled Special Request. Do not worry about late fees, these will be added automatically when appropriate.

    If you wish to charge more than what is listed above, please also provide the justification (e.g., lunch will be part of the class).
     
  6. When you're done, click 'SAVE (Add Class)' at the bottom of the page.
  7. Enter your email address in the box that appears next and then click 'OK.'
  8. Within a few minutes, you will receive an email from admin@pasmail.com. Open the email and click the link. If this isn't done, I may not receive the request.


To request a presentation kit, please click here.

To order books and badges, please send an email to Peggy Gruzalski. To find out which books need to be handed out at class, please see 'Which books do I need to handout in class' (below).

 

 

Requesting a new class
 

Note that this webpage is for registered instructors or those entering data on behalf of a registered instructor. It is not for those who would like to take a class or those who would like to see a class offered at a particular time or place.

 

Please select one of the following:

 

 

 

 

How to accept or reject a teaching assignment


 

 

  1. Go to SOTN.GameOfficials and login.
  2. Click My Classes (left menu), and a list of your classes will appear. Note that, to the right of the 'select data' menu near the top of the page, there are two links: 'Not Accepted' and 'All.' These links determine what you see on this page: (a) only the classes you haven't accepted or (b) all of your classes. The link that is active is the one in blue.
  3. To accept a class, check the little box immediately to the left of the green circle. If you don't want to accept the class, check the little box immediately to the left of the white X in the red circle. If you reject an assignment, you will be asked to include the reason in the field labeled Reason.
  4. You also may scroll to the bottom of the page and choose 'Accept All' or 'Decline All.'
  5. Click the button that says 'SAVE Class Status' near the bottom of the page.


 

 

How to manage a class roster online

 


Once a class is approved, it will show up under 'Approved Classes' (top menu) and students will be able to sign up for it. If it is an entry-level class, each student will be asked to create an account on SOTN.GameOfficials; if it is a recertification class, each student will need to know his or her username and password. After the cutoff time (an hour or two before the class begins), students will also need the walk-up code to sign up for a class. Instructors assigned to teach the class and who have accepted the assignment may find the walk-up code on the online roster. How to find an online roster is described in the next few paragraphs.

To see a list of your classes, log on to SOTN.GameOfficials.net, set your identity to 'Instructor', and click My Classes (left menu). The page that appears will show a list of your classes. Note that, near the top of the page, there is a small two-row table. In the top-right cell of the table there are two links:

   Not Accepted
   All (May Load Slowly)

What appears on the webpage depends upon which of these links has been last clicked. If Not Accepted is chosen, the classes shown will be those for which you have not yet accepted the teaching assignment. If All is chosen, all of your classes will be listed (which is why the wording 'may load slowly' appears). Feel free to click back and forth between these two links to see how the content of the webpage ia affected.

To see the roster for a particular class: First find that class in the list and then click the green link labeled Manage. Note that the roster shows how much money each person has paid for the class. If the green link labeled Manage doesn't appear, no one has signed up for the class yet.

To obtain a printable copy of the roster, click on the green link labeled Printable Roster. Note that doing this produces another webpage that really contains two copies of the roster. The two copies each contain different information.

To manage a class roster: After you have clicked the green link labeled Manage, click Batch Edit near the bottom of the page. From there, you may

  1. Record payments received by attendees,
  2. Keep roll, and
  3. Enter written exam scores and/or the results of a physical fitness test.


To close a class: Click Manage and then click Close Class. You may re-open a class whenever you wish. Therefore, please don’t delay closing a class because a few people haven't met some requirement. Instead, close the class (indicating who met the requirements) so that those people can get their certification recorded. If, at a later time, an attendee meets a hitherto unmet requirement (say, he/she passes the exam), simply reopen the class, make the appropriate modifications to the roster, and then close the class again. 


 


Which books do I need to handout at class?
 

For both entry-level classes and recertification classes, you should provide only the FIFA Laws of the Game (or the Laws Made Easy).


 


Where can I find a copy of the Instructor Report?
 

The Instructor Report, an Excel file designed to help instructors deal with the finances involved in wrapping up a class, can be found by clicking here.
 


 


A list of Tennessee cities and their corresponding districts

.  .  .  can be found here. In what follows, I refer to this a 'the pdf list.'

I realize that the official TSSA districts are only approximated by the pdf list. Because TSSA assigns each county to one district, some cities map into more than one district. For simplicity, however, I choose to ignore this annoying complication. And so, if you ever need to know in which district a particular referee resides (for referee-registration purposes), please feel free to use the pdf list.

If you notice errors or emissions in the pdf list, please bring them to my attention.

Thanks.

Greg Gruzalski
 

Failure of a Recertification Requirement

 

Failing the refresher exam
 

If a referee fails the refresher exam, SOTN requires that he/she wait 30 days before retaking it.
 



Failing a maintenance assessment
 

If a referee fails a maintenance assessment, SOTN requires no waiting period to retake.

  • The first failure will require only one additional passing assessment (one for one).
  • For the second and any additional failures, the 'two for one' rule will apply. That is, two passing assessments are required to offset each failing assessment (other than the first one). For example: If someone were to fail three maintenance assessments, he/she would have to pass five to offsett the ones failed.

 



Failing to officiate at the Boys D-1 State Championship
 

Grade-5 or grade-6 referees who fail to officiate at the Boys D-1 State Championship will be downgraded at least one grade for the remainder of the year.
 



Failing the physical fitness test
 

If a referee fails the physical fitness test, SOTN requires no waiting period to retake.
 



Recertification after not being certified for one or more years
 

Grade-8 referees who miss 1-2 consecutive years of registration can be reregistered as a grade 8 after completing a referee recertification clinic.

Grade-8 referees who miss 3-4 consecutive years of registration can be reregistered after taking the Bridge class or the entire grade-8 entry-level class.

Grade-8 referees who miss 5 or more consecutive years must retake the entire grade-8 entry-level class.

Grade-7 referees and higher who have missed one or more consecutive years will be downgraded a minimum of one grade. Once they have taken the appropriate class as listed above for grade-8 referees and have completed all requirements for their previously held grade, they may be reinstated.

Grade-9 referees who miss one or two years of registration may be reregistered after fulfilling all requirements for that grade. A grade-9 referee who misses two years of registration can be eligible to take the Bridge class after he or she has met the requirements to be recertified as grade 9.

 


 

Registration Fees

 

Standard Fees Charged for Certification in TN
Type USSF Fees Max USSF plus Course Fee
Referee Entry Level (9) $35 $65
Referee Entry Level (8) $48 $88
Referee Bridge (9 → 8) $48 $78
Assignor Entry Level (8) $30

$60

Referee Recertification (9)

$35

$55

Referee Recertification (8) $48

$68

Assignor Recertification (8) $30

$50


 

TSSA State League Fees

 

Division I State League
Age Referee Assistant Referee
U17 — U19 $65 $55
U15 — U16 $60 $50
U13 — U14 $55 $45
U12 $50 $40
Assigning fee is $10 per match

 

Division II State League
Age Referee Assistant Referee
U17 — U19 $55 $45
U15 — U16 $50 $40
U13 — U14 $45 $35
U12 $40 $30
Assigning fee is $10 per match

 

Division III State League
Age Referee Assistant Referee
U17 — U19 $45 $35
U15 — U16 $40 $30
U13 — U14 $35 $25

Assigning fee is $10 per match

 

Premier League
Age Referee Assistant Referee
U17 — U19 $60 $40
U15 — U16 $50 $30
U13 — U14 $40 $25
Assigning fee is $10 per match

 

TSL Juniors

Age

Referee

Assistant Referee

U11 — U12

$34

$18

U09 — U10

$28

$18

U09 — U10

$28

One Man System

Assigning fee is $10 per match


 

Referee Uniform
 

From the 2009-2010 Advice to Referees on the Laws of the Game:
 

5.1 REFEREE UNIFORM
Referees may wear only the gold primary jersey or the black, blue, red, or green alternate jerseys, and may wear only the approved socks. (The term "primary jersey" means only that this is the color all referees must have. It does not mean that the gold jersey must be worn in preference to other colors.) No other colors will be worn without express permission of the USSF. If the uniform colors worn by a goalkeeper and the referee or by a team (or both teams) and the referee are similar enough to invite confusion, the goalkeeper or the team(s) must change to different colors. Only if there is no way to resolve the color similarity must the referee (and the assistant referees) wear the colors that conflict least with the players. Referees and assistant referees must wear the same color jerseys and the same style of socks, and all should wear the same length sleeves. The referee uniform does not include a hat, cap, or other head covering, with the sole exception of required religious head covering. Referees must wear the badge of the current registration year.

Referees should select their shoes with an eye for both utility and appearance. Referees have to run on the field with at least as much speed and agility as do the players, so the shoes should enable them to do this under all field conditions. Players, team officials, and spectators often make initial judgments about the skills and knowledge of the referee based on appearance, and shoes can contribute significantly toward building that reserve of confidence. It is also occasionally important that players, who are frequently looking down at the ground, be able to identify the referee quickly by differences in the shoes. Accordingly, the referee's shoes should be predominantly black, clean, polished, and neatly tied.

Under normal circumstances, it is not acceptable for a game official to wear headgear, and it would never be seen on a high-level regional, national or international competition. However, there may be rare circumstances in local competitions where head protection or sun visors might sensibly be tolerated for the good of the game, e. g., early morning or late afternoon games with sun in the officials' line of sight causing vision difficulties; understaffed situations where an official with sensitive skin might be pressed into service for multiple games under strong sunlight, or a referee who wears glasses needing shielding from rain. Sunglasses would be subject to the same considerations. In addition, we ask referees to remember that sunglasses have the unfortunate side effect of suggesting that the referee or assistant referee is severely visually impaired and should not be working the game. They also limit communication between the officials and the players by providing a barrier against eye-to-eye contact. Sunglasses, if worn, should be removed prior to any verbal communication with players.



Points of Emphases for Tennessee Referees:
 

  1. When possible, Tennessee Referees are requested to adjust their uniform colors when there is a conflict with team colors.
  2. Referees should dress in the same uniform which includes:
    1. Jersey colors, same length sleeves
    2. Same style of socks
  3. Referees should not wear any headgear without a significant reason for doing so.
  4. Sunglasses should not be worn without a significant reason for doing so. If sunglasses are worn, they should be removed prior to any verbal communication with players or match officials.
  5. When temperatures are below 45 degrees or with assignors' approval, referees may wear pants, gloves, head gear, etc. as described here:
    1. Long Pants: All officials must wear the same color and all officials must dress the same.
    2. Gloves: Black
    3. Head Gear: Black referee designed earmuffs or pile (watch) caps.
    4. Other gear approved by the assignor – with emphases on CREW uniformity.


 


Traveling "Out of State" to Officiate

Many of you like to travel to out of state events.  You are encouraged to do this as it makes us all better officials when we are exposed to different environments.

Please note the following TN requirements;

  • All Tennessee Referees are required to notify the TN State Referee Administrator (SRA) when they wish to officiate out of state.
  • The SRA will provide the referee with an email attesting to their good standing and that a background check has been performed on the referee requesting to travel.
  • SRA approval will be processed within 5 working days from time of request. Please avoid duplicating request within the 5-day period.
  • When the desired event is in January, you MUST complete your recertification requirements not later than December 1st so that your next year recertification can be processed.

As a common courtesy, assignors generally ask referees to provide this letter of good standing and that a background check has been performed, be proactive and have it in your possession before you are asked for it.

Please provide the SRA with advanced notice, especially when the requested travel dates are near a Holiday.  Remember, the SRA is a volunteer, request within a week of the event may not be approved.

Failure to notify the SRA of impending or actual officiating out of State could result in the referee placed in "Bad Standing" and could jeopardize the referee's certification.


USSF ID Card

Referees may print a copy of their USSF ID Card by following these instructions:

Go to the https://ussoccer.secure.force.com/referee/

If you do not have a login/password

  • Go to Sign up now
  • Provide the first two letters of you last name and your USSF ID number
  • Provide your email address and a password
  • Exit the site and login
  • Go to Current Registrations tab
  • Print your registration card

If you have a login

  • Login
  • Go to Current Registrations tab
  • Print your registration card