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Referee Upgrade

 Why upgrade?
 

All referees affiliated with FIFA have a designated referee grade. A list of grades managed by SOTN is given here. Each grade has a recommended assignment level. Most referees begin as grade 8s or 9s, which are the two entry-level grades in Tennessee.

To seek the pinnacle of any profession is a journey in self motivation. Officiating at a competitive level can be a rewarding experience. As the game evolves, assignors are assigning higher-level matches based on the grade of the official. The goal in Tennessee is to increase the pool of grade-7 and higher officials, which should increase the interaction among referees across the State and bring about a higher level of officiating.


 The upgrade process
 

(To upgrade form grade 9 to grade 8, you need only to take and pass the Bridge Class. You may ignore everything else that follows.)

(If you simply wish to return to a USSF grade you once held all you need to do is complete the maintenance requirements for that grade, regardless of how long it has been since you held that grade). To ensure we don't miss your return to grade request please submit a Request to return to grade form. There will be an additional fee associated with mid year upgrades.

For a smooth transition in the upgrade process, work closely with your District Referee Administrator (DRA), who will guide you with specifics in your individual effort. Who is my DRA click here.

You must first be accepted into the upgrade program. To apply for this, please fill out the request-to-enter-the-upgrade-program form and your game log, and send them to YOUR DRA who will check for accuracy then send to the ASRA (EMAIL with attachments is the preferred method):
Who is my DRA click here.
          

You will be notified whether your request is approved. If it is, you will have one year to complete the requirements shown in the following table.

Failure to meet the upgrade requirements will be handled as follows.

A referee cannot upgrade without attending the appropriate clinic.

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

If a referee fails the physical fitness test, there is no waiting period before being re-assessed.

If a referee fails an upgrade assessment, there is no waiting period before being re-assessed. For each failed assessment, however, the 'two for one' rule will apply. That is, two passing assessments are required to offset each failing assessment.

A referee cannot re-certify at grade 6 or 5 without officiating at the Boys D-1 State Championship.

RECERTIFICATION - UPGRADE & TABLES

Grades 8, 7, 6 and Emeritus


Grade 8 Table

Criteria for Certifying & Recertifying
 

Grade 8 – Referee
Updated  February 10, 2016

The purpose of the Grade 8 Referee Course is to prepare officials for the competitive youth game. Based on the level of training provided, TN Assignors may assign to any Youth Division 2 and lower match.

 

Certification Requirements Note 1

 

Minimum Age

 

12  Note 2

 

Previous Game Experience

 

None

 

Training

 

Complete the Grade-8 Referee Course

 

Laws of the Game Test

 

Pass the grade-8 exam with 80% or better

 

Fitness Test

 

None

 

Practical Evaluation

 

None

 

Annual Recertification Requirements Note 1

 

Training

 

Four hours in-service training (includes exam)

 

Laws of the Game Test

 

Pass the online grade-8 exam with 80% or better

 

Fitness Test

 

None

 

Practical Evaluation

 

None

1. All registrations must be online.
2. Must be 12 on first day of beginner class.


Grade 7 Table

Criteria for Upgrading & Recertifying
 

Grade 7 & 7A– Referee
Updated  September 14, 2016

The purpose of the Grade 7 Referee Course is to prepare officials for the amateur adult game.
Grade 7 Referees may not be assigned as Referee on Amateur and D1 or higher youth matches.
Grade 7A Referees may be assigned as Referee on Amateur and D1 or higher youth matches.

Upgrade Requirements Note: 1

From Grade 8 to Grade 7 

Minimum Age

17 (16 with SRA approval)

Previous Game Experience

Referee 10 competitive matches at U14 or above Note: 2

Upgrade program

Accepted into the grade-8 to grade-7 upgrade program

Training

Complete the Grade-7 Referee Online Course

Laws of the Game Test

Pass the online grade-7 exam with 85% or better

FIFA Sprint and Interval Tests

Grade 7: None
Grade 7A: See Note 3

Practical Evaluation (Assessment)

Grade 7: None
Grade 7A: See Note 4

Annual Recertification Requirements Note 5

Training

Attend one of the following:
1.  SOTN’s Advanced Clinic.
2.  An SOT University preapproved by the SRA.
3.  An Advanced Clinic in another state preapproved by the SRA

Laws of the Game Test

Pass the online grade-7 exam with 85% or better

Fitness Test

Grade 7: None
Grade 7A: See Note 3

Field Evaluation by a registered US Soccer Assessor

Grade 7: None
Grade 7A: See Note 4

1 All upgrade registrations must be online. Upgrades completed during mid-year will count for the next year recertification if mid-year upgrade is after July 1 of the current year. 

Division 1, 2, or 3 as Referee.

Grade 7A: Must take a FIFA Sprint and Interval Tests to Referee Amateur and Division 1 or higher youth games.

Grade 7A: Beginning in registration year 2017, a field evaluation by a TN registered Assessor will be required for grade 7A who wish to referee amateur or Division 1 and higher youth games. Assessed Matches must be 40 minute halves or greater on U15 or higher match. Must be TN assessors. Matches may include "Friendlies".

All recertification registrations must be online. Recertification requirements must be completed after July 1 to count for the next year recertification. Fitness and Assessments taken before July 1 will be valid for the current year only.

All grade 7 referees who are not 7A are encouraged to officiate as AR's in amateur and youth D1.


State Referee Grade 6 Table

Criteria for Upgrading & Recertifying
 

Grade 6 – Referee
Updated  September 14, 2016

The purpose of the Grade 6 State Referee Course is to prepare officials for the most competitive matches within their state and region. Assignments at the highest State Level

 

Upgrade Requirements Note: 1

From Grade 7 to Grade 6 

 

Age

 

18

 

Previous Game Experience

 

Referee: 75 Note 2 – 25 must be Amateur Note  3

AR: 25 Note 2

 

Training

 

State Advanced Clinic

 

Laws of the Game Test

 

Pass the online grade-6 exam with 85% or better

 

Fitness Test Note: 4

 

Pass the FIFA Sprint and Interval Tests

 

Practical Evaluation Note 5

Minimum of 2 completed by 2 State Assessors

 

Annual Recertification Requirements Note 1

 

Training

 

Attend the Advanced Clinic

 

Laws of the Game Test

 

Pass the online grade-6 exam with 85% or better

 

Fitness Test Note 4

 

Pass the FIFA Sprint and Interval Tests

 

Practical Evaluation Note 5

Minimum of 2 completed by 2 State Assessors - one must be after July 1


Tennessee Additional Requirements

Officiate at the TSSA Boys D-1 State Championship


1 All registrations must be online. All evaluations by Tennessee personnel unless special circumstances approved by the SRA in advance.
2 As Referee on Amateur or Youth Division 1, 2, or 3 (U15 and above)
3 As Referee on Amateur matches.
4 FIFA Sprint and Interval Tests – for recertification must be administered after July 1 annually.
Assessed Matches must be 40 minute halves or greater on U15 or higher match. Must be TN assessors. One evaluation must be after July 1 annually.


State Referee Grade 5 Table

Criteria for Upgrading & Recertifying
 

Grade 5 – Referee
Updated  July 8, 2017

The purpose of the Grade 5 State Referee level is to prepare officials for national certification. U.S. Soccer recommends that these officials be assigned to the most competitive regional events and leagues available. This may include lower level professional matches as appropriate.
It is important to note that beginning with the 2017 certification year, Grade 5 officials are not associated as National Candidates, but are State Referees and are selected by their State Referee Association, not by U.S. Soccer. Those registered as Grade 5 officials will be considered for national certification for the following certification year by U.S. Soccer, but selection is not guaranteed.

 

Upgrade Requirements Note: 1

From Grade 6 to Grade 5

 

Previous Game Experience

 

50 Referee – 25 AR Note: 2

75 Amateur Note: 3 

 

Previous Grade Experience

 

Minimum 1 Year as a Grade 6

 

Training

 

State Advanced Clinic

 

Laws of the Game Test

 

Pass the National exam

 

Fitness Test Note: 4

Pass the Grade 5 Sprint and Interval Tests Note: 4

 

Practical Evaluation Note 5

Minimum of 3 Passing Assessments Note 5

 

Annual Recertification Requirements Note 1

 

Training

 

Attend the Advanced Clinic

 

Laws of the Game Test

 

Pass the National exam

 

Fitness Test Note 4

 

Pass the Grade 5 Sprint and Interval Tests Note: 4

 

Practical Evaluation Note 5

Minimum of 3 Passing Assessments Note 5


Tennessee Additional Requirements

Officiate at the TSSA Boys D-1 State Championship


1 All registrations must be online. All evaluations by Tennessee personnel unless specified here or approved in advance by the SRA .
2 As Referee on Amateur or Youth Division 1, 2, or 3 (U15 and above)
3 As Referee on Amateur matches.
FIFA Sprint and Interval Tests for Grade 5 Referees at any time annually.
5 Minimum of 3 passing assessments, 2 on adult matches, and one on a youth game 18 years or older matches. Assessed Matches must be 40 minute halves or greater. Must be completed by 3 different STATE or National Assessors. Coordination for assessors must be made through the TN State SDA or the designated representative. For recertification as TN State 5, matches may be performed anytime annually.


Emeritus Referee Table

Criteria to Apply for Emeritus & Recertifying
 

Grade 13-15 Emeritus & 13A - 15A Emeritus – Referee's
Updated  August 21, 2017

SOT has adopted the following USSF guidelines as TN requirements
The purpose of the emeritus grades is to allow officials to retire from the game at the highest referee grade they attained. The Emeritus Grade may not be used to circumvent any registration, certification or recertification requirements mandated by U.S. Soccer or the State Referee Association.

For those Emeritus Referees looking to remain active, they must meet the established recertification requirements each year for the level they want to officiate at and adhere to all registration requirements for that grade. 

Assignments:  Emeritus referees are Retired, may not be used in normal rotation assignments as Referee on Amateur and Youth D1 matches.  See restrictions below. Note 6.

Application to Retire active Grade 6 and up for an Emeritus Badge

Minimum Age

N/A

Previous Game Experience

Equivalent referee grade for minimum of 3 years - does not have to be current grade.

Retirement Request

Written Request to the SRA

Annual Recertification Requirements Note 1

Training


Emeritus Referees 13-15: Online Recertification Course Note 2

Emeritus Referees 13A - 15A: Advanced Clinic or SOT University preapproved by the SRA

Laws of the Game Test

Pass the online grade-6 exam with 80% or better

FIFA Sprint and Interval Tests

Emeritus 13-15: None
Emeritus 13A-15A:  Note 3

Field Evaluation by a registered US Soccer Assessor

Emeritus 13-15: None
Emeritus 15A:  Note 4 & 5

1  All registrations must be online.
2  To Officiate as Referee on Youth division #2 and below and Assistant Referee (AR) at any level
Emeritus with an "A" designator:  Referees who wish to "whistle" referee Amateur and Division 1 or higher youth games must take the grade 7 (or higher) FIFA Sprint and Interval Tests .
Emeritus with an "A" designator:  Beginning Jan 2017 Referees who wish to "whistle" referee Amateur and Division 1 or higher youth games must pass an assessment on a U15 or higher match. National Emeritus Referees are exempt from the Assessment Requirement.
5  Assessed match must be 40 minute halves or greater on U15 or higher game. Assessments after July 1 will count for the remainder of the current year as well as recertification for the next following year. National Emeritus Referees are exempt from the Assessment Requirement.
6  Emeritus referees who meet the fitness and assessment requirements to officiate Amateur and State D1 youth matches will be classified with an “A” after their grade for the purpose of assignments.  Example; 13A-15A
Assignment: Emeritus Referees who are qualified with an "A" designator may be assigned Amateur and State Youth D1 matches. Emeritus Referees with an "A" designator are retired, as such may not be used by assignors in a normal assignment rotation for Amateur and State D1 matches.   More than one day per week as REFEREE would be considered “Active” and not in keeping with guidence for a Retired Badge.  Complience with this requirement is the responsibility of the Emeritus Referee and SOT Assignors.

All Emeritus referees are encouraged to officiate as Assistant Referee (AR) in Amateur and Youth D1 matches as well as Referee and Assistant Referee on Youth D2 and lower to help mentor lesser experienced referees. 


Process for Requesting an Assessment

The Following procedure will be used by referees requesting maintenance or upgrade assessment.
1.  Referee will contact their DRA requesting the assessment.
 a.  They will inform the DRA of the game date, time, and location.
 b.  The DRA will contact the SDA and provide him with the pertinent information.
2.  The SDA will contact the ASDA for the region the referee's game is in.  The SDA and the ASDA will agree on an assessor for the game.
3.  Once the game has been completed, the assessor will complete the online assessment within seven (7) days.
4.  If the SDA cannot be contacted for any reason, the DRA will contact the ASDA for the region the game will be played in.
5.  In case the DRAs cannot get in touch with the ASDAs the DRA may contact an assessor.  This will only be done as a last resort.  However, no referee should fail to get an assessment if an assessor is available to assess the game.
6.  This does not mean a referee should wait until the last minute to get their assessment in.  We have two seasons, let's use them wisely.

Emanuel Azan
State Director of Assessments
(931) 980-0461


 Cost of midyear upgrades
 

Once you have completed all requirements for upgrade, you may upgrade either at the start of the next registration year or ASAP. The ASAP option is referred to as an administrative or midyear upgrade. The cost associated with a midyear upgrade is $25 for a grade-8-to-7 upgrade and $52 for a grade-7-to-6 upgrade:

Old grade

New grade

Total Cost to Referee

8

7

$10

7

6

$37