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Beginner Referees

Beginner Referees Registering for a Class

To begin refereeing with the United States Soccer Federation (USSF), you first need to take an entry-level referee course. In Tennessee, we offer two entry-level referee courses. One certifies you to become a grade-8 referee and the other certifies you to become a grade-9 referee. Here the term "grade" has nothing to do with one’s level in elementary or secondary school. Grade 8 & grade 9 are refereeing levels assigned by USSF.

Grade-8 referees may officiate youth-level matches at a competitive level (Divisions 2 and 3). Grade-9 referees (sometimes referred to as “recreational” referees) may officiate youth-level matches at a recreational level (Division 4) that are U14-and-below. These matches are often "small sided" matches. Grade-8 referees may referee recreational matches, but grade-9 referees are not supposed to referee competitive matches. There are far more grade-8 referees in Tennessee than grade-9 referees -- for every grade-9 referee there are almost 40 grade-8 referees. Unless you are training to referee for a specific club that is recreational, we suggest that you become a grade-8 referee instead of a grade-9 referee, if that's possible. To take the grade-8 entry-level referee course you must be 12 years old on the first day of class. There are no exceptions to this rule. As referees advance to higher grades--grade 7, grade 6, and so on--they are required to demonstrate their continued qualification for their grade through "maintenance" assessments and sustained high level competition experience. Each referee at Grade 7A or higher is required to successfully pass a physical fitness field examination. The results of this testing are recorded to fulfill part of the annual registration / recertification qualifications. In rare circumstances, referees who fail to maintain their qualifications are "down graded" and this is reflected on their next registration.


To continue, click Approved Classes (top menu bar) and follow the online instructions. If this link takes you to a page that doesn't look right, please try a different browser.

For detailed instructions, click here.

If you need assistance, please contact Peggy Gruzalski.






Detailed Instructions 

How to register for an entry-level class (assuming you are a new user)

You may wish to print this page before you begin.

  1. Go to and click "New User."
  2. Click I have NEVER BEEN registered.
  3. Check the box "I meet the requirements above and I am ready to create a new account," and click Continue.
  4. Enter the requested information. Make sure to pick a username and a password that you will remember. When finished, click SAVE (Create New Account) at the bottom of the page.
  5. Once your new account has been created, click “OK.”
  6. You will be asked to confirm/complete your information. When finished, click SAVE (Modify User) at the bottom of the page.
  7. The course-registration page should now appear on your screen. Select Register for this Course.
  8. Provide the requested information and click SAVE (Add Registration) at the bottom of the page. You are in the east district.
  9. On the next page, choose Complete 2012 Disclosure (if available), then complete the disclosure statement and click Save (Complete Disclosure) at bottom of page.
  10. Select a payment method and provide the requested information.
  11. Confirm your method of payment by clicking Confirm Payment Method.

If everything went as it was supposed to go, you will receive an email summarizing your class registration. Print the email and bring it with you to class.

If you do not receive an email, once again go to GameOfficials (top menu) and login (if necessary). If you are registered for the class, the class will be listed on your homepage. If this is the case, your email address probably was entered incorrectly. Please select "My Info" (left menu bar) and correct your email address and other information as needed. You are now finished with the class registration.

If you do not receive an email and you are not registered for the class, try registering again.

If you need assistance, please contact Peggy Gruzalski.