Why You Might Want to Become a Referee?
1. For the Love of the game!
The referee is the impartial voice between the two teams, enforcing the rules of the game. We need referees to ensure that games are played fairly, so that both teams have an equal chance to compete within the rules of the game.
We need referees (Younger and Older) to help provide that fair playing environment for all! Referees are needed at all levels of play, whether for the youngest players (Under-4 age group), the oldest players (adults), and at all points in between. If you love the game, and want to help provide that fair playing environment for all, we invite you to join us!
2. You want to make some money while supporting the game!
This is a win-win situation! You get to be around the sport you love AND you get paid! Referees are paid contractors, who are registered with both the North Texas State Soccer Association (NTSSA) and the United States Soccer Federation (USSF). There is a nominal cost to register each year, and it is expected that all referees will participate in some sort of continuing education each year. The Rules (called the "Laws of the Game") can and do change from year-to-year.
So You've Decided You DO Want to Be a Referee?
Ok. You've decided to be a referee... THANK YOU! Without referees most league games could not be played. You are helping support the Love of the Game!
To get started, you must register and pass a referee certification course. These certification courses are typically scheduled by most area Soccer Associations in the 6 weeks prior to the start of each season (Fall and Spring). You can check the schedule for upcoming courses on "ntxreferees.gameofficials.net" ( https://ntxreferees.gameofficials.net/public/class/classSearch.cfm?classTypeID=0 ). Referees are categorized and/or certified into different entry-level "grades":
- Grade 9 Referees can referee U4-U8 games (Under 4 to Under 8 year olds), which play 4v4. To register for a Grade 9 class, you must be at Least 12 years old on the day of your certification course.
- Grade 8 Referees can referee U4-U16 games, (4v4, 7v7, 9v9, and 11v11), but must be 13 years or older on the day of their Grade 8 course.
- Grade 7 Referees can referee U4-Adult games, and must be at least 16 years old on the day of your certification course.
It is preferred to take your certification in your home association IF a course is available. Often the local assignor is participating in your course instruction, and will be able to explain anything specific to your association. That said, you are welcome to take your course at other associations if needed. Upon successful completion, you are a certified referee for all of North Texas. Just make sure you contact your local assignor ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) to let them know you are certified and ask how to register for their games.
Regardless of which grade for which you choose to certify, your assignor may start you with younger ages and you will work your way up to the older ages. An inexperienced referee would NOT want to start with older age groups, unless they have significant personal soccer experience.
Okay, I Passed My Certification Course, What's Next?
Once you have passed your certification course, you can register with your local association/league Referee Assignor to get scheduled for games. Different associations and leagues have different tools (gameofficials.net, gotSoccer, ArbiterSports, etc.) they use to register for games. GNWSA currently uses gotSoccer for referee scheduling, and you'll need to create a REFEREE account with gotSoccer. At the beginning of each season, there will be a referee meeting for all potential referees for the upcoming season. At this meeting, you can meet your referee assignor for GNWSA and ask any questions you might have.
What will I need to bring and wear to each game?
As mentioned above, Referees are contractors, who are responsible for purchasing and bringing their own uniforms and equipment. There are many vendors where you can buy uniform and referee gear. These can be purchased both online and in local Soccer/Sports stores. There are also referee "starter kits" available, which usually consist of shirt/short/socks, in addition to whistles, cards, wallets, flags, coins, etc. Please contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org if you need suggestions for purchasing these items.
Remember to take care of your body, and bring plenty of water, snacks, sunscreen, etc. if needed. You are an athlete just as the players are. You MUST replenish your body at break opportunties, especially if you are refereeing multiple games.
How/when do I get paid?
GNWSA currently pays referees via Checks. You must have an IRS W-9 on file with the association (yes, even for minors). We are required to report to the IRS your payments for refereeing. The W-9 provides the necessary information to report your payments. Please keep in mind you are a contractor, and are responsible for paying any taxes (if necessary) on your referee income.
Generally, GNWSA cuts checks about every 2 weeks during the soccer season, and these are usually mailed to the address you provided on your W-9. Please verify with your assignor the payment schedule if needed.
You are paid a fixed rate for each game, depending upon the position (Center Referee or Assistant Referee) and the age group. Refereeing older age groups earns more, because games are longer and the physical demands are greater (the fields are larger and thus there is more running). GNWSA strives to remain competitive with other local associations for referee payment.
You Have Other Questions?
Ask a referee you know, or send an email to our Referee Assignor (email@example.com), or to our Director of Referees (firstname.lastname@example.org).