Referee FAQ

To referee for MVSC, your CNRA referee license must be current.  If you're badge shows the current year, you're good to go.  If is from a prior year, please renew immediately at:  CNRA License Renewal

We hope the following frequently asked questions give you a better understanding of what it means to be a soccer official.

How old do I have to be to referee games?
You must be at least 12 years old to obtain a Grade 8 License.  Grade 8 is the basic license level, and does not refer to the school grade of your child.

How do I become a referee?
You must take the Entry Level (Grade 8) Referee class.  The format of this class includes:

  • Independent study of the Laws of the Game, prior to taking the class.
  • 6 hours of classroom study, usually broken up into 2 evening sessions.
  • 3 hours of practical field work, usually on the weekend.
  • Pass the final exam with at least an 80% score. 

Students who arrive at the classroom portion without prior study of the Laws of the Game may be turned away, and their registration fee will be forfeit.  

When and where can I take the required training?
MVSC has a class every year, usually in early August and all of the neighboring leagues also have classes starting as early as February through July. For more information, please check our NEW Referee Course link to the left of this page.

MVSC will pay for the cost of the course; you have to pay the USSF registration fee ($75) at the point of registering for the class.

What equipment do I need?
You will need to purchase the basic referee uniform package:

  •  YELLOW short sleeve referee jersey, required.
  •  Black shorts
  •  Black socks with 3 white stripes
  •  An Assistant Referee flag set
  •  A Referee wallet w/ red & yellow cards
  •  A digital watch with a chronometer
  •  A Fox 40 whistle

Where do I get the equipment?
There are many outfits on the Internet that sell these items separately or as a basic package. You can also find equipment at most soccer retail stores, or on-line at: the official USSF sponsor.

Are there requirements for subsequent years?
After you obtain your Referee License, you are required to register annually with California North Referee Administration [CNRA]. Using the ID number that you received with your original badge, you can do so on the Internet, by paying the $75 fee with a credit card. Go to CNRA/ to renew.

How are games assigned?
Games are assigned on the basis of a referee’s experience, age and skill level. All new referees start in Recreation games, or as ARs in Competitive games. As your eagerness and game management skills grow, you will advance to older divisions in Recreation and centers in Competitive games. If you think you are ready for bigger games, contact the MVSC Assignor and request an assessment.

What system of assignment does the Club use?
All referee game assigments are done through

Once you are registered on the site, you can SET YOUR AVAILABILITY to see games you might wish to work, and you can then request those games.

Email and/or text otifications are sent to the referee whenever assignments are made, changed, requested, or confirmed.

Referees MUST check frequently to see when games are postponed, cancelled, changed to a different time, date, or venue.

What if I can’t referee a game I am assigned?
If you need to turn back a game, please do so at least 72 hours in advance of the game, to allow enough time for the Assignor to find a replacement referee.  "Turn back" a game is a feature of the Assigning System and it automatically sends an e-mail to the Assignor. In an emergency, call, and e-mail your Assignor.  If you attempt to turn back a game less than 48 hours before kick-off, the system will not allow this, and you'll need to contact the Assignor directly.  

Failure to work an assigned game may result in a loss of referee privelages within MVSC.

Who can I turn to for help with my game skills?
We have a group of experienced referees that are here to help you by watching your games and mentoring you. Remember that even FIFA referees have mentors, assessors and instructors working with them every week to improve their game. Call your Assignor if you wish to participate.

How do I report a game?
You don’t have to.  Game scores are reported by the team’s coach or manager. In the event of a competitive game you should keep a simple record of the game in the event of a dispute over the outcome of the game.

Aside from the game score, key components of a Game Report include the following:

  • Injuries (record player name or jersey #), particularly head injuries that result in a player's departure from the game
  • Problems or safety issues with field and or equipment
  • Disciplinary actions taken by you (RED or YELLOW card)

If you have any of the three items to report, please do so via e-mail to your Assignor.

 What if I RED CARD a player or coach?
If you send off (RED card) a player or coach in a Recreational game, please email the MVSC Assignor.  If you send off a player or coach in a Norcal Premier League Competitive game, you must complete the 24-Hour Incident Report by the end of that day. You should also call the Assignor to let him know of the ejection.

What steps do I take after a game to get paid?
First, to received payment, you must enter your Social Security # in your profile.  Without a tax payer ID, you cannot get paid.

Payments is made from the electronic file created by the assigning software and you need not do anything else to get paid. Payments are made shortly after the end of the month in October, November and December.

What is the pay scale?
Your pay is based on the competitive level of the game, the age of the players, the length of the game. Pay ranges from $30 - $70 per game for Center Referees, and from $20 - $35 for Assistant Referees. Last year several youth referees earned considerably more than $1,000 for the season!  For a complete pay scale, see the side bar on the left.

Registration & Assignments