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

If you have any difficulty renewing your license, please contact the MVSC Referee Assignor, Rafael Nunn.

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 need to be to be a referee?
You must be at least 13 years old to obtain a Grassroots License.  Grassroots (formerly 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 Grassroots Referee course.  The format of this class includes:

  • Independent study of the Laws of the Game, prior to starting the course.
  • Complete the on-line course.
  • Complete the Virtual Field Session.
  • Pass the final exam with a score of 80% or higher.

After completion of the on-line course, it is strongly recommended that new referees attend an in-person field training session offered by MVSC.  Field sessions are offered at various times before and during the season.

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, 2-stripes recommended
  •  An Assistant Referee flag set
  •  A Referee wallet w/ red & yellow cards
  •  A digital wrist watch with a chronometer
  •  A whistle, Fox 40 recommended
  • Paper and pen

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.

What are the requirements to maintain my license in subsequent years?
After you obtain your Referee License, you are required to renew 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 Learning Center.  The renewal process begins on July 1 for the following year, so referees are encouraged to renew as early as possible.

How are game assignments determined?
Games are assigned on the basis of a referee’s experience, age and skill level. All new referees start on 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. MVSC has a robust mentorship program to assist new referees in developing the skills and confidence needed to advance in the game.  If you think you are ready for bigger games, contact the MVSC Assignor and request an assessment.

What program does the Club use to assign games?
All referee game assigments are done through

Once you are registered on the site, you can SET YOUR AVAILABILITY to see games you might like to work, and you can then request those games through the "Self-Assign" feature.

Email and/or text notifications 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 was 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.  Declining a game is a feature of the Assigning System and it automatically sends an e-mail to the Assignor. In an emergency, both call and e-mail your Assignor.  If you attempt to turn back a game less than 72 hours before kick-off, the system will not allow this, and you'll need to contact the Assignor directly.  An industrious referee should be prepared to find their own replacement. 

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

How do I improve my skills as a referee?
MVSC has a group of experienced referees that are here to help you by watching your games and mentoring you. Even FIFA referees have mentors, assessors and instructors working with them every week to improve their game. Call your Assignor if you wish to receive mentorship.

How do I report a game's score?
Generally speaking, 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.

However, there are times you may need to file a Game Report:

  • 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.  Red cards must be reported within 24 hours, and preferrably the same day as the match.  Yellow cards do not need to be reported.

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

What if I issue a red card to a player or coach?
If you send off a player or coach by issuing a red card 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.

How do I 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 don't need to do anything else. Payments are made monthly, shortly after the end of the each month in the season.

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 $35 - $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.