Soccer is very popular in Northeast Ohio, and once you complete your training and certification, there should be no shortage of opportunities to work. FSRA and U.S. Soccer applies the FIFA Laws of the Game for referee training, eduction and certification.  Once you acquire your “badge” and gear, you’ll start your refereeing with the younger age groups and then work your way up as your experience and comfort level with more challenging games increase.

1. Watch Matches and Study the Game. You are not required to have playing or coaching experience to take referee courses, but if you’ve spent time on the soccer field before, you’ll have a head start on the basics.  World class matches are no shown on television very often.  Watch matches when you can, and observe the movement, whistles and game management of the referees and assistant referees.  Also, read the FIFA Laws of the Game.  The Laws of the Game are organized as follows:

  • Law 1 – The Field of Play
  • Law 2 – The Ball
  • Law 3 – The Number of Players
  • Law 4 – The Players’ Equipment
  • Law 5 – The Referee
  • Law 6 – The Assistant Referees
  • Law 7 – The Duration of the Match
  • Law 8 – The Start and Restart of Play
  • Law 9 – The Ball In and Out of Play
  • Law 10 – The Method of Scoring
  • Law 11 – Offside
  • Law 12 – Fouls and Misconduct
  • Law 13 – Free Kicks
  • Law 14 – The Penalty Kick
  • Law 15 – The Throw-in
  • Law 16 – The Goal Kick
  • Law 17 – The Corner Kick
2. Become Certified. The U.S. Soccer Federation, the governing body of soccer in the US, offers most of its new-referee classes during late fall, winter and early spring.  Classes are offered in December – March and posted on this website. Visit the Ohio North State Referee Committee and click on “Become a Referee” for the latest information about available courses and registration.  Once you complete the training modules, in-class training and and testing, you will receive your “patch”.
3. Get Games. Once you’re certified, you need to contact the north east Ohio referee assigners to let them know when and where you’re available to referee.  They will help assign you to the correct level of match, based on your experience and fitness level.
4. Maintain your Certification. Each year, referees must renew their membership with the U.S. Soccer Federation, complete required hours of continuing education and pass a written test to keep their certification current.
5. Contact the Firelands Soccer Referee Association. If you are interested in becoming a referee, contact FSRA and we’ll be glad to help you navigate the process.