General Upgrade Policies

The following information has been extracted from the USSF Referee Administrative Handbook and recent memoranda.

Referees who are registered with the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) may upgrade to the next referee grade once they have satisfied specific requirements.

Upgrading requires:

  • Minimum age
  • Game experience at the appropriate level
  • Time in present grade
  • Training courses
  • Written examination
  • Assessments
  • Physical fitness test

Because of the complexity of upgrading, it is strongly recommended that you contact and work with your District Referee Coordinator, District Director of Instruction, and District Director of Assessment to ensure you satisfy all requirements. You can find these people in Contact Us.

If you wish to upgrade to National Referee (Grade 4) from State 1 Referee (Grade 5), you must contact the State Referee Administrator, listed in Contact Us, for complete information. The process is very complex and the requirements are very demanding and difficult to achieve.

Change of Grade During the Year

For a referee upgrading in a class (Grade 8 to 7 or from 6 to 5), there is a $5.00 administrative fee, payable to CNRA. For a referee who qualifies and wants to upgrade from Grade 7 to 6 during the year, the difference in fees for registering as Grade 6 versus 7 would be applicable. In any case, it is critical that referees maintain current registration. Failure to maintain registration will result in the referee getting downgraded. Contact your District Referee Coordinator for more information.

Criteria for Certifying and Upgrading

Upgrade requirements are contained in the USSF Referee Administrative Handbook. You can also find them on the CNRA web site.