A referee’s journey begins at the Grassroots level. U.S. Soccer Grassroots Referees are qualified to officiate competitive, small-sided or recreational youth matches and amateur adult matches.
The U.S. Soccer Grassroots License has both an online and in-person component. Grassroots Referees will register for courses and be certified through State Referee Committees.
U.S. Soccer Regional Referees are qualified to officiate competitive state competitions, regional events and professional leagues including NPSL and USL League Two.
Regional Referees will register for courses and be certified through State Referee Committees.
National Referee and National Assistant Referee (Formerly Grades 4 and 3)
U.S. Soccer National Referees and Assistant Referees are qualified to officiate national and professional matches in any league except MLS. This includes the USL Championship and NWSL.
National Referees and Assistant Referees are selected and certified directly by U.S. Soccer.
Professional – P.R.O.
P.R.O. Referees and Assistant Referees are qualified to officiate matches in any domestic competition, including MLS, as well as certain international matches.
P.R.O. is an independent company, supported by U.S. Soccer, that administers professional referee programs in North America. Candidates are selected by P.R.O. based on performance at the National Referee and Assistant Referee level.
FIFA Referees and Assistant Referees are qualified to officiate international matches at the highest level, including FIFA World Cup competitions.
This elite group of referees and assistant referees is recommended by the National Referee Committee, nominated by U.S. Soccer’s Board of Directors and approved by FIFA.
For additional information about the U.S. Soccer Referee Program or registering for a course, please contact the Michigan Referee Committee.