USSF Grades Explained
All referees affiliated with FIFA have a designated referee grade. The grade indicates the qualification of the referee to officiate at various levels of local, national and international soccer competition. There is a common misconception that these grades are related to elementary or secondary school grades - they're not, they are assigned by USSF.
FIFA International: Referees who officiate in the World Cup and international matches are designated as Grade 1.
FIFA International Assistant Referee: Assistant Referees to Grade 1 Referees are designated as Grade 2.
National Referee/National Assistant Referee: In the United States, competition at the national level (including professional soccer and MLS) requires National Referee and National Assistant Referee (used to be Grade 3 or 4).
Regional Referee: The highest level of competition within a state (amateur leagues beyond youth) requires a Regional Referee grade ( used to be Grade 5 and Grade 6).
Grassroots Referee: This is the Grade used to be Grade 7 and Grade 8.
As referees advance to higher grades they are required to demonstrate their continued qualification for their grade through "maintenance" assessments and sustained high level competition experience. Each Regional referee is required to successfully pass a physical fitness field examination which includes distance, agility and speed tests. The results of this testing are recorded to fulfill part of the annual registration / recertification qualifications. In rare circumstances referees who fail to maintain their qualifications are "down graded" and this is reflected on their next registration.
REGISTEr for the advance clinic
Thinking Of Upgrading ?
To request an upgrade, please use the "Upgrade Request Form" and complete the "Referee Game Log" forms.
Upgrading From Grassroots
The referee must pass two (2) on field assessments. One of the two assessments MUST be a Youth game U17 or higher US Soccer sanctioned/affiliated game. The Second game MUST be an adult US Soccer sanctioned/affiliated game. The referee is responsible to pay the assessor $100 for assessment.