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Refereeing for Loudoun Soccer

Want to Referee for Loudoun Soccer?

If you are interested in working games for Loudoun Soccer, please contact Tammy Mitchell at

We need referees for the following games:

  • u7 thru u14 Loudoun Soccer Recreational Games
  • u16 thru u19 Suburban Friendship League (SFL)
  • u9 thru u18 Old Dominion Soccer League (ODSL)
  • u9 thru u18 Virginia Club Champions League (VCCL)
  • Loudoun Soccer Adult League
  • Summer College Players League
  • Leesburg Christian School
  • Patrick Henry College

We offer competitive pay rates, mentoring for new referees and bonuses according to number of games worked per season.


Q. How do I become a referee?
A. Prospective referees must attend and pass a course sponsored and taught by the United States Soccer Federation.  Visit the State Referee Program website and follow instructions there to find and register for a class:

Q. How much does a course cost?
A. A new referee for either Grade-8 or Grade-9 costs $65.

Q. What’s the difference between a Grade-8 and a Grade-9?
A. A Grade 8, USSF Referee Class 2, is authorized to referee competitive (travel) soccer matches as well as recreational (house) games. A Grade-8 course will qualify a referee to be both a Center Referee and Assistant Referee (AR) (often erroneously referred to as linesman). A Grade-9, USSF Recreational Referee, is authorized to referee on recreational games age under-14 and younger. Like a Grade-8, a Grade-9 will be qualified to be a Center or AR. Loudoun Soccer starts assigning ARs at the U-9 level.

Q. How long is the course?
A. Generally a Grade-8 course is 18-20 hours while a Grade-9 course is 8-10 hours in length. A typical model for a Grade-8 course would be to meet on two consecutive Friday evenings and two full-day Saturday sessions. A Grade-9 course may meet for one long day or three evening sessions. Every course will be different. Loudoun Soccer doesn’t arrange for Grade-9 courses.

Q. If I become a Grade-9 can I become a Grade-8 later?
A. Yes. A Grade-9 referee can always attend a New Grade-8 course later or can take a special "Bridge" Course designed to take Upgrade Grade-9 referees to Grade-8.

Q. Does everyone pass the course?
A. No. There is an exam and one must qualify by passing. Bottom line is that almost everyone who listens to the instructor’s instructions and prepares by reading the Laws of the Game and the USSF Publication Advice to Referees on the Laws of the Game will do well.

Q. Where can I locate information about courses?
A. All approved courses are listed on the State Referee web site ( Check under Clinic Listing. We sponsor clinics and our current offerings are always listed under our Training Clinics link. But you don’t need to train with us to work with us and if you train with us you are free to work elsewhere.

Q. How do I register?
A. Go to the Virginia State Referee web site ( The web site is titled Metro DC-Virginia State Referee Program. Click on the link for Online Registration. Select USSF Referee Registration and follow the on-screen commands. Quirky feature: Even though you are not in the database you must enter your name for it not to find you. After it does not locate you only then will you be prompted to add your personal information. You will be taken to a screen with the message: Match Not Found.

There select "Register as a NEW referee." You will be prompted to create a password. After creating a password you will be taken to a screen to enter your information. (Skip the Affiliated Game Experience table.)

Once you pay the USSF fee ($65) by credit card you will be registered as a referee for the year requested. You then have to wait at least 24 hours to register for a particular class, as the database updates every night.  Then you can select a clinic from the same site. If you select the "Bring Check to Class Option" the instructors may require you to mail the check in advance in ensure your participation.

Find a clinic (New-8 or New-9) that fits your schedule and register. Select a class that you can make all instructional hours. Attend the course and have fun!

You will be able to print both a USSF registration form and a clinic enrollment form once registered. If you cannot produce a clinic enrollment form then you have not successfully registered for a clinic a may be turned away at the door. You can always go back to registration to manage your profile and select a clinic at that time.  Additional information on the registration process can be found on the Virginia State Referee web site (

Q. I registered and paid the $65 fee online but now the clinic also has a fee. It's $0. What does that mean?

A. Some advanced referee clinics have an associated fee for registration. The entry level referee clinics do not. The fee you pay is $65 to register as a referee and $0 to attend the clinic.

Q. If I take a course from Loudoun Soccer  do I have to ref for Loudoun Soccer?
A. No. All refs are welcome to train with us and work elsewhere.

Q. Do I have to take a course from Loudoun Soccer to ref for Loudoun Soccer?

A. No. You are welcome to get your certification anywhere.

Q. When I pass the test and become a referee how much more will it cost?

A. A referee needs a uniform and basic equipment.   A basic uniform (jersey, shorts, socks) package will cost around $50-$60. The packages typically include accessories such as flags, whistle, data wallet, and red/yellow cards. A referee at the recreational level can usually get by for the first season with one short-sleeve yellow jersey. You can purchase a referee starter kit at Official Sports (  The kit includes a yellow jersey, flags, whistle, data wallet and red/yellow cards. The kit does not include black shorts. You should purchase your uniform so you will have it by the last referee class, which is the field training module.  Loudoun Soccer does not keep referee kits on hand for sale.

Referees who work competitive matches are expected to have alternate color jerseys (black, red, blue) and in long-sleeve as well as short. And while we don’t recommend the green jersey, one could buy 10 different jerseys!

Q. What if I paid for my referee kit and I don’t pass the class?

A. Loudoun Soccer will refund your money if you don’t pass the class.

Q. How much will I make?

A. Rates vary widely. Center refs make more than Assistant Refs. The higher the age (and the longer the game) the more one makes. For one game as center for U8 or U10 the rates can be approximately $15-$20. Center refs for a U19 can pay $30 - $50 or more. Loudoun Soccer rates webpage is in the process of being updated.  Check back here in the Spring.

Q. How do I get games?
A. Once certified, a new referee needs to contact an assignor for a local club or league. The assignor should work with you to give you appropriate skill level games based on your age and qualification. If you would like to work for Loudoun Soccer, we ask that you contact Tammy Mitchell at (

Q. Is there an age limit to ref?
A. The USSF makes no age restriction for a Grade-8 or Grade-9 referee. However, the Va. Child Labor Law permits youth referees to work provided they are at least 12 years of age. In addition, most assignors require a youth center referee to be at least two years older than the age group they referee. Most competitive leagues require centers to be at least 16 years of age.

Loudoun Soccer strongly urges you to be at least 13 years of age.  See How Young is Too Young for more information

Q. Which course do you recommend to start?

Loudoun Soccer sponsors Grade-8 New Referee Courses.  We don’t offer Grade-9 classes, but we do allow Grade 9 referees to work games. We do not use grade-12 referees.  Once you pass your New Referee course, Loudoun Assignors will work with you to get games at the appropriate age and skill level for you. As you obtain more experience and are comfortable at the current age and skill level and can ask your assignor for more challenging games. Loudoun Soccer tries to have a older adult (mentor) come out and watch you referee a game. During breaks in the game, the mentor will offer you advice on how to improve your refereeing. You can also contact the Referee Director ( and ask for a mentor to come and watch your game.

Q. Will I be certified to referee high school matches?
A. No. High school games are not played under the Laws of the Game but rather under rules written by the National Federation of High Schools. Contact the DARK Associates (Loudoun County) or Commonwealth Soccer Officials Association(Fairfax County) for information about high school officiating.

Q. When do I need more than a yellow referee shirt?

A. As long as you are doing house league games, you don’t need any other color than yellow. If you do Suburban Friendship League (SFL), Old Dominion Soccer League (ODSL) or VCCL, then you  need to have more than one color shirt.

Q. If I need to buy referee shirts, what’s the best order to purchase?

A. After purchasing the yellow short-sleeve shirt, there is no correct answer but we suggest blue, black, red, and then green in short-sleeve.  If you are planning to referee in cold weather then we suggest yellow be the first shirt you buy in long-sleeve, followed by the other colors mentioned before. If you don’t have a long-sleeve shirt and the weather turns cold, wearing a black long-sleeve shirt or sweatshirt under your referee shirt is acceptable.

Q. What can a referee wear when the weather turns cold?

A. The referee jersey must be on the outside and visible to the players and coaches. Under your referee shirt you can wear a black sweatshirt or “heat gear”.  A long sleeve is ok.  If you are wearing a long-sleeve shirt, the shirt (or sweatshirt) should not be a hoody. The referee can wear pants but they should be black athletic pants. If you have to wear sweatpants, they should be black in color, they should be pulled up and your referee shirt tucked in. You can also wear gloves and a hat.  The hat should be black or a black skull cap. Under no circumstances should the referee wear a “hoody” up over their head.

Q. Can I get a mentor to come watch me work a game?

A. Yes. Send an email to Tammy Mitchell (  It might take us few days to a week to set something up, but a person will be assigned to come to you game.

Q. Why should someone watch me work a game?

A. A mentor is an experienced referee that will watch you work your game.  Before, at half time and after the game, the mentor will make observations and suggestions on your game.   What you are doing well and what you can change to become a better referee.  The mentor will also write up a report, which will be provided to the referee.

Q. Can a referee keep time with their cell phone?

A. No! The referee needs to have a watch. If doing high level games, the referee should have two watches, one for backup. When a referee uses a cell phone to keep time during a game, it gives the impression that they are checking their email and not watching the game.

Q. Can a referee wear sunglasses during their game?

A. No. Neither the referee, assistant referees, or players are allowed to wear sunglasses during their games.  A referee, assistant referee, or player can wear the photo grey glasses (the kind that change shades in sunlight) if they are corrective lenses.  If needed, the referee or assistant referee can wear a hat to keep the sun out of their eyes.