Welcome to Soccer Refereeing

Soccer officiating is a fun and challenging activity. It offers myriad opportunities for individuals of a wide range of ages, backgrounds, and abilities. Are you a player with many years of experience? A spectator with a love for the game and a desire to learn more about the intricacies of the Laws? A coach who wants to learn the game from a new perspective? A job-seeker who wants to earn some money without having to flip burgers?

Whether you fit into one of those categories or you are in one of your own, we are happy to help you learn more about how you can get into soccer officiating.

Referees who complete the introductory trainings with Nebraska Referee Development Program are licensed as "Grassroots" by US Soccer.


Candidates must be 13 years of age or older. To be a licensed referee, the following requirements must be completed:

  • Online New Referee Course: This is a comprehensive review of the 17 Laws of the Game using slide presentations with oral highlights and video support of each topic.
  • On-field Training: This training is an in depth working review of the proper positioning and mechanics for the Referee and AR.

The following applies if you are 18 years of age or older:

  • SafeSport Training (online modules): In 2017, a Federal Law was passed that mandated that anyone 18 years of age and older must pass the SafeSport training if they are involved with youth sports. This would include referees, coaches and other team support personnel.

The following also applies if you are 19 years of age or older:

  • Background Check: You must complete a Background Check prior to registering for a course.

The Licensing Process

  1. To register for the New Referee Online Course and On-field Training Sessions visit OMS
    • Select "Find Clinics" to create a profile and register for a course.
    • If you are 19 years of age or older, you must complete a background check prior to registering for a course.
    • For detailed instructions and screenshots Click Here
  2. If you have any questions or concerns, Click Here to let us know.

Before Your First Match

In addition to meeting the basic requirements and completing the certification process, you will need to do a few more things to prepare for your first match.

Acquire a uniform and equipment. Referees are expected to maintain a professional appearance. Wearing a standard uniform is an important part of that. In addition, referees need to have available for their use a few key pieces of equipment. Learn more about a referee’s uniform and equipment.

Be in contact with an assignor. A referee assignor is a person who matches referees with matches. The assignor’s job is not only to ensure that each game has the requisite number of referees, but also to ensure that the referees assigned to each match are qualified, capable, and confident at that level of play. In general assignors will contact referees within their assigning area. We explain to referees who their area assignors are and how to contact them at the New Referee Class.

Check your calendar. An assignor cannot assign you to matches if you are not available. Most assignors use an electronic system (such as GameOfficials) to manage referee assignments. Keep your availability up-to-date according to whatever instructions your assignor provides. For a list of special events in Nebraska Click Here.