Referees

Become a Referee

New Referee Courses will start up again in August as US Soccer will be registering for the 2025 registration cycle shortly.
2025 Referee Recertification cycle will be starting shortly.

Per U.S. Soccer, new referees must be 13 years of age or older at the time of registration.

WisRef Referee Training Calendar
Referee registrations or licenses go from January 1 through December 31 of each year – your
registration is an annual event. There is an exception for NEW or ≤2 year registration lapse
referees who attend a July/August course, and then have a registration for the next calendar year,
as well as that fall season.

Players have annual registrations, and coaches have annual licenses, just like referees, although
the registration or license dates and expirations are different for all.
FIFA, and then its members, including US Soccer tend to have changes to the Laws of the Game
annually. US Soccer attempts to put these Law Changes into effect as of July 1st of each year.
When these Law Changes are put into effect, US Soccer then opens the US Soccer Learning
Center to allow referee training and registration for the next registration period.

NEW Referee Courses
NEW referee courses are for brand new referees, as well as referees who have a ≥3 year
registration lapse.

We offer NEW referee courses at TWO distinct times: July/August and again December through
April. We do NOT offer NEW referee courses during the busy outdoor soccer seasons, due to
the difficulty with candidates finishing the online course work and being able to attend an in
person/on field session.

We open our NEW referee courses on July 15th. These July/August courses are comprised of
online training in the Learning Center, followed by in person/on field training which takes place
in August – scheduled Saturday or Sunday mornings or afternoons, at various locations around
the state. The online training in the Learning Center, which is comprised of various modules, has
an expected time to complete of 12 hours, although if the NEW referee candidate is more
experienced, time to complete can be less. All of the online coursework must be satisfactorily
completed and a game assignments system user established, BEFORE the NEW referee
candidate can request placement into an in person/on field session by no later than Thursday at
5:00 PM prior to the session. In person/on field session times and locations are published in the
course, in the Learning Center.

We again open our NEW referee courses in the US Soccer Learning Center in early December,
and will hold the courses open until the end of April. We start to hold the in person/on field
sessions of the course in February, and again run until the end of April. Times and locations are
posted in the Learning Center.

If the course requirements are not met by the end of April, the NEW referee candidate would
have to start a new course the following July/August, or December through April. No refunds are
provided. Per US Soccer, no coursework or fees previously paid carry over to the July or later
course offerings.

Requirements for NEW referees in the Learning Center are:

Introduction to Safe and Healthy Playing Environments
Online Referee Course Modules (5)
Laws of the Game Update
First Time Referee Quiz
SafeSport (if 18 years or older)
U.S. Soccer Federation Gold Standard NCSI Background Check (if 18 years or older)
After completion of the above requirements, the referee candidate must:
Create a user account in the WisRef Assigning platform
Attend at NEW referee in person/on field session
Lapsed Recertifying Referee Courses
If you have a referee registration lapse of a maximum of two years, you may attend a
Recertifying Referee Course, for Lapsed Referees. We open a Lapsed Recertifying Referee
Course July 15th, and close it on October 31st. This course is by invitation only; you must email
Sue Walter (sue@wisref.org) or Tom Mesalk (tom@wisref.org) to obtain the registration
information to enroll in this course. Completion of this course will allow you to referee this fall
and all of the next year, until 12/31. We open our regular Recertifying Referee Courses
November 1st, as below.

Recertifying Referee Courses
Regular Recertification courses open November 1st, and run until June 15th. Background checks
take a minimum of 10 business days to complete – more if your background includes any
interaction with law enforcement, and we recommend commencing them well before
recertification courses close on June 15th (if you are ≥18 we recommend starting the recert
process before June 1st, else wait until July 15th). All recertification course work is done in the
US Soccer Learning Center; there is no in person/on field component.

Requirements for recertifying referees in the Learning Center are:

Online Referee Recertification Module

Laws of the Game Update

Recertifying Referee Quiz

Introduction to Safe and Healthy Playing Environments Update

SafeSport Update (if 18 years or older)

U.S. Soccer Federation Gold Standard NCSI Background Check Update if required (if 18
years or older)/

Advanced Recertification Courses
Advanced Referee Courses are intended for all Regional Referees, R7 Referees, as well as those
referees who are thinking or performing at a higher level, or aspire to move up. These courses
are published elsewhere on this site, as well as the related fitness test dates and requirements.

Registering as a NEW Referee or Recertifying Referee in Another State
If you register as a NEW Referee or a Recertifying Referee, in another state and you are a WI
resident, you will be assessed a $50 assignment fee, to be added to the WisRef assigning
platform for games. If you are a WI resident, please enroll in a WisRef course, to avoid this.