How to Become a High School Soccer Referee

Soccer is more than just a game for millions of people around the world; it’s a passion that unites communities and teaches valuable life skills. For those who love the sport but may not have the opportunity to play professionally, becoming a high school soccer referee is an excellent way to stay involved and contribute to the growth and development of the game

Why Become a High School Soccer Referee?

  • Love for the Game: If you’re a soccer enthusiast, refereeing high school games allows you to stay close to the sport and actively participate in its development at the grassroots level.
  • Community Involvement: As a referee, you’ll have the chance to connect with your local community and make a difference in the lives of young athletes.
  • Fitness and Health: Refereeing soccer matches can be a great way to stay active and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
  • Transferable Skills: The skills you’ll develop as a referee, such as decision-making, communication, and conflict resolution, are valuable in many aspects of life and can even enhance your professional career.

Who is This Job a Good Fit For?

Becoming a high school soccer referee is a great fit for individuals who:

  • Have a passion for soccer and a strong understanding of the game’s rules and regulations.
  • Enjoy working with young athletes and contributing to their growth and development.
  • Have excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Are able to make quick, accurate decisions under pressure.
  • Are physically fit and able to keep up with the demands of the game.

Benefits of Being a High School Soccer Referee

  • Personal Development: Refereeing provides opportunities for personal growth, as you’ll develop leadership, decision-making, and conflict resolution skills.
  • Networking: You’ll have the chance to connect with fellow referees, coaches, and soccer administrators, opening doors for future opportunities.
  • Flexibility: Refereeing high school soccer games often offers a flexible schedule, allowing you to work around other commitments.
  • Extra Income: While refereeing may not be a full-time career, it can provide a supplemental income.

How Much Do High School Soccer Referees Get Paid?

The pay for high school soccer referees varies depending on factors such as location, experience, and the level of competition. On average, high school soccer referees can expect to earn between $25 and $60 per game. In some cases, more experienced referees or those officiating higher-level matches may earn higher rates.

Steps to Becoming a High School Soccer Referee

Now that you have a better understanding of the role and its benefits, let’s dive into the steps to become a high school soccer referee:

  • Familiarize Yourself with the Rules: Before you can become a referee, you need to have a thorough understanding of the rules and regulations of soccer.
  • Complete a Referee Training Course: To become a certified soccer referee, you’ll need to complete a training course offered by a recognized soccer organization, such as the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) or your state high school athletic association.
  • Pass the Certification Exam: Upon completing the training course, you’ll be required to pass a written exam to demonstrate your knowledge of the rules and regulations.
  • Register with Your State or Local Soccer Association: After obtaining your certification, you’ll need to register with your state or local soccer association. This registration process typically involves submitting an application and paying a registration fee.
  • Gain Experience and Improve Your Skills: Start by refereeing youth or recreational games to gain experience and build your skills. As you become more proficient, you can progress to officiating higher-level matches, such as high school soccer games.
  • Attend Referee Clinics and Workshops: To stay up-to-date on rule changes and improve your skills, it’s essential to attend referee clinics and workshops regularly. These events will also help you network with other referees and soccer officials.
  • Maintain Your Fitness: A high level of physical fitness is crucial for a soccer referee. Be sure to maintain a regular exercise routine, focusing on cardiovascular endurance, strength, and flexibility.
  • Seek Mentorship: Connecting with experienced referees and seeking their guidance can be invaluable in your journey to becoming a successful high school soccer referee. They can offer tips, advice, and support to help you grow and excel in your role.


Becoming a high school soccer referee is a rewarding way to stay involved in the sport you love while positively impacting your local community. By following the steps outlined above, you’ll be well on your way to achieving your goal and enjoying the benefits of being a high school soccer referee. Remember, dedication, continuous learning, and a passion for the game are key ingredients for success in this role.

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