How to Become a Referee

UpdatedSaturday August 11, 2018 byJoseph Borowski.

The RSA Program's goal is to create and grow a qualified and well-trained group of referees.  Currently we run 2 programs:

  1. Our in-town Division 6 First & Second Grade Soccer League.Referees are all eligible 7th and 8th grade players from our program

  2. NWBSA Recreational League Games.

The Division 6 in-town program is the first step in attaining that goal and enablement of our intent of maintaining a safe and enjoyable playing environment for Ramsey Soccer players of all ages and skill levels.  Please proceed to the Division 6 Referee section for more information regarding this program.

For our graduating 8th grade referees who are interested in continuing to the next level of being a soccer referee, as well as all other individuals interested in becoming a Soccer Referee, it is important to plan now and understand all the options and requirements for proper certification.

Below summarizes the requirements towards becoming a certified Referee.  Separate Sections are posted with information regarding each license.


The New Jersey State Referee Committee (NJSRC) administrates classes which certify and register successful attendees to become a USSF referee. The USSF has a referee grading system which specifies what level games the referee may officiate. In New Jersey you may become a new referee at either the Grade 9 or Grade 8 level.

Ramsey Soccer Association is classified as a Recreational Soccer Organization.  Minimum requirements for our Referees are that they have at least a GRADE 9 License and be at least 14 years of age.

North West Bergen Soccer Association (NWBSA) is the Recreation soccer league that the Ramsey Soccer Association participates.  RSA Insurance and League rules mandate that all referees be certified with at least a Grade 9 license USSF License.  Licenses need to be maintained and recertified each year!

NOTE:  For individuals interested in also expanding their referee responsibilities and handle Travel League games and select tournaments, etc., A GRADE 8 License is the minimum required along with a being at least 16 years of age. 


United States Soccer Federation Referee Grades

The USSF currently has 14 referee grades:

  • Grade 16 – Emeritus State Referee
  • Grade 15 – Emeritus State Referee
  • Grade 14 – Emeritus National Referee
  • Grade 13 – Emeritus Professional Referee
  • Grade 12 – Assistant Referee
  • Grade 9 – Recreational Referee
  • Grade 8 – Competitive Youth Referee
  • Grade 7 – Adult Amateur Referee
  • Grade 6 – State Referee
  • Grade 5 – State Referee
  • Grade 4 – National Referee
  • Grade 3 – Professional Referee
  • Grade 2 – FIFA Assistant Referee
  • Grade 1 – FIFA Referee


Register for the USSF course.  I recommend that you take the course over the winter.  Save the paper work provided as proof that you have taken the course.  I will need proof of attendance for NWBSA.  Upon passing, USSF will mail each new referee an ID card.  KEEP the card and your ID number for future reference as well as send me a copy for getting you set up next season.  Please contact me directly after you pass the test via email.

  1. Register for a referee certification course (must be 14 years old)
    1. NJREFS course  -  (affiliated with USSF):  Select a GRADE 9 Course to attend.  This license allows you to referee Recreation  games
      1. < >Take course – pass test
      2. Go to  for all referee  uniform and starter kit options.

Upon successful completion of your license, I will proceed to put you on our Referee list for our Fall 2016 Season.  RSA will hold a MANDATORY pre-season Kick-off meeting late August or early September.  At this meeting, we will review all processes, requirements, game-day procedures, rules, etc.  I will also be asking for your initial weekly availability.  Each weekend we have well over 20 Ramsey Home Games – there is plenty of work to go around for everyone.  You can choose to work as many or as few games as your schedule allows.  Note for first year referees, you will be paired with a seasoned referee to learn the game, etc. so you will not be assigned alone!  We run 2 or 3 man crews depending on level of play.  Please note that that all rec games are played on Saturday mornings (Girls) at 9:00 and 11:00am and Sunday afternoons (Boys) at 1:15 and 3:00pm. 

Please do not hesitate to reach out to me with any and all further questions that you may have though email.  I will answer them as soon as possible.

Thank you for your interest and support of Ramsey Soccer.  I look forward to you joining us on the pitch in the Fall 2016 Season!

Joe Borowski, RSA Referee Coordinator