How to Register to Become a New Referee

The Grassroots First-Time Referee course is for candidates who haven't previously been registered as a referee, or for previously registered referees who have had a lapse in certification (2020 or prior lapse). The minimum age for referees is 13.

The total cost of the course is $70; a background check, if 18 or older is an additional $30 (for a 2-yr period).  Wisconsin Youth Soccer Association is offering reimbursement of course fees (including registration fee and background check fee) for New or Lapsed Registration Referees who successfully complete the requirements to become a US Soccer Referee for 2023. PLUS,  through 12/31/22, these Referees will receive a $50 uniform kit allowance, redeemable at Stefan’s Soccer.


  1. Complete all U.S. Soccer required assignments in the U.S. Soccer Learning Center
  2. Create a GameOfficials account
  3. Successfully complete in-person course (either virtual Zoom session or classroom/on-field session)

This is a 12-hour course:

  • 8 hours in the U.S. Soccer Learning Center (on your own)
  • Creation of a WisRef GameOfficials account
  • 4 hours WisRef In-Person session (either virtual online Zoom session or Classroom/On-Field session) with instructors

After successful completion of the above, you will be registered as a new 2023 Grassroots Referee.


WisRef utilizes 2 platforms. Registration and learning are within the US Soccer Learning Center. Game assignments, after completing all requirements, will be in the WisRef GameOfficials platform.

  1. Create a Referee profile in the US Soccer Learning Center: This profile or account is for the Referee, not the parent. Full name & mailing address is required; the name, address & primary email should be the same as will be input into GameOfficials. Please note that school email addresses are sometimes problematic, so should be avoided.

    If you are 18 or older, you will be prompted to pay for and complete a 2-year background check and complete the SafeSport module. If you turn 18 during a registration period, you will be required to complete the background check and SafeSport in order to continue refereeing during the seasons.
  2.  After you create your account, pay the $70 US Soccer 2023 registration fee and WisRef course fee. Register in the following course: 2023 New Grassroots Referee – Assignment Course (August)

    Instructions for how to find and sign up for a course on Learning Center -- note: to search for the course, leave the location field blank (delete "Wisconsin") and under "host" select Wisconsin State Referee Commission
  3.  Complete all US Soccer Learning Center required assignments in the following pathway: Courses/My Courses/Go to Classroom/Assignments. Remember to log out if you take a break from the training and continually save your progress. Chromebooks are not always compatible, may not load, save, or display properly, and may be incompatible with the Zoom program required later.
  4.  Set up a GameOfficials account for game assignments in the WisRef GameOfficials assigning  platform: (use this link).

    This account is for the Referee, not the parent. Full name & mailing address is required; the name, address & primary email should be the same as was input into the Learning Center. Please note that school email addresses are sometimes problematic, so should be avoided.

    There will not be any course work completed in GameOfficials (GO). GameOfficials is only for game assignments once you have been registered as a referee.
  5.  After completing steps 1 through 4, notify to choose a date/time to attend a WisRef Virtual online Zoom session (“Virtual”) or a Classroom/On-Field session (“Field”). You will be able to pick a session date and time from the list in her email reply. Session dates/times are listed in the course details when you register. 

    * The Virtual or Field session time of 4 hours is 100% accurate. Referee candidates are required to be present for the entire session. These sessions meet US Soccer requirements and failure to be present for the entire session will result in full attendance not being granted and your certification will not be processed.

    *Signing up for the Virtual or Field session will be available after you complete the required Learning Center assignments and have created your WisRef Game Officials account – steps 1 through 4 above. You cannot reserve a spot for the Virtual or Field session until you complete these stepsRequesting an In-Person date before all steps above are completed will not generate a response. If a Virtual or Field session is near capacity, there are no guarantees that slots will be available by the time you finish steps 1 through 4. We strongly encourage Referee candidates to compete their assignments in the Learning Center and the WisRef course work well in advance of the Virtual or Field session they wish to attend. We reserve the right to cancel any scheduled Virtual or Field session for low attendance numbers. Referee Candidates will then be able to choose another date/time to attend.

    * The deadline for choosing the Virtual or Field session is 48 hours before the start of the session. WisRef requires course rosters to be set by this deadline. Please be diligent if you desire a session for a particular date and time.
  6.  Attend the selected Virtual or Field session. The Field session will start in the classroom and move outdoors for training so please dress accordingly. The Virtual session is interactive, and requires active participation from all candidates. Instructors must be able to see and hear you throughout the session. Video MUST be on at all times and you must have the ability to mute/un-mute your microphone. There is a maximum of one referee per electronic device – no sharing, and attendance needs to be in a stationary, unobstructed, quiet environment and not in a vehicle of any kind, whether moving or stationary.
  7.  Once you pass all the requirements, you will be certified by the State Referee Administrator as a 2023 USSF Grassroots Referee. Your 2023 Referee badge will be mailed to you and you will be enabled in the WisRef GameOfficials for game assignments. Take this opportunity to make sure your mailing address is correct and consistent in both the US Soccer Learning Center and the WisRef GameOfficials. You will only receive one 2023 badge, so please be careful with it.


If you have registration or certification questions, please email Sue Walter at