Policy: Referee's Responsibilities to Affiliated Teams


A person registered with the U.S. Soccer Federation as a referee has the right to participate in referee courses and clinics conducted by the Federation and its affiliates and to be examined and graded from time to time - all for the purpose of assisting referees in improving their officiating skills as well as qualifying them for assignment at a higher level competition. A Federation registered referee also has the responsibility to officiate games among youth, adult and professional teams which are affiliated with U.S. Soccer Federation so that affiliated teams do not have a shortage of qualified officials for their competitions.  Recognizing these rights and responsibilities, the U.S. Soccer Referee Committee has adopted the following policies:


1. The primary duty of a USSF registered referee is to officiate games among teams (youth, adult and professional), which are affiliated with the United States Soccer Federation.


2. In order to prevent any referee from taking benefits from the National Program for Referee Development without also assisting affiliated teams in conducting their competitions, the State Referee Administrator has the authority to refuse registration and to refuse participation in USSF sponsored referee development programs to a referee who has previously registered with the Federation if the State Referee Administrator determines that the following conditions exist:


A. The referee during the past calendar year has officiated more games for unaffiliated soccer teams than for affiliated soccer teams. (School sponsored games are not to be considered as either affiliated or unaffiliated games for this purpose.)


B. The referee has not officiated during the past calendar year the minimum number of games required by the state referee committee to maintain their current grade level, unless written clearance has been received by the referee from the SRA.


Definition of Unaffiliated or Outlaw Soccer Team and/or League


An outlaw team and/or league is a suspended team and/or league in bad standing with the United States Soccer Federation, including its divisions and/or other affiliated organizations.  An unaffiliated team and/or league is a team and/or league that has never been affiliated with the United States Soccer Federation or has left the Federation voluntarily (on its own terms) and was in good standing with the federation and its state association at the time of its departure.



Policy:  Unaffiliated Games


The U.S. Soccer Referee Committee is concerned about the number of referees officiating unaffiliated matches. While referees cannot be prohibited from working these games, the Referee Committee requests that all state and local referee administrators strongly discourage referees within their jurisdiction from working these games. Only in doing so will these unaffiliated leagues be encouraged to become affiliated.


Here are some ample reasons why referees should not work these games:


1. No assessments may be accepted from games in unaffiliated leagues.


2. There is no liability insurance coverage when a referee is working in unaffiliated leagues.


3. If the referee is assaulted or should there be any other serious misconduct, there's no assurance any disciplinary body will review and act on it.


4. The referee may not be able to fulfill state referee committee requirements to work a certain level of affiliated games to maintain grade.


5. The referee's U.S. Soccer Federation registration may be denied should the referee refuse to work affiliated games over unaffiliated games.


6. Referees who have worked more unaffiliated games than affiliated games may be refused registration.


NOTE: Interscholastic and intercollegiate competitions are not considered to be affiliated or unaffiliated for the purposes of this policy.