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USSF Referee Memorandums

To: State Referee Administrators, State Youth Referee Administrators, State Directors of Referee Instruction, State Directors of Referee Assessment, Chair, State Referee Committee

Cc: Referee Committee, National Referees, National Assessors, National Referee, Instructors/National Referee Instructor Trainers

From: Julie Ilacqua, Managing Director of Federation Services

Re: Grade Designations/Changes

Date: May 29, 2003

The Referee Committee has approved changes to the current grade criteria in certain instances.  An explanation follows, with the appropriate changes to the Referee Administrative Handbook attached.

1. Recreational Referee Instructor.  Recreational Referee Instructors (authorized to teach the Grade 9, Referee Training Course only) should be registered as Grade 11 instructors.  The registration fee for this grade has been set as $20.00 with 50% staying in the state and 50% coming to the Federation.  A new transmittal sheet is attached.  Recreational Referee Instructors can be registered for 2003.

2. National Referee Emeritus, State Referee Emeritus.  Beginning in 2004, National Emeritus Referees and State Emeritus Referees will be registered as grade 13 or 15 only.  We will no longer be using the grade designations 14 or 16.  All cards will say either "National Emeritus Referee" or "State Emeritus Referee".  A copy of the updated section of the Referee Administrative Handbook detailing the criteria for Emeritus grades is attached. Simply stated, a referee will need 3 years as a National Referee to qualify as a National Emeritus or 3 years as a State Referee to qualify as a State Emeritus.    This change was made to bring the standards in line with the intentions of the provision, which is to allow referees to wear an "Emeritus" badge when they decide to retire from a higher level, instead of the lower badge.

3. National Grade Level.  Changes that will apply to Grade 3 and 4 Referees were made. All Referees who meet the published standards for National Referees can be registered as Grade 4 Referees after certification.  The Grade 3 designation is at the invitation of the United States Soccer Federation.  A technical committee has been established that will review the qualifications of referees based on their assignment level in Division 1 Professional League matches and/or center positions for Division 2 Professional matches.  This goes into effect for the 2004 registration period. 

Depending on the recommendation of the committee, referees will be assigned to a National Referee Training Seminar appropriate for their assignment level.  For both Grades 3 and 4, all criteria and standards must be met to achieve and retain that grade designation.   The updated sections of the Referee Administrative Handbook are attached.  The dates and locations of the two National Referee Training Seminars will be published as soon as they are known. 

4. Recreational Referee/Bridge Course.  The manuals for the new Recreational Referee Training Course, the Bridge Course and the Recreational Referee Instructor Training Course have been completed and distributed.  Grades 10 and 11 have been eliminated for 2004.  Those who currently wear those badges should take the Bridge Course and register as grade 8 referees in 2004 or take the Recreational Referee re-certification course and register as grade 9.   When registering referees who are going from 10 or 11 to grade 9, please put the forms through as "UPGRADES".  Even though it is not technically an upgrade, our system expects a grade change to be either an upgrade or a downgrade. 

Referees who register as recreational referees and subsequently upgrade to 8 in the same year can be treated as "administrative upgrades" and be registered the second time for a $5.00 administrative fee.  Referees who change grade, from 10 to 9 or 9 to 8, should not be listed as "NEW" on the form, as they already have a 16-digit id number in our system.  Please ask your clinic instructors to follow these procedures to make sure the paperwork is filled out properly at clinics.

Thank you.  Please feel free to contact our office if you have any questions.

Changes to the Referee Administrative Handbook (PDF)