AYSO takes volunteer training seriously. To ensure that each game is safe, fair, and fun, we help our valuable referee volunteers to gain the skills that they need to be a key participant in the game.
Referee Badge Levels
There are five referee badge levels. You can learn more about the upgrade path on the Referee Upgrades page. Most new volunteers start as an 8U Official or a Regional Referee. 8U Officials can referee games for 6U, 7U, and 8U divisions. Regional Referees can play both Center Referee and Assistant Referee roles in 10U and 12U and Assistant Referee roles in 14U.
Basic AYSO Training
All AYSO Volunteers (not just Referees!) need to take a baseline set of training and certifications. This includes:
- Completing a background check (adult volunteers only)
- Completing a LiveScan Fingerprint (adult volunteers only)
- SafeSport Training (adult volunteers only)
- Safe Haven Training
- Concussion Awareness Training
- Sudden Cardiac Arrest Training
Learn more about these classes on the Volunteer training page. All of these courses and certifications can be completed online, with the exception of the LiveScan Fingerprint, which takes place in person. Note that youth (PRO) referees do not get background checks, fingerprinting, or take SafeSport.
Each level or badge has its own course. For example, there is an 8U Official course, a Regional Referee course, etc. These are in-person courses.
View the training calendar to find a training convenient for you!
For 8U and Regional badges, you take your course, complete a written exam and you’re good to go. Most folks are able to pass the exam on the first try.
8U Training Documents
At higher levels (Intermediate, Advanced, and National) a course and exam are also required, as well as a minimum number of games and on-field observations and assessments. Visit the Upgrade Path page to learn more.