Team Requirements for a Referee

EVERY LWYSA team, at all ages, is required to provide a referee to assist in officiating games. When a team provides a referee, they are said to have a “Referee in the Pool of Referees”. This requirement exists to make certain that we have enough referees to cover the matches that are scheduled each year. LWYSA schedules referees for more than 2000 matches every year.

In order to have enough referees, every team must ask at least one person to step forward and fill the role of referee and represent their team in the "Pool" of referees. When teams are not able to convince somebody to fill that role, we risk having a shortage whereby there will be a game without a referee assigned, which then requires a coache or a parent who may have limited knowledge of the rules, to step in and fill that role. While many of the coaches and parents that fill in on an “emergency” basis do an excellent job, the players generally benefit from having a trained person as a referee. As your team works to find a referee, the attached documents may help in answering some of the questions that come up in your team meeting. Finding a team referee really begins at the end of the fall season, so that your team referee can avail themselves of the referee training opportunities that take place in the spring and late summer. There are actually very few opportunities to train during the fall season.

Common Questions about Becoming a Referee

LWYSA sponsors classes each year. The link below can help your team referee find a session that is convenient for them. You can attend a class anywhere in the state. (Note: Classes are added throughout the year.)

Finding USSF Referee Classes in Washington

Below you will find the requirements for each age group.


Each team must provide an adult volunteer to officiate ½ of each game your team plays. We desire adults because they are generally more sensitive to the needs of the very young players, and the parents that watch are generally more satisfied with the job done.

LWYSA usually offers training sessions in late August and early September at 60 Acres.


Each team must provide one person who will be a licensed US Soccer Federation (USSF) Referee. The level of license required is the Entry Level Grade 8. This license is obtained by attending a USSF licensing class, which is approximately 8 hours of classroom instruction. While LWYSA will permit a minor to be your designated “Referee in the Pool”, it is strongly encouraged that you try and find an adult to fill this role. This referee is expected to officiate 5 matches during the fall season.

Upcoming Class Information

The link above will take you to the State Referee Web Site, which lists various class options that are available and provides more information about education for referees in general. "Entry Level" clinics, the clinics you take when you are just starting out, take place throughout Washington and are offered on the Eastside (Woodinville, Redmond, Bellevue) at least 6 times a year. You may attend any class at any location.


Each team must provide one person who will be a licensed USSF Referee and serve as that team's "Referee in the Pool". This person should obtain a USSF Grade 8 license (8 hours of class time), and then must sign up to be a referee for the East King County Soccer Referee Association (EKCSRA). They should plan to officiate at least 10 matches for EKCSRA during the season.

EKCSRA will have more assignments available for referees with some measure of experience. Therefore, it is STRONGLY recommended that any new referee (adult or minor) complete at least one season as a referee within their local association (i.e. as a referee for the U10-U12 matches in LWYSA). There is generally more support available for brand new referees, and the level of competition within the local association is more appropriate for new referees. EKCSRA assumes that referees signing up for their games have some level of experience and maturity.