Major League Soccer
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FAQs

Answers to questions we receive through this website will be published on this page for future reference, if the topic is deemed to be of general interest.

Listed below, in no particular order, are some of the questions we have recently received. This page will be updated in the future, as further questions are put to PRO.

If you have a question for PRO, please click here to find out how to get in contact.

 

Q) I'd love to become a professional referee - how do I got about achieving this goal?
A) Please visit the U.S Soccer referee website to get an overview of becoming an official. To officiate in the United States one must register with U.S. Soccer through a local state association. The local association will have details regarding referee courses required for registration.


Q) I am a soccer referee based overseas and I was wondering if there was any direct transition to officiate in North America as a professional official?
One must first move to the United States and register with U.S. Soccer. At that time one is given a referee grade based upon their experience. From that point one works their way up the state officiating ladder. It is not possible to immediately become an official with PRO.


Q) I’m contacting you to have details about the US Referee decision makers to introduce them a full referee development project. Specifically concerning Youth category.
A) U.S. Soccer handles all aspects of Youth Referee Training. 
 

Q) I would like to know the steps I have to take to transfer my soccer referee certification from MI to TN. I have been an active referee since 2009 and had CR /AR assignments in MI for all youths, adult, premier and also all levels in High school boys / girls competition.
A) To move one’s U.S. Soccer registration from one state to another, you need to contact each State Referee Administrator to approve the move. They initiate the paperwork required by U.S. Soccer. The specific individuals can be found on the U.S. Soccer website, referee section


Q) I am curious why some PRO referees are wearing FIFA badges and some have PRO badges.
A) There is a pecking order for badge wearing and when a person has been awarded a FIFA badge that takes precedence over any other.
 

Q) How does PRO work with the NWSL, and how are referees chosen?
A) Officials are pulled from two pools to stay within travel budget limitations;

- A wider national pool for referees and senior assistants
- A local pool near the venues for junior assistants and 4th officials.

All officials must meet minimum requirements for fitness testing and Laws of the Game testing as part of their registration with U.S. Soccer. The vast majority are either National Referees, National Assistant Referees, or National Candidates.

The officials chosen for NWSL have a breadth of experience and have been identified through superior performances amongst their peers in a variety of settings, including youth and adult regional and national tournaments, semi-professional and professional leagues, and U.S. Soccer ID and Training events. Their assessments in these settings are reviewed and we consider recommendations from several sources, including PRO staff, U.S. Soccer staff, Local Assignment Coordinators, mentors, and assessors.  

Once they are part of the NWSL pool of officials, performances are monitored through a network of National Assessors and a four-person Review Committee, composed of retired FIFA and National officials who are also National Instructors and/or Assessors for U.S. Soccer, CONCACAF, and FIFA.
 

Q) Why were the PRO officials wearing black armbands for matches during the first weekend in July 2014?
A) They were worn in honor of the memory of referee John Bieniewicz.


Q) Are the performances of NWSL referees reviewed and assessed? If so, how regularly?
A) All NWSL matches are evaluated by U.S. Soccer National Assessors and reviewed by an NWSL Review Committee made of retired FIFA and National officials who officiated professional and international matches. The referee crew's performances undergo our established review procedures and base our education from the critical incidents in the match.


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