Upgrade and Maintainence
How To Become A Referee
Rules of Competition
Grand Valley Soccer Association
Midwest Regional League
National Premier League
Going from grade 9 to grade 8 has several steps. The grade 9 must be 14 years old as of January 1 in the calendar year this upgrade is requested. The grade 9 will have had at least one season as a grade 9, but certainly a sufficient number and level of assignments to be competent as the center referee in younger youth games. Work with your assignor(s) for these game assignments. The grade 9 must also pass the grade 8 course (also known as a Bridge Class).
Upgrading (certifying at a higher grade than 8) is a two-part process. The first part consists of working the necessary number of games at the required competition level. The second part is USSF certifying you have the requisite skills and permitting you to receive the higher grade badge. Beginning Fall, 2014 the upgrade candidate must pass the grade 7 class. A grade 7 should be competent to do any youth game in Michigan, in the center. Prior to being assigned to those games an assignor may require an assessment of the grade 7 skills via a D&G.
Maintaining the grade 7 (or higher) certification is also a process. The referee must: attend the annual recertification clinic, pass the written examination, pass the physical fitness tests, and attend the Advanced Clinic Training. It is highly recommended that the 7 contact an assessor for a D&G (maintenance assessment) to for feedback/suggestions to either maintain the 7 skill set or work towards the skill set for grade 6.
Maintaining a grade 6 or higher also requires game assessments to document skill level maintenance/improvement. Travel may be required for these game assessments.
Number of Games
While there is the requirement the referee work a minimum "number" of games, the referee needs game assignments with older, more skillful players and coaches who will test his/her management, fitness and knowledge of the LOTG in preparation for the next grade. The emphasis is on "mastering the skills" necessary in higher levels of competitive play. Mere "presence" in a game will not give the referee the preparatory game experience (game presence, managing players and coaches, testing fitness, etc) to successfully referee the older age groups. Referees should work with their assignor(s) early their career in order to obtain appropriate games with increasing levels of difficulty, working towards mastery of the game level for the upgrade assessment, before the upgrade occurs. The referee is able to request informal assessments from USSF assessors to improve the quality and consistency of his/her skills, as well as help decide when to submit the application to upgrade. Referees are encouraged to extend their skills via measured risk taking at more competitive levels of play. Therefore, upgrade efforts should only be made by referee's who have prepared, trained and demonstrated mastery of the next game level. Assignors working with new 7's may request a D&G in a higher level game to confirm the referee's skill set is sufficient for upper-level assignments. While the referee does not have to comply with a request for a D&G, the assignor does not have to offer any assignments at all- let alone the more competitive ones.
The requirements for each grade are listed at www.michiganreferee.org -> "tools" -> "upgrading". The referee submits the upgrade application, documentation and fee to the State Director of Assessors (SDA). The SDA then assigns an assessor, and sends a confirmation e-mail to the referee and assigned assessor. The referee should promptly: contact the assessor to confirm, discuss the assessor's availability, discuss the upgrade assessment process; and, contact the assignor in order to receive a game assignment that will qualify as "assessable" (meaning the game is of sufficient difficulty so as to test the referee's fitness, ability to work with his crew, manage the players and coaches, and correctly apply the LOTG). Once the upgrade game is assigned, the referee must contact the assessor and verify the assessor can be present. If not, the referee must promptly request a new upgrade game. The referee should also contact each assistant referee and begin the pre-game process- especially if they have not worked together before. If the referee is not diligent in following these steps, and an assessable game is not obtained or passed, the entire application process will have to be repeated the following year.
The upgrade candidate must also attend the State Recertification Clinic, pass the written examination for next grade, pass the physical fitness tests, and attend an Advanced Training Clinic. The Advanced Training Clinic and fitness tests occur prior to the State Clinic and written examination. If the referee anticipates any difficulty attending the ATC, or passing the physical fitness tests, he/she should have those occur early in the year so as to allow time to correct a deficiency at a later, scheduled training or fitness testing.
The referee must successfully complete all parts of the upgrade in the same calendar year.
Thereafter to maintain a grade 7, the referee must successfully complete the necessary recertification steps: attendance at the annual recertification clinic (grade 6 and above must attend the State Recertification Clinic), passing the recertification examination, attending an Advanced Training Clinic (ATC), and passing the physical fitness tests. If the referee anticipates any difficulty with attendance at the ATC, or the physical fitness tests, he/she should schedule those early in the year so as to allow time to correct a deficiency at a subsequent scheduled opportunity.