Referee Re-certification


Former Grade 8 or Grade 7 (7A) referees

US Soccer has restructured referee licenses. All former Grade 9, 8, and 7 referees (including those formerly designated 7A within OHN) will be licensed as a Grassroots Referee. There are online requirements and an in person clinic. Many changes have been mandated by US Federal Law. Certification for 2020 will include:

  • All referees will be required to have a current background check on file through NCSI. This will be a change from the previous provider used by Ohio North within GameOfficials. The check is valid for two years and costs $31.21 Checks usually take 4-7 days, so please don't procrastinate as a clean check is required to sign-up and attend a re-certification clinic.
  • Registration and completion of the Grassroots Referee course within US Soccer's Digital Learning Center.
  • All referees will be required to have a current certificate from US Safe Sport. The certificate can be obtained directly through the Digital Learning Center and the certificate is automatically uploaded to the DLC.
  • There are again a significant number of change to the Laws of the Game for 2020 and we want to make sure that all referees are presented with current interpretations for the LOTG. We believe it's crucial for referees to be able to ask questions of instructors and have answers for those questions. Each district is planning multiple re-certification clinics and they will be posted in the DLC or on this site's calendar.



For re-certification referees should immediately:
  • Claim your account from US Soccer's Digital Learning Center (DLC)
    • US Soccer recommends using Google Chrome. The DLC was created for Chrome and other browsers will experience some loss of function or may experience other technical errors.
    • When you create your account, please check the following information in your GameOfficials account. The information can be changed later, but must be entered exactly as it appears in GameOfficials to be recognized and link your existing account and history. (1) Email address (2) Full name {Bill vs William or Jon vs Jonathan etc} (3) Date of birth
    • When this information matches, the DLC will ask "IS THIS YOU" and give you the option to claim/merge the account. If the information matches, select yes and you should be ready to get to work.
  • When you gain entry to the DLC you can begin the NCSI Background Check and the US Safe Sport Certification. The NCSI check is valid for 2 years and costs $31.21. Safe Sport is free for US Soccer Officials. They are both required by law and all referees over the age of 17 must submit the NCSI check and get a return before you can register for any course. The returns generally take 4-7 days, so please begin now as exceptions to attend a clinic ARE NOT permitted. You may take those days to complete the Safe Sport Certification which will link back to the DLC and be rolled into your license.
  • Once your NCSI check is "Green lit", you can search for available courses. Be sure to select the correct license which you need to renew, i.e. Grassroots Referee, Regional Referee, etc. All courses are listed by location and date.
  • When you select the Grassroots Re-certification course which fits your availability you may begin. This course is completely new and will also take a few hours to complete so you must allow time to complete the course material. Registration for courses closes the day before the course so you will not be able to register and 2:00 am and complete the course material in the six hours before a course which is scheduled to begin at 8:00 am. If you are not on the course roster, you will not be permitted to sit through the course that day and register retroactively.
  • As you become acquainted with the user interface and navigation within the DLC please pay particular attention to the RESOURCES tab and the ASSIGNMENTS tab. In the DLC 'assignments' refers to "assignments to be completed" and not the match assignments connotation with which we may be more familiar. In addition to those RESOURCES available within the DLC, referees should be aware that there is an official IFAB Laws of the Game app available in the Google Play store or Apple Store. The app is updated by IFAB and provides a lot of helpful functions, including a searchable index for field side reference to the LotG.
  • The State Referee Committee recognizes that these are significant changes. We are all working hard to make them as manageable as possible. If you have questions, please reach out to available resources. Contact instructor/mentors. Ask Regional Referees for help (although their process has differences, they are already seeing face to face instruction regarding the DLC.) You can also contact your District Referee Administrator or members or the SRC.




New assignors

New assignors will need to complete an online course as well as attend a course in person. The course is held once per year in conjunction with the OYSAN Workshop in November. Persons that are appointed to assignors and need to start assigning prior to the course may get a one time waiver from the State Referee Administrator. Send and e-mail to and list the league for which you will be assigning. You will then be able to take the online portion of the course but will not be renewed for the following year unless you attend the in-class session. For persons that already have an account as a referee, assessor, or instructor you should log into your account. Choose courses on the left, then assignor courses then choose the assignor novice class. You will then see a pink box that says you must be an assignor to register for this course. At the bottom of the box you will see "click here to create a new assignor account." By clicking on that you will create a new account and once that is created you may then register for this course and take the online portion.




USSF and OHN SRC Fees for 2020

The following registration fees are set by the United States Soccer Federation and the Ohio North State Referee Committee. Local clinic fees of up to $25.00 cash may be added for new Grassroots Referee courses. These fees usually cover instructor fees, rental fees, etc and are not paid to the State Referee Committee

Category/Type Fee*

New Grassroots Referee $75

Grassroots Referee $65

Regional Referee) $215

Emeritus Regional Referee $95

Futsal Referee $65

Coach / Regional Instructor $75

Mentor / Grassroots Instructor $45

Coach / Regional Assessor $75

Mentor / Grassroots Assessor - Grade 7 $45

Assignor - Grassroots $30

*Please note registration fees paid cannot be refunded



10 Steps to Re-Certify


Prior to completing the re-registration steps below, you should have already created a Digital Learning Center (DLC) account using this site: In doing so, all of your Game Officials information was imported into the new DLC and you are ready to begin the re-registration process. For those of you OVER 18 years of age, you must also complete a background check. YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO PROCEED WITH SOME PARTS OF THE RE-REGISTRATION PROCESS UNTIL YOUR BACKGROUND CHECK IS CLEARED. You can, however complete the Safe Sport module while you are waiting for your background check to come back which takes 4-7 days. Once you are cleared, start with Step 2. For those UNDER 18 years of age, you can start with Step 2 immediately. Follow each step exactly as it is printed.


1. Background investigation for all over 18 years of age.


2. Log into your newly created Digital Learning Center (DLC) account.


3. On the bottom right, got to "My Courses"


4. At the top, go to the "Available Courses" tab.


5. On the left, go to "Grassroots-Recertifying Referees". DO NOT SELECT THE NEW GRASSROOTS CLINIC. This is for first time referees only.


6. On this screen, select "Go to Course List" (in red at the upper right hand corner)


7. Scroll down and select an in person clinic that you would like to attend. You can choose any clinic fits your schedule.


8. Once you have selected an in-person clinic that you would like to attend, go to the "Course Details" of that clinic. In the upper right of the page in blue, go to "Proceed to Registration", fill out the form completely and in the lower right of the page, go to "Proceed to Payment".


9. Once payment has been made, go back to the "My Courses" tab. "Current and Upcoming Courses" will be displayed.


10. Select "Go to the Classroom" and click on to the "Assignments" tab. All four of the re-registration requirements will be displayed. These are:

- Safe Sport

- Safe and Health Playing Environments

- The Grassroots course

- The Grassroots quiz


By completing these 4 requirements, you will now qualify to attend the in-person clinic that you signed up for in Step 7.