I've tried to anticipate questions you might have about refereeing and have provided their answers here. However, if you have additional questions, use the Questions / Comments Form.

Q01:  How do I re-register each year with US Soccer, i.e., the United States Soccer Federation (USSF), in Iowa?
Q02:  What's the difference between Recertification and Registration?
Q03:  Now that I've successfully completed an Entry-Level Referee Course, how do I get assigned to games?
Q04:  I am a Grade 8 Referee. How do I upgrade to a Grade 7 Referee?
Q05:  I am a Grade 7A Referee. How do I upgrade to a Grade 6 State Referee?
Q06:  What is the Terry Vaughn Referee Academy?
Q07:  What is the purpose for both iowareferees.org and SDI-IA.com?
Q08:  I've lost my referee badge. How can I get another one?
Q09: How do I get my 16-digit USSF ID Number and RefLink Username & Password?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q01: How do I re-register each year with US Soccer, i.e., the United States Soccer Federation (USSF), in Iowa?

You must re-register with US Soccer every year. In Iowa, the Registration Window is open from August 1 to November 1. Please register within this 3 month window. If you register late and are outside the window, you will be assessed a late fee. Detailed instructions for "how-to" re-register at the Iowa Referee Committee (IRC) Website using your RefLink Account are provided by the Registrar during the Registration Window. (You can pay your annual registration fees by mail with a Check or online via Credit Card.) After your Registration is approved by the State Referee Registrar (SRR), you'll receive a new Badge in the mail from US Soccer mid to late Winter. The earlier you register, the sooner you'll receive your Badge. If you register late, you may not receive a mailing.

– Answers –

Q02: What's the difference between Recertification and Registration?

In order to be able to referee United States Soccer Federation (USSF) matches, e.g., Iowa Soccer League (ISL), ILLOWA, State Cup / Regionals, other US Youth Soccer sanctioned matches, etc., you have to be registered each year. And, you cannot re-register unless you have recertified.

Certified means you have satisfied Iowa's annual continuing education requirement of 5 hours of training. The Laws change. Memoranda are issued every year. Recertification ensures that you have been made aware of the changes and of any points-of-emphasis for the next registration year. Referees typically meet this requirement either by regularly attending Referee Association Meetings where training is provided (as posted on the IRC Website Event Calendar), attending the annual Terry Vaughn Referee Academy, attending an Instructor-led Recertification Clinic, completing the on-line recertification module and test provided in the Fall, completing the online Grade 7 or Grade 6 Course Modules and Exam to upgrade, or by completing an Instructor-led Grade 9, Grade 8, or Grade 9 to 8 Bridge Course within the last 12 months.

Registered means you are current with your annual registration fees with US Soccer and have been issued a Badge for that year.

Recertification Clinics are free; you are only out the time that it takes. Annual registration fees are based on what referee grade you are, i.e., 9, 8, 7, 6, ... . Just because you've taken the required steps to recertify doesn't automatically mean that you have re-registered.

Q03: Now that I've successfully completed an Entry-Level Referee Course, how do I get assigned to games?

Following an Entry-Level Referee Course (Grade 8 or 9), the Class Roster is provided to the State Director of Assignment who has the new referees' names, contact information, and most importantly their e-Mail addresses entered into the statewide Arbiter Database / Assigning Tool. You must have a unique e-Mail Address, i.e., you cannot have the same e-Mail Address as a parent, brother or sister if he/she also referees. You will be provided with an Arbiter Account. Once your account is setup, you will create a password, enter your availability and will receive e-Mail notifications and reminders of matches assigned. All assignments, ISL, Tournaments, State Cup, ... are made through the Arbiter.

Q04: I am a Grade 8 Referee. How do I upgrade to a Grade 7 Referee?

If you are 19 years old, you can upgrade to a Grade 7 by completing the on-line Grade 7 Referee Course (13 modules) located under the Training tab and by passing the Grade 7 specific test located under the Tests tab. However, just because you've upgraded to a Grade 7 under these relaxed requirements, you will NOT automatically be eligible to officiate at the IA State Cup or Region 2 Tournament nor will you be allowed to center Boys' Varsity High School matches. In order to be eligible to work these kinds of games, you will have to pass a Fitness Test, have officiated an ample number of appropriate games as a Grade 8, and be assessed. (You can request an assessment by going to the IRC Website and selecting Request Assessment under the Referees tab.)

In Iowa, Grade 7 has been split into 2 sub-grades: 7B (Recreational) and 7A (Competitive). Grade 8 Referees who successfully complete the on-line Grade 7 Course and pass the Grade 7 specific test will be designated 7B. Referees who additionally demonstrate that they have officiated an ample number of appropriate matches as a Grade 8 or 7B and pass a Fitness Test and an assessment, will be designated 7A. If you were a Grade 7 prior to July 1, 2014 who satisfied annually the recertification requirements to maintain that grade, then you will be grandfathered in as a Grade 7A. Refer to the Iowa Referee Certification Requirements and Fitness Test documents provided under Supplemental Publications for additional information.

NOTE: After satisfying all the Grade 7B or 7A requirements, be sure to click the 'Request Upgrade' box in your RefLink Account during the next Registration cycle.

Q06: What is the Terry Vaughn Referee Academy?

The Terry Vaughn Referee Academy is the premier soccer-training event in the state of Iowa, and one of the largest single-day referee training events in the United States. The TVRA is typically held in late February or early March on a Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the Greater Des Moines area. The Academy is FREE! All you have to do is get there. Lunch is provided at NO CO$T and there are prize giveaways / raffles provided by the sponsors throughout the day. 

On-site sponsors have included Official Sports International (OSI), the Referee Store, AdvoCare, the Iowa Gamesand the National Association of Sports Officials (NASO), publishers of Referee Magazine.

Past speakers at the Academy have included FIFA World Cup Referees, Assistant Referees and Instructors; USSF National Referees and Instructors; and, NISOA Referees and Instructors.

The format for the Academy is for 6 topics to be presented by 3 guest speakers – 3 in the morning and 3 after lunch. (Each speaker presents 2 topics.) Those in attendance are divided into 3 groups that rotate from speaker to speaker to speaker. Lunchtime provides the opportunity for the sponsors and the Iowa Referee Committee (IRC) to address the attendees and answer questions.

Your attendance automatically satisfies the continuing education requirement for annual recertification with US Soccer.

Q07: What is the purpose for both iowareferees.org and SDI-IA.com?

iowareferees.org is the Iowa Referee Committee (IRC) Website. It contains the RefLink database of all Iowa referees registered with US Soccer. In Iowa, you register annually with US Soccer after August 1 via iowareferees.org using your RefLink Account. (Don't forget your Username and Password.) In addition to registration, your RefLink Account tracks your continuing education hours for recertification, assessments, fitness tests, and LOTG test scores together with your contact information, i.e., address, e-Mail and phone. You can request an assessment and sign-up for a clinic from this site. Contact Information for the IRC members is provided as well as an Event Calendar of Referee Association Meetings, Clinics, Tournaments, and Fitness Tests.

SDI-IA.com is the State Director of Instruction (SDI) Website. It provides easy access to key educational resources and references in the form of PublicationsVideosTraining, and Tests for all Iowa Referees registered with US Soccer. The intent is for this space to be a 'one stop shop' where important information integrated from BoxBrainsharkYouTube, and EasyTestMaker can be found quickly and downloaded easily. Check here also for News and Announcements, Seasonal subject matter, answers to your Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), and for data collected from Surveys and Polls.

Q08: I've lost my referee badge. How can I get another one?

If you've lost your referee badge and need a replacement one, go to the US Soccer Online Ordering Site. You will need your 16-digit USSF ID Number to login the first time and to setup an account. Replacement badges cost $3.50 + tax and shipping & handling. Allow a week from the time of your order.

Q09: How do I get my 16-digit USSF ID Number and RefLink Username & Password?

Your USSF ID Number can be found on your Registration Card. If you have lost your card and do not know your ID Number, e-Mail the Registrar, Jim Albertson, at jasarefia@gmail.com. The Registrar can also provide you with your RefLink Username and Password if you have forgotten them. 

Q05: I am a Grade 7A Referee. How do I upgrade to a Grade 6 State Referee?

If you are 21 years old, you can upgrade to a Grade 6 by completing the on-line Grade 6 State Referee Course (14 modules) located under the Training tab and by passing the Grade 6 specific test located under the Tests tab. You will also have to pass a Fitness Test, have officiated an ample number of appropriate games as a Grade 7A, and be assessed. (You can request an assessment by going to the IRC Website and selecting Request Assessment under the Referees tab.)

Refer to the Iowa Referee Certification Requirements and Fitness Tests documents provided under Supplemental Publications for additional information.

NOTE: After satisfying all the Grade 6 requirements, be sure to click the 'Request Upgrade' box in your RefLink Account during the next Registration cycle.