These US Soccer documents should be in every referee's personal library, regardless of Referee Grade. Additional Publications (Laws of the Game Made Easy, Offside Made Easy, ...) can be obtained at the US Soccer Resource Center.

International Football Association Board (IFAB) Laws of the Game:

These are the 17 Laws of the Game from the IFAB. This 228 page PDF document also includes a Summary of Laws Changes and Practical Guidelines for Match Officials.

2018-2019 IFAB Laws of the Game (LOTG)
• Summary of Laws Changes

US Soccer's Guide to Procedures for Referees, Assistant Referees & 4th Officials:

Although no longer published, the Guide to Procedures describes the standard practices for positioning, signaling, and mechanics to be followed by the referee crew. The responsibilities, tasks and duties of the Referee, ARs, and 4th Official are also included. The Guide has been replaced with the USSF Referee Program Pocket Guide.

• Guide to Procedures
• Pocket Guide

Player Development Initiatives (PDI):

The PDI describes the standards for small-sided play (4v4, 7v7, 9v9) and addresses US Soccer's Concussion Initiative, Build Out Line Practical Applications, and the modifications to the Laws of the Game for 6U through 12U.

Player Development Initiatives
• Modified Laws of the Game for 6U-12U

US Soccer Referee Certification Requirements:

These documents describe the minimum certification requirements (training, testing, fitness, and evaluation) for USSF Referee Grades 9, 8, & 7, State Referee Grades 6 & 5, and Emeritus and how-to print out your USSF Registration Card. NOTE: Iowa's certification requirements for Grades 7 and 6 are different. (Check under Supplemental Publications below for specifics.)

US Soccer Referee Certification Requirements
• How to Print Your Registration Card

Supplemental Publications


These additional Publications have been provided based on FAQs and feedback received.

Iowa Referee Certification Requirements:

Iowa's additional certification requirements for Referee Grade 7 and for State Referee Grade 6.1 (A downloadable Match Tracking Spreadsheet is available for referees to utilize, and the data submitted on that record will be verified before referee grade can be upgraded.)

• Iowa Referee Certification Requirements

Cautionable and Sending-Off Offenses:

The 7 Offenses for which a Player may be Cautioned and shown a Yellow Card and the 7 Offenses for which a Player may be Sent-Off and shown a Red Card – with examples and report codes. Also, questions the referee must consider in determining whether or not a Player may be guilty of Misconduct. Finally, USSF Referee Report and Supplemental Report forms.

NOTE: You can download the Referee Report Forms above to your smartphone or tablet and fill them out if you have the Adobe Acrobat Reader App installed.

Comparative Study of Rules and Laws:

This Table provides an easy reference to the differences between the IFAB Laws of the Game, the NFHS Rules, and the NCAA Rules.

2018 Comparative Study of Rules and Laws

1 Permission has been obtained from the US Soccer Referee Department to determine Iowa’s State Requirements for Grades 7 and 6. The definition of "Interval Test at 45/45" therein means running 150 meters in 45 seconds followed by walking 50 meters in 45 seconds a total of 20 times.