Become a Referee

Why become a soccer ref?

Soccer’s a great game, and if you’re reading this you probably feel the same way. Reffing soccer lets you be around the game you love and be outside, all while getting paid! Plus, being a ref is an opportunity to develop leadership and decision-making skills that will definitely help you later on.

If you want to become a referee, read on!

Getting certified

To become a referee you will need to take a certification course. Sign up by going to and clicking on “Course Schedule.”

Referee grades explained

  • Grade 8 is the lowest grade now offered in Massachusetts.  You must be 14 years of age to obtain a Grade 8 license, which will allow you to ref games up to the 11v11 level, as well as tournaments.  In general, you must be two years older than the age level of the game you are refereeing.  It will also allow you to be an assistant referee for 8v8 and 11v11 games.
  • Grade 9 is no longer offered. If you already have a Grade 9 license, you may re-certify, but if you are going to be 14 or older, you must bridge to a Grade 8 license.

Grade 9 and Grade 8 have nothing to do with your grade in school.


You must recertify each year to ref again the following year. Recertification classes are offered only during the winter. Initial certification and bridge classes are offered in both the winter and summer. If you get your initial certification during the summer, you won’t need to recertify until the following winter (i.e. a year and a half later).

Next steps 

Once you are certified, email the Hopkinton Referee Director, Jon Koeller, [email protected] or our Referee Assignor, Ray Almeida, [email protected], to be added to our list of referees. Once you are added to the list, you will get additional information by email as we approach the upcoming season.

You can fill out a Request for Reimbursement for the cost of the certification, recertification, or bridge classes. You can find the form in the REFEREES section of  In order to be reimbursed, you must actively ref for Hopkinton the following season.

Mentoring program

Don’t worry, we won’t just throw you out on the field for your first game! You will be mentored by an experienced Hopkinton ref who will help you to smoothly enter into the rewarding world of soccer refereeing.


If you have any questions, please contact the Hopkinton Referee Director, Jon Koeller, [email protected] or our Referee Assignor, Ray Almeida, [email protected]

Expectations of Referee

The Referee:

  1. Knows the rules and understands the game.
  2. Places health and welfare of the players above all other considerations.
  3. Treats players and coaches courteously and demands the same from them.
  4. Works cooperatively with fellow referees and linesmen.
  5. Is fair and firm in all decisions on the field.


  • BAYS
  • User Guide for Referees:
  • Follow these instructions on how to register, log in, apply to the town of Hopkinton, accept games, and enter game reports
  •  Referees Login:
  • Log in to BAYS to accept your games and do game reports. Once you log in, these tabs will appear in the lower left hand corner of the page
  •  Mass Youth Soccer:


Questions answered by the USSF involving game situations and rules interpretations