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Training for New NFHS Soccer Referees

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If you are interested in being a high school and/or middle school soccer referee, the first step is to attend a class-room style training session.

Next scheduled training sessions will be held April, 2023 by video conference for the 2023 - 2024 school year.
(see detail below)

Requirements: Be 18 years old as of the start of the Fall soccer season, have an interest in serving the student athletes and be able to pass a background check. Prior experience in playing , coaching or refereeing soccer at any level is useful but not necessary.

Games: All games (boys and girls) are played in Sept and Oct. Most games are played at or near a local high schools at 4:00 pm in the afternoon, Monday through Friday. Referees must be able to get to the field not later than 15 minutes before the start of a game.  A few games are played in the evening, Monday through Friday, and a very few games are played on Saturday. No games are played on Sunday. Certified referees may request to do from 1 to 6 games per week. In the Fall of 2022, the game fees are $93 per varsity game and $66 per sub-varsity game. Fees for Fall 2023 have not been announced yet.

Training: EMSOA conducts training for new soccer referees under the National Federation of High Schools (NFHS) rules. The next regular Entry Level Training courses are listed below. Candidates must communicate with the contact person before the first session to let them know that you are coming. The contact person can tell you about any last minute changes.

Those who hold a current , advanced USSF referee grade only need to attemd a training session about the difference between NFHS and USSF rule and about rules which are specific to Massachusetts.  In addition, the experienced USSF referee will be required to take the entry level test to demonstrate that he/she knows the rules.


OTHER ASSOCIATIONS: Although EMSOA is the largest NFHS referee association in Massachusetts (600+ members), there are several other Massachusetts NFHS referee associations (with a combined membership of 1000+ members) and many more across the country. You may do your training at any one of the Massachusetts associations and then do games in the area of any other Massachusetts association. The rules are the same; the commitment to excellence is the same. Only the area covered is different. 

 If you are interested in being a referee for college games, please go to New England Intercollegiate Soccer Officials Association (NCAA) which trains and certifies soccer referees for college games played under NCAA rule. EMSOA is mutually aligned with New England Intercollegiate Soccer Officials Association, but EMSOA does not certify referees for college games. 

If you are interested in being a referee for youth and adult soccer games under USSF and FIFA rules, go to the Mass. State Referees Committee (USSF) web site.  EMSOA is not affiliated with USSF or NCAA.

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Video Conference: Training for new high school soccer referees will be held on two evenings in April, 2023 (exact dates and times to be announced later) by video conference on the Zoom video conference app. Cameras on are required. This  class is about the rules of high school soccer from NFHS and MIAA. After the instruction, there will be a 100 question online test which you can do any time during the two weeks after the instructions. Contact Fred Corey , the the instructor, to let him know that you want to attend.

Please fill out a membership application form and return it to or mail it to EMSOA, 100 Powdermill Rd #240, Acton, MA 01720-5932.

 Having experience attending a video conference with Zoom, Google Hang-out,  Microsoft Teams or something similar is desirable but not required.Pre-registration is required. No deposit is required. If you have not used Zoom before, you need to download and install the Zoom client before the beginning of the class. 

NORTH CHAPTER:An in-person clinic to become a high school soccer referee is typically held in the spring and summer but will not be held in 2022. Training for new high school soccer referees is done under the National Federation of High Schools rules. If you live or work anywhere near North Reading, contact Richard Beaudoin for information about becoming a high school soccer referee.

Background Check: The MIAA requires a Background Check for all high school sports officials. Click here for more information. Requests to the MIAA for background checks for the upcoming fall season BEGINNING July 1, 2023.  DO NOT register before before July 1, 2023.

There is a clinic fee of $186.00. The clinic fee includes clinic materials, EMSOA dues for the 2023 - 2024 school year ($903),  badges for the uniform, and liability insurance coverage.  Member must obtain an appropriate uniform at his/her own expense. Please fill out a membership application form and return it to or mail it to EMSOA, 100 Powdermill Rd #240, Acton, MA 01720-5932.  The clinic fee of $186.00 The clinic fee can be paid by check, money order, credit/debit card or bank e-transfer.  Check and money order should be mailed to  EMSOA, 100 Powdermill Rd #240, Acton, MA 01720 before the clinic. If only a deposit has been paid prior to the clinic, the balance must be paid at the beginning of the clinic.

To pay by credit/debit card or bank e-transfer, click on the grey box below.  There is a convenience charge of $3.95 added for credit/debit card payment and a convenience charge of $1.00 for payment by electronic transfer of funds from your checking account to the EMSOA checking account.  Payment by credit/debit card or bank e-transfer must be paid not later than one business day before the start of the clinic.  For example, if the clinic starts on Sunday, credit/debit card or bank e-transfer payment must be made not later than midnight of the Thursday before the clinic.

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