There’s A Ref Shortage!
Wisconsin has a referee shortage. The Wisconsin shortage mirrors that of the nationwide shortage. What can you, or your club or district do, to alleviate the shortage, cover more of your local and away games with full crews, provide your or your child, or someone else you know with some life skills and a little bit of spending money? Encourage them to become a US Soccer registered Referee.
WisRef, the US Soccer referee program for Wisconsin plan to start 2021 ‘New Referee” courses in August; typically the courses are a combination of online and in-person learning. The online portion is primarily housed in the US Soccer Learning Center and the WisRef portion is both online and Virtual; the Virtual portion may, as conditions improve, move back to an in-person course.
The online content at the US Soccer Learning Center https://learning/ussoccer.com/referee needs to be completed prior to being transferred into the WisRef portion, both online and Virtual. The WisRef 2021 “New Referee” Virtual course listings will be provided to you after you have successfully completed the Learning Center modules. We expect that the Learning Center content will be available to you around the end of July; the WisRef portion is expected to be available by mid-August, with the Virtual Courses expected to start shortly after that. As a bonus, if you take an August “New Referee” course, you will be able to referee this fall, and all of 2021.
After going to https://learning/ussoccer.com/referee select “SIGN UP” in the top right corner, enter your information in ALL the required fields. The site requires a unique email, meaning that you cannot have the same email as your daughter, son, mother, father or sibling. This profile is for the Referee – that is, if you are the parent, put in your child’s information (including the unique email which can be controlled by you). Edit your or your child’s profile information. Users must be 13 years old or older to be a referee.
If you have a previous US Soccer referee or coach registration, the system should recognize that – if not please contact firstname.lastname@example.org before proceeding further. DO NOT CREATE A DUPLICATE ACCOUNT. If you have a registration lapse, you may be directed to a “New Referee” course instead of a recert course. If you have a registration lapse, and are not automatically redirected to a “New Referee” course, we will assist in placing you in the “New Referee” course, if you wish to referee yet this fall.
The first step is to complete a background screening if you are 18 or older the day you start the process. This is a national background screening as required by US Soccer – the screening is $30 and is good for two years. This screening normally takes 3-5 days, but may be extended due to the current shutdowns. You will have to wait until your background screening is complete, before you are able to proceed to signing up for a course. This is a US Soccer requirement. If you are 17 when you sign up, you will have to complete a background screening and SafeSport when you turn 18 to continue officiating.
After the successful completion of your background screening in the Learning Center, navigate to a course by selecting “COURSES” at the top. Chose:
New Grassroots Course 2021 - Assignment Course
This course is a “parking lot”, in that it will provide you the opportunity to complete the required coursework, which includes SafeSport (US Soccer requirement for 18 or older), Safe & Healthy Playing Environment, and the Grassroots course which includes the Laws of the Game and a Referee Quiz.
Once you have completed the online modules in the Assignment course, please email Sue Walter email@example.com, and she will provide you a listing of the Virtual courses. These courses may be held in the mornings, afternoons or evenings, weekdays and weekends, depending upon demand. Courses are
scheduled as the Assignment courses demand. Once transferred from the Assignment course to a Virtual course, there is an additional 4 hours of pre-course work which needs to be completed prior to the start of the Virtual course. The Virtual portion of the “New Referee” course is an additional 4 hours, for a total of 8 hours of instruction – all with the intent of making you more knowledgeable and confident when you step on the field.
When the games start, indications are that there will be many opportunities for you out on the fields, and will provide you the ability to do as many games as you would like.
Once you become a referee, you will need to purchase a referee uniform or uniform kit, possibly your club or district can help you with that, through a grant process. Stefans Soccer https://stefanssoccer.com/equipment-other-referee is a reliable source for your soccer needs.
After you complete the course, and fit yourself into a uniform, you are ready to go out on the fields. Referee game fees vary widely throughout the state, and by age or competition.