How Ontario Soccer Referees Get Certified

How Ontario Soccer Referees Get Certified

Ontario soccer referees play a critical role in ensuring fair play and safety during soccer games and tournaments. To become an Ontario soccer referee, individuals must go through a certification process that involves several steps. York Region Soccer Association (YRSA) is a non-profit association that promotes youth soccer, offers soccer coach resources, and offers soccer referee training. Learn more below, and contact us today.

sideline referee

Enroll In a Referee Certification Program

The first step in becoming an Ontario soccer referee is to enroll in a referee certification program. These programs are run by the Ontario Soccer Association and YRSA and typically take a few weeks to complete. They consist of a combination of online and in-person training sessions.

ref blowing whistle

Pass an Exam

Once the initial training is completed, aspiring referees must pass a written and practical exam. The written exam covers the laws of the game, while the practical exam assesses the referee's ability to make accurate calls and manage games effectively. These tests are designed to ensure that referees have a solid understanding of soccer rules and are capable of making good decisions under pressure.

person taking test

Becoming an Ontario Soccer Referee

After successfully completing the certification program and passing the exams, referees are designated a level based on their skill and experience. The levels range from entry-level to regional and national levels. Referees receive badges, ensuring their level is clearly identified.

man taking test

Continuing Education

Continuing education is a critical component of maintaining referee certification. Referees must attend regular training sessions and participate in on-field evaluations to assess their skill level. Evaluations are conducted by senior referees and assess the referee's ability to manage games, make accurate calls, and communicate clearly with players and coaches.

In order to maintain their soccer referee certification, Ontario soccer referees must be in good standing with the Ontario Soccer Association. They must adhere to the code of conduct and be committed to excellence in their profession.


Becoming an Ontario soccer referee involves a process that involves several steps, beginning with enrolling in YRSA's soccer referee training program. Ontario soccer referees play a vital role in ensuring fair play and safety on the soccer field, and their certification process ensures they have the knowledge and skills necessary to do so effectively. Learn more and sign up today!

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