Referees must be attired in the official US Soccer Federation (USSF) uniform. As a referee, you are in elite company as an ambassador for US Soccer, the Virginia Youth Soccer Association, SYA Soccer, and “the beautiful game.” Embrace this honor with a positive attitude, professionalism, and pride in your appearance!
1. USSF Referee Shirt with USSF Referee Badge – short or long sleeve, in Pro or Economy styles. Yellow is the primary shirt color. If visible, undergarments worn under your referee shirt should be predominantly black. Your current year certification badge should be properly affixed to your referee shirt.
2. USSF Referee Shorts – Solid black with no stripes, designs, or markings of any kind, with the exception of an official USSF logo and/or manufacturer’s logo (e.g., Official Sports, Capelli, Score). If visible, compression or “bicycle” shorts worn under your referee shorts should be solid black.
3. USSF Referee Socks – Solid black with two (2) horizontal white stripes. For comfort or support, referees may wear extra socks of any color under their referee socks.
4. Solid Black (or Predominantly Black) Shoes – Clean, with black laces, and in good and safe condition. Acceptable shoes are referee shoes, running shoes, soccer shoes (no metal, aluminum, or steel cleats), turf shoes, or any other appropriately safe, closed-toe footwear.
5. Black Wristwatch with Digital Timer or Stopwatch Function – Stopwatches worn around the neck are prohibited. Cell phones shall not be used to keep time during a game.
7. Flipping Coin.
8. Yellow and Red Cards.
9. Two (2) Assistant Referee Flags.
10. Score Pad/Paper and Writing Instruments.
· Inclement Weather Garments – Referees may wear any of the following items during extreme weather, as well as for medical reasons (e.g., skin protection). In general, all these garments should be solid (or predominantly) black and free from visible designs, logos, stripes, writing or decorations. Allowances will be made for garments with unobtrusive manufacturer logos.
a. Compression shirts, undershirts, sweatshirts, wind/rain shirts, etc., worn under your referee shirt.
b. Wind/rain pants, sweat/track pants, etc., worn over your referee shorts.
c. Thermal, compression-style, or yoga pants worn under your referee shorts and inside your socks.
d. Gloves, hats, and/or ear warmers made of soft (safe) materials. Baseball-style caps shall be worn with the brim facing forward.
e. Unless prescribed by a physician, referees should not wear sunglasses while officiating games. Exceptions will be made for prescription colored or tinted corrective lenses. If worn, glasses should be made of safe, impact-resistant materials and secured to your head by a strap.
Where to Purchase Referee Uniforms and Equipment:
· Referee “starter kits” are available online and at soccer supply retailers. These kits typically include: an economy uniform (shirt, shorts, and socks), flags, whistle, yellow/red cards, flipping coin, velcro disc (for affixing your badge to your shirt), and a referee “wallet” with score sheets.
· Official Sports (OSI) is the exclusive referee uniform supplier to US Soccer. Most referees choose OSI uniforms: https://officialsports.com/off-field-apparel/starter-kits/
· Capelli Sport has a referee store for Metro DC-Virginia referees providing three (3) starter kits ranging from $39-59: https://teams.capellisport.com/REFDCORU
· Other major retailers include:
- Referee Store: https://www.refereestore.com/soccer-referee/ussf-uniforms/packages/
· Referees should have the appropriate number of shirt colors and sleeve lengths so that all members of the referee team are dressed in the same color. Higher-level competitions (e.g., State Cup, MLS NEXT, college showcase tournaments) often require referees to wear matching colors and sleeve lengths.
· Referees should consider keeping all your gear in a lightweight, easy to carry or wheeled bag.
· Referees may want to buy an extra velcro disc should your badge become separated or lose adhesion when repeatedly removing your badge from your referee shirt.
· Referees are reminded that working several games per day creates wear and tear on the human body. Your shoes should be selected for comfort, support, and durability. Soccer cleats are not recommended.
· Referees should consider having the following additional items in their referee bag:
a. Hat (for sun/rain protection)
c. Waterproof bag (to keep your gear dry on wet days)
d. Extra referee socks (in case of wet or muddy fields, or other unforeseen circumstances)
e. Ball pump and inflation needles
f. Water or other hydrating fluids
g. Food or snacks
h. Insect repellant
i. Other personal items as needed