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Youth Soccer Referee Pay

Youth Soccer Referee Pay

Are you considering becoming a youth soccer referee? One of the most common questions that aspiring referees ask is how much they can expect to earn per game.

While the answer varies depending on several factors, including the level of competition, the location, and the age group, we’ve done some research to give you a general idea of what to expect.

How much does a youth soccer referee make per game?

According to our findings, youth soccer referees in the United States typically earn between $16 and $48 per game.

However, the exact amount can vary significantly depending on the state and the level of competition. For example, referees in some states may earn as little as $10 per game, while those in other states may earn upwards of $100 per game.

Referee Roles & Responsibilities

As a youth soccer referee, you play an important role in ensuring that the game is played fairly and safely.

Your primary responsibility is to enforce the rules of the game and make sure that all players are following them. This includes making calls for fouls, offsides, and other violations, as well as signaling when a goal has been scored.

In addition to enforcing the rules, you are also responsible for maintaining a safe playing environment. Unfortunately, this means controlling the parents at times. You should also be prepared to stop the game if there is lightning or other dangerous weather conditions.

As a referee, you are also expected to maintain a professional demeanor at all times. This means that you should be respectful to all players, coaches, and spectators, even in the face of disagreement or criticism.

You should also be punctual and prepared, arriving at the field early to set up and review the rules and any special instructions for the game.

Overall, your role as a youth soccer referee is crucial to the success of each game. By enforcing the rules, ensuring safety, and maintaining professionalism, you help to create a positive and enjoyable experience for everyone involved.

Factors that Affect Youth Soccer Referee Pay

When it comes to determining the pay rate for a youth soccer referee, there are several factors that come into play. Here are some of the main factors:


Like any job, the more experience you have as a youth soccer referee, the more you can expect to get paid.

Referees who have been officiating games for several years and have gained a reputation for being reliable and knowledgeable are often able to command higher pay rates.

Referees with more experience will most likely get chosen for larger tournaments where they can officiate many games in a single day.


The location where you work as a youth soccer referee can also have a big impact on your rate.

Referees in larger cities or areas with a higher cost of living may be paid more than those in smaller towns or rural areas.

Additionally, some states may have higher minimum pay rates for referees than others.

Level of Play

The level of play is another important factor that affects the referee’s pay.

Referees who officiate games for older age groups or higher levels of competition may be paid more than those who work with younger players or less competitive leagues. This is because higher-level games often require more experience and knowledge from the referee. For example, a referee who officiates an MLS NEXT game is paid more than the local town travel game.

Center Referee vs. Assistant Referee

The Center Referee will most likely get paid more than an Assistant Referee because of their responsibilities.

In youth soccer, a center referee is responsible for enforcing the rules of the game, starting and stopping play, calling fouls, and making decisions on goals and other game-changing moments.

An assistant referee, also known as a sideline referee or linesman, is primarily responsible for calling out-of-bounds and offsides.

Because the center referee has more of a role in the outcome of a soccer game, they are paid more. In some youth games, the difference could be about $10-$30 per game.

Average Youth Soccer Referee Pay

If you’re considering becoming a youth soccer referee as your full-time gig, you’re probably wondering how much you can expect to earn per game.

According to, the average salary for a youth soccer referee in the United States is about $43,000 per year.

However, the exact amount you’ll make per game can vary depending on a variety of factors, including your location, the level of competition you’re officiating, and the organization you’re working for.

On average, a youth soccer referee can expect to make between $16 and $48 per game. However, this can vary depending on the state or organization you’re working for. For example, in Pennsylvania, the average salary for a youth soccer referee is $45,083 per year, while in other states, the salary may be higher or lower.

It’s important to note that youth soccer referees are typically paid per game, rather than per hour or on a salary basis. This means that the amount you’ll make can vary depending on how many games you’re able to officiate.

Additionally, some organizations may offer bonuses or other incentives for referees who work certain games or meet certain performance criteria.

How to Become a Youth Soccer Referee

If you are interested in becoming a youth soccer referee, there are a few steps you need to take:

Step 1: Meet the Requirements

Before you can become a youth soccer referee, you must meet certain requirements. These requirements vary by state, but generally include:

  • Being at least 13 years old
  • Completing a training course
  • Passing a background check
  • Passing a fitness test

Step 2: Complete a Training Course

Once you meet the requirements, you must complete a training course. This course will teach you the rules of soccer and how to officiate games. The training course typically consists of classroom instruction and on-field training.

Step 3: Get Certified

After completing the training course, you must pass a certification exam. The exam will test your knowledge of the rules of soccer and your ability to officiate games. Once you pass the exam, you will be certified as a youth soccer referee.

Step 4: Find Games to Officiate

Now that you are certified, you can start officiating games. You can find games to officiate by contacting local soccer leagues and clubs. You can also contact your state’s soccer association for more information.

Step 5: Get Paid

The amount you get paid as a youth soccer referee varies by state and the level of the game you are officiating.

By following these steps, you can become a certified youth soccer referee and start officiating games. It’s a great way to stay involved in the sport and make some extra money on the side.

Helpful Tips for Youth Soccer Referees


Being a youth soccer referee can be a fun and rewarding experience, but it can also be challenging. Here are some tips to help you be successful:

  • Know the soccer rules: Make sure you are familiar with the rules of the game and any specific rules for the league you are officiating in. This will help you make accurate calls and avoid confusion on the field.
  • Communicate clearly: Use hand signals and verbal communication to let players and coaches know what is happening on the field. This will help prevent misunderstandings and keep the game running smoothly.
  • Stay focused: It can be easy to get distracted during a game, but it’s important to stay focused on the action. Keep your eyes on the ball and be prepared to make quick decisions.
  • Be confident: Players and coaches will look to you to make fair and accurate calls. Be confident in your decisions and don’t be afraid to make tough calls when necessary. Don’t swallow your whistle. Be a referee who is not afraid to make calls.
  • Stay in shape: Refereeing can be physically demanding, so it’s important to stay in good physical condition. This will help you keep up with the action on the field and make accurate calls.

By following these tips, you can be a successful youth soccer referee and help ensure that players have a safe and enjoyable experience on the field!

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      Beau Bridges - Soccer Novo Hey 👋 I’m Beau. A proud Dad, former coach and soccer enthusiast. I continue to love the game of soccer today the same way I did when I was 7. I created to share what I know about the game as well as provide a platform so other parents can learn more about youth soccer in the U.S.

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