Grade 8 or Grade 9?
Grade 8 and Grade 9 are entry levels for referees. For reference, a Grade 1 referee is a world cup referee.
Beginning in 2013, there is no reason in our area to get a Grade 9 certification. The clinics are the same clinic, called a Grade 8 ELC (Entry Level Clinic). This consists of about 2 hours of online study before the clinic and 4-5 hours of clinic instruction. The only difference comes with testing. The Grade 9 test is 50 questions long. The Grade 8 test is 100 questions long. One test isn't easier than the other, just longer. Both certifications cost the same $65 - payable to WASRC (Washington State Referee Committee).
There are disadvantages to a Grade 9:
- Some local referee chapters will not accept a Grade 9 referee - e.g. East King County Soccer Referee Assoc. (EKCSRA)
- You can only be an Assistant Referee (AR) for games up to U14
- You can only be a Center Referee (CR) for recreational games up to U14
- You cannot be a Ref-in-Pool for your team
- You will have lower priority at getting games at a summer tournament
- You will need to retake the Grade 8 ELC to upgrade to Grade 8
All referees must recertify yearly. Recertifying requires 5 hours of continuing education, passing a similar test to the ELC test and paying $50 for registration. (See Recertification Explained for more details.) The Grade 9 referee can elect to retake the Grade 8 ELC to upgrade to a Grade 8 instead of recertifying.
Last Updated May 10, 2013