Denver’s Best Youth Soccer Referee Program

About the Referee Program

Skyline develops its referees through a bottom-up approach, providing instruction and experience at the developmental level. Skyline Board Members and coaches actively participate in observing and nurturing the referees on the fields. With experience and growth, referees are promoted to competitive level games which their skills and talents are closely matched to the skills level of each game.

It is the policy of Skyline to have assigned three USSF certified referees for each competitive game. Within the developmental program it is our policy to assign three qualified referees for each home game.

Skyline also offers training at the club level for parents and coaches to learn the rules of soccer and to enable them to center referee and line games.

Center referees on all Recreational games (U9 and above) will be USSF certified. In the event that a qualified team of officials are not available, the following requirements have been approved in order to provide club trained substitutions.

Intermediate and Recreational Teams (U9-U18): All U9-U18 Intermediate and recreational teams must provide two volunteers who will attend linesman training and will be available at all home and away games to run the line if requested by the referee.

Recreational Teams (U6-U8): Skyline utilizes volunteers to officiate the fun games that take place from U6-U8. We offer a “rules class” for volunteers willing to help out with this aspect of our program. We provide a whistle and age appropriate rules.

Please address any questions about the Skyline referee program to our Director of Refereeing, Josh Sawyer at or 720-451-5775

Certification Courses

(8 Classroom Hours) – Entry Level Course. This certification will allow you to work appropriate level recreational, competitive, youth and adult games as a center referee or assistant referee. The minimum age to become a Grade 8 Referee is 12 at the time of registration. A referee exam of a 100 questions is required with a passing score of 75%. A pre-test is required before actually attending the class. You can sign-up for the class, but you must pass the pre-test before actually attending class. Upon successfully completing the referee-training course you will receive a black referee badge with a current year. Fee $80.00

(Online Training & Testing through RefLink) – In order to be registered yearly at the current grade level, all Referees must: (a) Complete the required number of hours of in-service training, take their respective current Referee Refresher written examination; (b) Pass the physical fitness test (Referees Grade 8 & 9 excluded); and (c) Pass an annual maintenance assessment (Referees Grade 7, 8 & 9 excluded); and (d) pay the appropriate fees required for your Grade.

This is contiguous to the Intermediate clinic and will focus on higher level topics for the officials who need additional training hours to fulfill upgrade requirements. Topics are chosen by the USSF Instructor but can include ethics training, match management and tactical thinking development. All referees are welcome and are encouraged to attend.

An Intermediate clinic for experienced referees who want to upgrade or recertify for the upcoming year. Topics include fitness training; foul sorting at different levels of play; the Laws of the Game and assessment criteria. This is open to all referees, instructors and assessors. The written exam and physical fitness test will also be conducted if time and weather permit.

An Advanced level training class which focuses on officiating at the higher levels of the game. Topics focus on expectations and performance assessment at the highest levels of officiating; dealing with professional coaches, report writing and techniques used when dealing with professional players. State referees, those in the process of advancing to the Grade 6 level, Emeritus, National referees and candidates are invited to attend. Instructors and Assessors are also invited. The physical fitness and written tests are conducted if time and weather permit.

How to Become a Referee

Game Day Questions or Concerns? 

Contact Josh Sawyer 720-451-5775

Becoming a youth soccer referee can be very rewarding, but also very difficult. Besides having to control the game on the field, you also may need to control the coaches and the parents. Referees are some of the most under appreciated individuals within the game of soccer. No matter what you call, you will be upsetting someone. But always remember, whether you think you are right or wrong, your decision is final and is always right. Also, understand that you have the support of Skyline whether it is issues with players, coaches or if you need any questions or assistance at games. Becoming a youth soccer referee can in a lot of cases be a great learning experience for youth. One of the best parts of becoming a youth soccer referee is that you get paid pretty well and get to enjoy watching the game of soccer and being outside.

The Entry Grade 9 Recreational Referee Course (9 hours). This course is intended to introduce new referees to the game with minimum training and costs while gaining experience. The minimum recommended age to become a Grade 9 Referee is eleven years old at the time of registration. The clinic is normally one full day. The fee is $58.00 to be paid to the hosting club prior to the first day of class. This certification will allow you to Referee Youth Recreational games, U14 and younger, only, and Assistant Referee on any Youth Competitive game, U14 or younger. At the end of the clinic you must pass a 50 question test with a score of 76% or higher. Upon successfully completing this course you will receive a blue badge. Your registration is good for one year and must be renewed annually. The Entry Grade 8 Referee Course (17 hours). This course prepares an individual for matches on all youth games as a Referee or Assistant Referee. The minimum age to become a Grade 8 Referee is 14 at the time of registration. Some clinics are conducted over one weekend, others over several weekday evenings. The clinics are sponsored locally by different Clubs. The fee is $75.00 to be paid to the hosting club prior to the first day of class. At the end of the clinic you must pass a 100 question test with a score of 75% or higher. Upon successfully completing this course you will receive a black badge. Your registration is good for one year and must be renewed annually.

Link to Class Registration Once you have decided which Entry Level Course to take you must register for the class on the Clinics/Events tab in the menu at the top of the page. Browse the calendar and select a class that is convenient to your location and availability. Read the registration instructions carefully and check the appropriate option. You will then be added to the class roster. If the class is full, choose another class. Due to room size and fire codes, walk-ins will not be allowed once the cap is reached. Should you have any questions please contact the Area Instructor Coordinators which are listed in the class registration popup in the CJRC Clinics/Events Calendar.

Each club has different rules at different age levels. Make sure to learn the rules at each division before your first game. Contact Skyline if you have any questions at all regarding rules.

Log into Game Officials and enter in your availability for the whole season or a few weekends at a time. Skyline’s referee assignor is Joshua Sawyer and will be assigning referees for each game. If you need help entering in your availability in Game Officials, please contact Joshua Sawyer – or 720-451-5775.

How did the season go? Do you want to continue the next season? Do you want to get a higher certification? You as a referee need to feel comortable on the field and enjoy working with the kids. If you are out there just for the money, your success will be hindered.

Please contact Josh Sawyer for more information – 720-451-5775.