Grand Valley Soccer Association



Referees are essential to GVSA.  Without Referees the players would not be able to play games.  A Referee who wishes to be considered for GVSA game assignments must be a member in good standing of the Grand Valley Soccer Officials Association (GVSOA). The application for membership is on the "Statement" tab of the website.   Click here for the GVSOA website.

Basic Requirements

All Officials in GVSA must be certified for the current Calendar Year by the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) at Level 8 or higher (Level 9 officials may be used in some circumstances - see below).  Referees must wear their current year USSF patch at all games and should have their USSF Registration card with them while officiating.

A three man system (Referee and two Assistant Referees) is used in all games, when officials are available.
Please note that GVSA does not assign officials. This is done by the Referee Assignor for each member club. All Referee Assignors are USSF Certified and approved by GVSOA.


Game Procedures

All GVSA Officials must make themselves familiar with the GVSA Referee Game Day Procedures for the current season.  The most important points:

You are expected to be at the field 30 minutes prior to the scheduled start of a game, unless you are finishing up a game on another field.

Each Team must give you a GGame VSA Report prior to the start of the game and present their pass cards, with pictures attached.  The home team is expected to give you a stamped envelope for submitting the game reports to GVSA.

All Players and Coaches must be checked in prior to the start of the game.  do not start the game under any circumstance until this is done. Players must all be registered on the same team (the Team Name and ID Number are on each Pass Card). Unregistered players may not play. A player registered to a team may play without a pass card, as long as they print their name, number, and birth date and sign the back of the official GVSA game report. The referee must note of the missing player card.  GVSA will verify their eligibility when the game report is received. The coach playing the player(s) with the missing Pass Card(s) must concede the game as a forfeit. GVSA will record the game as such. The opposing team must play as a normal league game. The referees will officiate as a normal league game and be paid.  Adults without pass cards cannot be with the team during the game - they must stay with the spectators.  Under no circumstance can more than three adults be in the team area, and all must have pass cards. Pass cards should be returned to the team after the check in and before play starts.

Officials will be paid by the Home team - this must be done before play starts.

At the conclusion of the game record who scored the goals, any Yellow or Red cards and the final score on both game reports.  An official from each team must sign the game reports to verify the score and cards.  Coaches should not make comments on the Game Report - it is only for the Referee. After you leave the field you may wish to add comments, or attach a separate letter, prior to mailing the game reports to GVSA.  Game Reports must be mailed within 48 hours to GVSA!

Click to read rules on Padded Goals or Handling Injuries.



All GVSA officials are paid for their efforts, except Club Linesmen. Accordingly you must dress and act professionally at all times. Shirts must be tucked in and shoes must be predominately black. Basketball shorts and sweats are inappropriate dress. The pay schedule and basic game information for GVSA Referees is:


Age Group Referee Assistant Referee Game Length Ball Size Number of Players
U7-U8 $30 NONE 2x25 minutes 4 5 V 5
U9-U10 $30 $20 2x25 minutes 4 7 V 7
U11-U12 $35 $25 2x30 minutes 4 9 V 9
U13-U14 $40 $30 2x35 minutes 5 11 V 11
U15 $45 $35 2x40 minutes 5 11 V 11
U16 and older $50 $40 2x45 minutes 5 11 V 11

Registration with USSF

Prior to officiating in GVSA all officials should officiate a minimum of one year in a community youth league (e.g. AYSO).  While GVSA is a learning league, it is not an entry level league. All GVSA Referees must be USSF level 8 or higher. Level 7 officials are preferred for older age group games.  Level 9 Referees may not be assigned games in GVSA with two exceptions: A Level 9 official may serve as an Assistant Referee in a U10 or younger game. This would normally be in an unpaid capacity, although clubs may pay them, if they wish. A Level 9 Referee may also serve as a Referee in any U12 or younger game provided he or she has a USSF mentor present at the game. In emergencies (e.g. Failure of another Official to show up) a Level 9 official may be employed.

You must first take the Level 9 (Entry) Class, then the Level 8 (Bridge) class.  Each is one day long. You must wait a year after taking the Level 9 class prior to taking the Level 8 class.

Upcoming Events

West Michigan Referee Classes are being offered!

Whether you are looking for a recertification class, upgrade class or if you are wanting to become a referee in our area there is a class offering for you. Please click here to find available classes.

Please register at

Ways in which local clubs can promote referee programs and opportunities

The quality of referees in West Michigan is in many ways dependent upon the quality and quantity of our local referee pool and their geographic location in West Michigan. Local clubs have a vital role to play in partnering with the local referee association and the Michigan Referee Committee to expand and improve our local referee program by reaching out to their players, families and coaches, to encourage participation and new members. Without this support the referee pool will not provide the best officials that we all want to see.

1. Consider hosting a referee course (new grade 9 or grade 8 bridge course) in your area. This should be done over the winter months well before the start of the spring season or in some cases over the summer break. This requires locating a suitable venue and selecting a suitable date and requesting this from the State Director of Instruction (Mike Wint) who organizes and arranges all Michigan courses. GVSOA can help you with this.

2. Promote the USSF referee program in your area and publish and promote on your websites and add to your clubs calendar, upcoming courses in West Michigan. These courses can be found at

3. Notify all teams and players about the opportunities that officiating represents. We suggest doing a broadcast mailing or email and follow this up.

4. Promote this to the High School soccer teams in your area (coaches and AD’s) who also benefit from this program.

5. Make sure that everyone in your organization is aware of these opportunities.

For more information, assistance or help to arrange a special referee program in your area – please contact any GVSOA administrator or assignor listed at under the Contact Us tab. We look forward to working with all GVSA clubs.