Cross-certification is available to referees of AYSO and USSF who have been certified as referees for six months or more and who are not certified with both organizations. All games officiated for AYSO or USSF may be applied toward the certification requirements of either AYSO or USSF.

Important note: You may cross-certify ONE TIME ONLY. It is strongly recommended that AYSO referees who wish to become USSF certified complete their Intermediate AYSO certification first and then cross-certify rather than taking a USSF Grassroots Referee course.

In 2019, USSF restructured the entry level training for referees to effectively line up training with the type of games that referees will officiate.  The reclassification of USSF’s entry level grades are as follows:

  • Grassroots Referees officiate in grassroots and youth competitions, small-sided games, recreational and competitive youth competitions, and adult amateur competitions.
  • Regional Referees officiate in competitions organized at regional or provincial level & adult games below the top division. Competitive youth and adult national competitions.

The AYSO referee program trains referees to officiate youth games only.  Effective immediately, the cross-over agreement between USSF and AYSO is amended as follows:

  • AYSO referees levels Intermediate or higher can only cross over to a USSF Grassroots Referee License
  • USSF Grassroots Referee can certify over to AYSO Regional Referee
  • USSF Regional Referee or higher can certify to AYSO Advanced Referee

This updated cross-over agreement will transition referees back and forth to the appropriate levels.  As with all referee levels in all soccer organizations, this cross-over process is the starting point for referee assignments.  The referee assignors need to track and understand the experience level of their referees to make appropriate game assignments.

The updated crossover form (click here) has been updated to reflect the changes.


If you are an AYSO referee (Intermediate or higher) who wants to become a USSF certified referee, you need to complete the following steps:

  1. Fill out the AYSO/USSF cross-certification agreement
  2. If you are an AYSO Intermediate or Advanced referee, have the form signed by your Area Referee Administrator. National Referees will need the form signed by the Section Referee Administrator.
  3. Keep a copy of the completed cross-certification form!
  4. Register with USSF as a Referee. Complete the instructions provided on the CalSouth Referee Registration webpage.

Join a Referee Association for game assignments. See the topic Getting USSF Game Assignments below for guidance.


If you are a current USSF referee (Grassroots or higher) who wants to become an AYSO certified referee you need to complete the following steps:

  1. Fill out the AYSO/USSF cross-certification agreement.
  2. Have the cross-certification form signed by the USSF State Referee Administrator (contact Cal South State Referee Committee Education Coordinator and Registrar at 714-778-2972 or You should include a self addressed stamped envelope with your mailing to expedite its return.
  3. Complete your AYSO volunteer registration on your Region’s Sports Connect website.
  4. Complete AYSO’s Safe Haven, CDC Concussion Training, Sudden Cardiac Arrest Online Course available at eTrainU.  Login through your volunteer account on your local portal.  If you have already completed these in non-AYSO organizations, provide your certificates to your Regional Referee Administrator for credit.  
  5. Once you are registered as an AYSO volunteer, have your cross-certification form signed by the Regional Commissioner of the Region you registered in.
  6. Keep a copy of the completed cross-certification form!
  7. Send the completed form to:
AYSO Office
19700 S. Vermont Ave., Suite 103
Torrance , CA 90502
(800) USA-AYSO (800-872-2976)
(310) 525-1155 FAX
Hours of Operation: 8:00 am PT – 5:00 pm PT

Contact your Regional Referee Administrator and let him or her know of your availability.

Getting USSF Game Assignments

The assignment of referees to games in USSF Youth leagues are coordinated by independent Referee Associations. You must join a Referee Association to be assigned matches. Associations in Section 1 include:

Updated: October 26, 2022 at 5:52 PM