The USSF Assessment Program and the South Carolina Assessment Program serve the U.S. Soccer Community to enhance the performance of the referees and assistant referee’s and increase enjoyment of the game.  Assessors will exhibit the highest level of ethics and professionalism while performing their responsibilities and accurately relate the performance of officials without influence or prejudice to the appropriate governing body

Purpose of the Assessment Program

All referees need to be evaluated by an unbiased, third party assessor to receive feedback on their progress, along with recommendations on how they might improve to better serve the soccer clubs and state soccer associations.   The assessor is an integral part of the United States Soccer referee program.  Our state has many high level referees, all of whom rose up through the ranks through the assessment program.

The assessment procedure will look at the match for overall control, fairness, fitness, character, integrity, knowledge and judgment.  The South Carolina Youth Soccer Association and the South Carolina Amateur Soccer Association have adopted a policy that all State Tournaments will first use referees who have been through the upgrade process, and second referees who are recommended by their ARA or an Assessor.  The Assessor will offer suggestions and encouragement to referees to insure they continue as a USSF soccer referee.

“People skills,” the ability to pass on criticism, praise and instruction to the referee so they do not feel as though they are being reprimanded are the key to assessment. The assessment debriefing is critical to keeping young referees on the field.  It is during an assessment debriefing where a referee decides to continue on a career path or to find other ways to spend their energy in sport.

Another integral part of the assessment program, is that the State Director of Assessment and the State Director of Instruction work closely together to insure the instruction given in the classroom is performed on the soccer field.  Feed back to the SDI from the assessors watching the referees is a vital part in the teaching and learning process.

 Assessor Code of Ethics

It is extremely import that all assessors conduct themselves fairly and honestly during all assessments. He following Code of Ethics must be adhered to by all assessors.

  1. Service before self.
  2. I will conduct myself honorably at all times and maintain the dignity of my     position.
  3. I will never knowingly criticize my fellow assessors.
  4. I will be courteous and considerate when critiquing officials during the post-game.
  5. I will not make statements about any game official except in my official capacity.
  6. All my assessments are confidential and are to be shared only according to policy.
  7. I will not provide in written feedback anything different from what was told to the official during the post-game session.
  8. I will not let personal feelings interfere with my objective evaluation.
  9. I will have no conflicts of interest involved in the match, the referees, or the players.

Assessor Duties and Recertification Requirements


  1. The Assessment calendar year will run 1 January until 30 November.
  2. The assessor will assess a minimum of ten (10) games per year to include a minimum of 4 full assessments (3 man referee team on U14 or above game) during each youth soccer season i.e. spring and fall. At least 2 of those games will be in the first 4 weeks of the season.

Reasoning: New referees need guidance and support in their first games. Giving guidance at the start of the season will give new   referee confidence in their abilities.

  1. Assess at state cup tournament per year, as approved by the SDA.
  2. Complete 6 hours per year of additional (refresher) training.
  3. All assessments will be sent to the referee within 7 days of the match.
  4. Assess honestly and fairly.  There will always be a positive aspect of all assessments to go along with the teachable moments.
  5. Abide by USSF dress code guidance when conducting assessments.

*Note: Per USSF policy dated 2013, the entire referee team must be assessed. All three referees are part of the de-brief and all three referees must receive documented feedback.

Recertification Requirements

Assessors must re certify annually.  Re-certification requires a minimum of 2 game assessments at the U-19 level or above for a total of five (5) assessments. State assessors must complete eight (8) assessments of which three must be full assessments at the adult div 1 higher level.

Unaffiliated Games

No assessments may be performed on referees in unaffiliated games ( USSF Policy),

Out of State Assessments

Purpose:  To broaden the experience of assessors and to form a common bond and exchange new techniques and ideas with assessors from other states.
Procedure:  Inform the SDA you will be going out of state to perform an assessment. The SDA will then contact the SDA of that state to seek permission for you to perform an assessment.  If an assessment is performed by an assessor out of state, without the permission of that state’s SDA, the assessment may be deemed invalid.

Out of state assessors can be utilized in South Carolina. The S.C. SDA will contact that assessor’s SDA to verify the assessor’s qualifications and copy the SC-SRA of the intended assignment.

*NOTE:  Assessments performed out of state will not fulfill the required number of assessments to be performed in South Carolina.

Assessor Grades and Duties

1. Referee Assessor

Duties:  Conduct observations or developmental assessments of officials at the local level under the direction of the SDA or his designee.  Complete and submit written (D & G) assessments or electronic assessments to the SDA and provide feedback forms to the officials assessed within seven (7) days of the game. The D & G ‘white’ copy should be provided to the referee team during the post-match debrief.

Levels of Assessment:  The Referee Assessor will assess referees at the Grade 7 & 8 level.  The Referee Assessor may provide upgrade assessments for Grade 7c only. Note that Grade 7c referees do not require annual maintenance assessments.

Course of Development:  To perform assessments the assessor will contact the State Director of Assessments (SDA), the local Area Referee Administrator (ARA), Area Director of Assessments (ADA) or the State Referee Administrator (SRA).  These people will be able to give names of individuals that need assessments or guidance.

Procedure:  The ARA, ADA or assessor will contact the individual prior to the day of the match or immediately before the match to inform the referee that the game will be assessed and review the assessments objectives.  All newly registered referees should be assessed or observed in the first ten (10) weeks after completion of their initial referee course.

Upgrade to Assessor:  To be considered for upgrade you must perform ten (10) assessments in one registration year using the proper developmental assessment forms and submit to the SDA.

2. State Assessor

Duties:  Conduct Developmental, Maintenance, and Upgrade assessments of officials under the direction of the SDA or his designee (e.g. LRA).  Complete and submit written (D & G) assessments or electronic assessments to the SDA and provide feedback forms to the officials assessed within seven (7) days of the game. The D & G ‘white’ copy should be provided to the referee team during the post-match debrief.

Levels of Assessment:  The State Assessor will assess referees up to Grade 6 for Developmental, Maintenance, and Upgrade assessments level.  The State Assessor may perform Developmental and Maintenance assessments on Grade 5 referees but not upgrade assessments.

*NOTE: Only National Referee Coaches may perform upgrade assessments on Grade 5 referees.

Upgrade to State Assessor: Assessors will be considered and selected by the SDA/SRA for upgrade to state assessor and permitted to attend state assessor classes. Candidates must be state emeritus or national referees to be potential state assessor candidates.

Upgrade to National Assessor:  Upgrade to National Referee Coach is by invitation by the National Director of Assessment only.

NOTE 1: Assessors may while observing a match which he is not assessing give feedback to the referee after introducing himself to the crew and asking if they would like some feedback.

NOTE 2 – If the referee and or crew are performing as to bring disrepute to the referee corps or are letting dangerous situations occur the assessor should ask for the referees name and make a short report to the ARA and SDA on the incident.

If the referee refuses it is easy to ask the coaches for the game number, age of players, team names and league.

3. National Referee Coach

National Referee Coaches come under the direct guidance of the National Director of Assessment.

Duties:  Conduct Developmental, Maintenance, and Upgrade assessments of officials at all grade levels.  Complete and submit written (D & G) assessments or electronic assessments to the SDA and provide feedback forms to the officials assessed within seven (7) days of the game. The D & G ‘white’ copy should be provided to the referee team during the post-match debrief.

Assessor Payments

Payment Schedule

Developmental Maintenance Upgrades
National Referee Coach $60 $65 $70
State Assessor $50 $55 $60
Referee Assessor $40 $45 N/A


Payment Process

  1. Before being paid, the assessor must first complete the assessment requirements to the satisfaction of the SDA. Completion of the assessment requirements is defined as:
  2. The referee team has received assessment documentation.
  3. The SDA has received a copy of the assessment.
  4. The SDA receives confirmation that the referee team is in possession of the assessment.
  5. The assessor must also complete and submit the SC Referee Program Assessor Payment Form to the SDA. The SDA will review, verify, approve and submit the form for payment to the Treasurer. The treasurer will issue payment within 3 days of receipt of the form from the SDA and payment will be delivered normally within 5-6 business days after payment issue.

Note – Under no circumstances is the assessor to be paid by the person(s) being assessed.

Travel Pay

Assessors traveling outside of their geographical area will receive $50.00 for travel expenses.  An assessor traveling two geographical areas will receive $75.00. Geographical area is defined by:

NOTE* When gas prices increase above $3.50 a gallon, assessors are paid .50 cents a mile instead of this procedure.

  1. Travel from Greenville to Columbia
  2. Travel from Charleston to Columbia
  3. Travel from Myrtle Beach to Columbia
  4. Travel from Aiken to Columbia

The rates also apply when traveling from Columbia to other geographic areas.

NOTE:  If an assessor travels from one geographical area to another to assess two or more referees, his total travel expense should not exceed $50.00 or $75.00 if he travels between two areas.

Example:  An assessor who travels from Charleston to Columbia to assess two referees will receive $50.00 from the SRA in travel expenses.

Note:  Assessors will not accept money on the field for performing assessments.

List of Assessors

Click here to view the current list of Assessors for South Carolina.


Out-of-State Referee Assessments

Registered South Carolina referees will contact the SDA for permission to receive out of state assessments.  The SDA will then contact that state’s SDA to ensure a registered assessor of proper level and experience is available to perform the assessment and copy the SC-SRA.

*NOTE:  Assessments performed out state without permission of the SRA or SDA will not be approved for upgrade or maintenance assessments.

* South Carolina policy states referees who wish to referee in another state should notify the SRA in advance of their planned departure to another state.  South Carolina policy does not require permission.