Frequently Asked Questions

What are the membership requirements for joining NISOA? Effective as of August 4, 2020

There are several requirements for membership.  They include:

  • Apply for membership through a Chapter or a Regional Board.
  • Submit 2 letters of recommendation from the following: A NISOA member in good standing with at least five years’ experience of officiating, NISOA Assessor, or NISOA Clinician OR Submit 1 recommendation from a NISOA or Conference Assignor.
  • Pass the NISOA Qualifying Exam with a score of at least 75%.
  • Obtain at least three years of game experience at the high school level or U17 and higher in USSF games. Officiate as a referee in at least 25 games at the high school, competitive, amateur, professional, or other games that the Chapter deems to be at the appropriate competitive level.The games selected to meet the 25 game requirement must include a combination of officiated games as both referee and assistant referee at these levels.
  • Meet the NISOA requirement for the physical fitness test or be exempt from the NISOA test based the equivalent USSF fitness test based on the NISOA policy.
  • Complete all of the above requirements within nine months of the initial date of application.
  • Submit all dues and fees.
  • Be at least 18 years of age.
  • Any USSF National or PRO referee is automatically qualified for membership and is not required to complete the above except for A, C, and G
  • All applicants must apply through a local chapter.

How do I find or contact a local NISOA chapter?

Go to the interactive chapter locator map to find the chapter and chapter contact closest to where you live or work.

If I am a member of NISOA how many games am I entitled to receive each year?

Game assignments are the prerogative of the local chapter, local or conference assignor.  Membership does not guarantee any intercollegiate game assignments.

I am an active member of NISOA. What requirements must I meet to maintain being a member in good status?

To renew as an intercollegiate soccer official with the National Intercollegiate Soccer Officials Association, each member must meet the following requirements:

  1. Attend three mandatory local Chapter meetings;
  2. Take the NISOA Refresher Test (No Pass; No Fail);
  3. Take the NISOA Fitness Performance Test or equivalent as approved by NISOA;
  4. Pay annual local Chapter dues and national dues;

At the discretion of the local Chapter, any renewal member who fails to meet the minimum passing grade on the NISOA Physical Performance Test may be placed on probation; he/she may then be assigned one game as an official (Referee or Assistant Referee) and be assessed on the one game. If the official passes the assessment, he/she shall be declared a full member and taken off of probation. In event the member fails to meet the minimum passing grade, he/she may retake the test within six months of the date of failure.

How much does it cost to join NISOA and remain a member?

The initial membership fee is broken into two parts.  A $105 dues and a minimum of $120 referee kit purchase. Renewal dues are $75 to the National office plus any local dues and fees.

How do I buy a new NISOA referee badge?

Go to the forms page and click on the Sales form.

Can a high school member join NISOA?

NISOA has an interscholastic division.  The dues are $20 initially and $15 annually.  The interscholastic member has access to NISOA materials, receives an interscholastic newsletter and is  covered by NISOA liability insurance.

Does NISOA provide insurance?

Yes. Go here for more information.

How can I receive an assessment?

Contact your local chapter officers and determine if there is a local assessor available.  If not contact the Regional Area Coordinator for the geographic region you are officiating in and request an assessment.

Must I pay for an assessment?

Yes.  NISOA has a fee policy for assessors.

Why should I be assessed?

Assessment is a part of continual education.  The NISOA assessor will provide feedback on strengths and areas of development that will improve the referee skills.

How can I advance in NISOA as a referee?

There are many ways to advance.  One is obtaining a mentor from within the local chapter and setting goals for your refereeing career.  Another is to seek out opportunities to work with top officials in the chapter so they can observe your skills and recommend advancement.

After 3 years of membership an individual can apply for the National Referee Program and advance to that level.

What is the National Referee Program?

The National Referee Program (NRP) is the top approximately 10% of NISOA members who officiate at the highest level of intercollegiate soccer and post season play.

How do I become a National Referee?

Please refer to the National Referee link on the home page for specific details.

How much do NISOA national executive staff members earn?

NISOA is a volunteer organization with three, part-time employee positions.  Elected and appointed staff volunteer their time.  They are reimbursed for travel, transportation, and lodging related costs.

How do I get NISOA General Liability Insurance information and proof of insurance?

Check here. If you need a copy of the binder/endorsement page as proof of insurance, follow the directions here.

How do I transfer between NISOA chapters?

Members in good standing may request to transfer to another chapter using the form on the Forms tab of our website.

110 Responses to “FAQs”

  1. After mailing the new member application with the 2 checks, how long does it typically take to receive your NISOA badge in the mail?

    • Once it reaches my desk, allow approximately two weeks for processing and getting to OSI for shipment of uniform kit. If there are interruptions like vacation, national convention, or National Referee Academy, then it could add a week or so to the timeline.

  2. I am preparing a policy for chapter assessments and want to reference NISOA policy i.e., NISOA Policy 500.165. Where do I find the NISOA Policy Manual?

  3. Hi: I am Sergio Cardenas trying to be a member of NISOA. I have 4 years working as a referee in Texas and 3 years in New Mexico high schools. This fall the season is over and I was elected to participate in the state championship at Albuquerque, NM. My question is I would like to be a member of NISOA to call games at the University level but what process I need follow in order to call games for both states. Do Ineed to be register for both games like I usually do to call games for both states.

    • There are chapters throughout the country. A leader in TX is Diana Esquivel. She can be contacted through the chapter in San Antonio. She will be glad to advise you. If you need anything else please let us know. Thanks.

      Julie Fabsik-Swarts
      Executive Director

  4. Sorry, Do I need to be register for both states like I usually do or apply for national referee.

  5. Are the updated Policies, Constitution, and Bylaws ready for release? They do not appear to be posted anywhere on the website. If they are ready, may I please have a copy?

    Thank you.

  6. I would like to get more information on how to become an official for the college level I have enough or more experience reffing for adult leagues at a high level as a one man system as well as 3 man system I would like to be considered for a change to reff at a college level and go to the next level in being a referee I am currently a USSF certified reff as well

    • Jose,

      Please contact your local NISOA chapter for information on how to obtain membership into NISOA. You may locate your local chapter using the web address below;


      For minimum requirements set by NISOA; Go to the tab labeled “ABOUT US” and then go to “How to join NISOA.”

      Thank You for inquiring about membership into NISOA

  7. Our chapter members have been asking about the sexual harassment training outlined for this year.

    • We are working through some sign on issues that popped up when doing the final tests. We hope to have this resolved by next week and then the testing will go live. there will be an announcement through Arbiter when it is available.

  8. I’m the Montana contact. I haven’t received my packet with the new rule book and 2018 badge. I’m sure no one else in Montana has either. It looks like they were mailed July 31st. Any idea what the problem is?



    • Mike…the largest batch of mailings went out to active members on August 6 and 7 via U.S. Postal Service from Eastern Pennsylvania. Expect delivery in the western U.S. soon.

    • Don,

      Assessor summer mailings were being processed last week by Dave Steiner and should be arriving any day. If you do not see by Wednesday, please let me know directly. Thanks.