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Question Number: 26075

Appearance 3/17/2012

RE: Grade 8 Adult

Carl Neighbors of APO, AP Japan asks...

I am a USSF certificated referee and I have a question regarding wearing the USSF Referee badge at non-USSF sanctioned matches. I'm currently living in Japan and I recently got into a discussion with another referee regarding whether or not we should wear our USSF badges while refereeing matches here. The teams are not USSF sanctioned. I told him that when I refereed back in the States, I was always advised not to wear the USSF badge at non- USSF sanctioned matches, and he asked me where this was written. Therefore, I'm sending this e-mail to ask whether or not we should wear our USSF referee badges at these non-sanctioned matches? Also, if you can show a reference to a USSF policy that states that USSF referee's cannot wear there referee badge at non-sanctioned USSF matches, I would appreciate it. Thank you in advance for your reply.

Carl Neighbors

Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

USSF Answer from 2003 (still good, today):

Your question:
I am a Grade 8 Referee registered with the USS. . . . I was told by another referee that I could not wear my black badge on my referee uniform (the badge that says 2003 referee USSF). He informed me that since these matches are not sanctioned by FIFA, I should not be wearing the badge? . . .. And if this is true, Is there a badge that would be okay to wear? . . .

USSF answer (April 22, 2003):
The referee has a right to wear the USSF referee badge as long as he is registered for the current year and is not doing an unaffiliated or outlaw competition. If your local youth league is not affiliated, you should not wear the black USSF badge when working those games.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Carl
A. Registration through State Association
For a referee to be registered in a state association, he must reside, work, or do his primary refereeing in that state. The controlling factor is the area where the referee does his primary refereeing.
B. Registration Through Overseas Referee Branch
For a referee to be registered in the Overseas Branch, he must reside, work, or do his primary refereeing outside the state associations of the United States of America.
As regards non affiliated games this is what USSF has to say
'' Here are some ample reasons why referees should not work these games:
1. No assessments may be accepted from games in unaffiliated leagues.
2. There is no liability insurance in unaffiliated leagues for the referees protection.
3. If the referee is assaulted or should there be any other serious misconduct, there's no assurance any disciplinary body will review and act on it.
4. The referee may not be able to fulfill state association requirements to work a certain level of affiliated games.
5. The referee's U.S. Soccer Federation registration may be denied should the referee refuse to work affiliated games over unaffiliated games.
6. Referees who have worked more unaffiliated games than affiliated games may be refused registration. ''
In summary USSF does not want its referees officiating non sanctioned games and that it has provision for US referees who are working abroad. One would have to deduce from the quotes is that a referee should not use his badge when working these type of games.
Whether it makes any difference or not overseas I'm not sure unless it was formally reported which is probably unlikely.

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Answer provided by Referee Keith Contarino

Short answer is you are to wear your USSF badge ONLY when working USSF sanctioned games.

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