Referee Suspensions on the Increase


We are hearing and reading about multiple referee assignors across the state who are providing false information to referees regarding their annual recertification, and SafeSport renewal certification. It has been written that there is no need to take the 2021 recertification course in Florida, as US Soccer Referee Department automatically renewed all referees in Florida for 2021. Because of this, it was stated that SafeSport was also automatically renewed. This is unfortunate, and both statements are FALSE.

As the year progresses, some referees, referee coaches, assessors, instructors, and assignors are finding out that they have been suspended or are about to the suspended from all US Soccer referee activities due to expired SafeSport certification. Currently, there is no warning of the approaching suspensions for the referees, referee coaches, assessors, instructors, and assignors because the individual expiration dates for their SafeSport certification are all different. It is the responsibility of each individual FLSRC member to keep track of when their scheduled renewal date for SafeSport occurs. The SafeSport expiration dates are not all the same as a newly obtained FYSA background check which expires currently on July 31, 2021. Also, as with a FYSA background check, the SafeSport certification is only required for 18 years of age and older. Additionally, all 17 year olds, on their 18th birthday must also complete their first (1st) SafeSport training sessions which is about two (2) hours. If they do not, they will be suspended by US Soccer until the SafeSport requirement has been met.

In the FLSRC OMS system, the 2021 new Grassroots entry courses and all recertification courses, have a 2021 SafeSport Florida module at the end of each course that must be completed. If the member has a currently valid SafeSport certification, the online SafeSport Florida lesson module in the OMS system will display “completed” in green. This does not relieve the FLSRC member of the responsibility to renew their SafeSport certification.

The SafeSport training must be completed in the US Soccer Learning Center as instructed in the 2021 SafeSport Florida lesson module. Any SafeSport training that the member completes for annual renewal in any other place (Got Soccer) other than the US Soccer Learning will cause the certification to not be valid until it is registered and updated in the US Soccer Learning Center. See FAQ #7 for how to fix this problem. Got Soccer is not connected to US Soccer, and that is why the training should be completed in the US Soccer Learning Center. It may be convenient to complete both a background check and SafeSport in the same place of Got Soccer, but it is not wise to do so. This is a US Soccer requirement NOT a FLSRC requirement.


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