US SoccerUS Soccer

August 2007 Archive (I of I)


I encountered this situation a little a while ago and wish to have some clarification: A ball was played to a player in an offsides position, but the pass was too long, so it rolled to to keeper. The AR raised the flag, but I waved him down, since tha ball was back in the defense's posession. As the keeper was picking it up, he drops the ball and the forward scores. Right after the goal is scored, the AR goes back to the same spot and raises his flag. I ran over and he tells me that that was the player that had been offsides. I call the goal back and restart the game with an indirect kick for the defensive team. Was this the right call, or should a goal had been scored?

This play didnt affect the game much, since the offensive team was winning 5-1.


Answer (August 24, 2007):
Whether your decision was correct or not, let's get something straight from the start: When you wave off the assistant referee's flag, that means you have overruled the AR's suggestion. It also means that he or she should get on with the game and not bring up this situation again until any discussion you may have after the game.

During the pregame conference, you as referee should tell the ARs what you expect in this and other situations. The ARs, in turn, should then ask any questions to clarity what you expect of them. Their job is to ASSIST, not to INSIST.

Now, all of that said, the referee would seem to have been too quick with the wave down. Technically, when he waved you (the AR) down he indicated h;is decision that there was no offside infringement. However, that,raises the issue ... could the referee change his mind? Might there be a better way for the AR to indicate the offside?

If the goalkeeper was judged not to have "possessed and controlled" the ball, a better mechanic for indicating the offside would have been for the AR (you) to stand still rather than run up field. This is not the standard procedure here, but it makes sense. It gives the AR a chance to advise the referee of the circumstances, despite having been waved down earlier, It is more unobtrusive than coming back up field and putting the flag up in the air, and it maximizes the referee's flexibility to decide either way. As long as play was not restarted, the referee could then choose to disallow the goal.



I got these questions at a recert from a PhD in math. I think I know the answers but I want to be sure.

Why is a throw in a throw in from the kneeling position prohibited. I assumed this to prevent the thrower from more or less placing the ball on a teammate's foot allowing an opponent to only kick the ball back out and waste time.

Would a throw in in the squatting position then be allowed? I assume this would be considered trying to circumvent the rule and be considered misconduct.

Answer (August 20, 2007):
We answered these questions back on June 17, 2005, but it's always nice to refresh everyone's memory.

The 2006 edition of the IFAB/FIFA Q&A, Law 15, Q&A 7, tells us:
7. Is a player allowed to take a throw-in kneeling or sitting down?
No. A throw-in is only permitted if the correct procedures in the Laws of the Game are followed.

Squatting is a form of sitting and therefore is not allowed.

This is the surface answer, but we sense that the "Ph. D. in math" is more interested in ultimate justification; in other words, why did the IFAB declare this if a player, while kneeling, is able otherwise to follow the correct procedures outlined in Law 15 (which, of course, do not literally specify standing. Two possibilities occur: First, "standing" is implied as it is the normal posture at any restart, so that anything other than standing is not permitted. Second, because that's the way it is.

To answer the unasked question as to why the "acrobatic" or "flip" throw-in is allowed, it is because the thrower actually makes the throw from a standing position.



In the 2007 USSF memorandum, there appears to be a conflict with the wording in the advice to the referees and the text of the 2007 FIFA LOTG. This is in regards to an undergarment worn under the shirt.

The text of the LOTG states: a jersey or shirt - if undergarments are worn, the color of the sleeve should be the same main color as the sleeve of the jersey or shirt

While the advice to the referees states: The general purpose of this change is to ensure that the visible color of any portion of a garment worn underneath the jersey or shorts is consistent with the main color of the jersey or shorts.

So, my question would be if a player has a blue jersey with white sleeves, does the undershirt have to be blue or white?

Answer (August 16, 2007):
We would refer to the "changes" you outline as minor adjustments in interpretation. The intention in Memorandum 2007 was to ensure that whatever extends beyond the uniform be seen as much as possible as an extension of the uniform. Note, for example, the language of the original restriction on undergarments (sliders, thermal/compression undershorts, etc.); they were required to be the same main color as the shorts. The Law didn't say the same main color as the legs of the shorts, even though it is possible for the legs of the shorts to be a different color than the waist area of the shorts. The current language is an applicable generalization: Whatever part of the uniform the undergarment extends from is what the undergarment should match.

You might also remember that the Advice to Referees makes it quite clear that its contents may become out of date when new memoranda are issued by FIFA or the United States Soccer Federation.



What happens if the goal is shifted off the line (away from the field of play) and this allows a ball to enter the goal that otherwise would not have done so? Does it matter whether the defending team or the attacking team moves the goal? Does it matter if it is intentional or not? The specific situation being questioned is that a corner kick became trapped between a defender's body and the post, and when the defender tried to move the ball away, the post shifted back and the ball dropped into the goal. The referee awarded a goal.

Answer (August 7, 2007):
Unfair as it may seem, the referee should not have awarded the goal--nor should he or she have started the game with an unsecured goal. The game must be restarted with a dropped ball at the nearest place on the goal area line six yards out from the goal line and parallel to it.


U.S. Soccer thanks Jim Allen (National Instructor Staff/National Assessor), assisted by Dan Heldman (National Instructor Staff), for their assistance in providing this service.

Submit your questions via e-mail to