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July 2007 Archive (II of II)


HATS FOR REFEREES OR ASSISTANT REFEREES

Question:
Are ARs allowed to wear hats while they are working?if they are, are there any specific kinds?

Answer (July 31, 2007):
The Federation policy on caps has been consistent since 1999.
USSF answer (April 11, 2007):

5.1 REFEREE UNIFORM
Referees may wear only the gold primary jersey or the black/white-, blue/black-, or red/black-striped alternate jerseys, and may wear only the approved socks. No other colors will be worn without express permission of the USSF. If the uniform colors worn by a goalkeeper and the referee or by a team (or both teams) and the referee are similar enough to invite confusion, the goalkeeper or the team(s) must change to different colors. Only if there is no way to resolve the color similarity, must the referee (and the assistant referees) wear the colors that conflict least with the players. Referees and assistant referees must wear the same color jerseys and the same style of socks, and all should wear the same length sleeves. The referee uniform does not include a hat, cap, or other head covering, with the exception of religious head covering. Referees must wear the badge of the current registration year.

 

USSF answer (May 5, 2003):
[originally published in February 2003]

THE REFEREE UNIFORM
Referees may wear only the gold primary jersey or the black/white-, red/black- or blue-striped alternate jerseys. No other colors will be worn without express permission of the USSF. If the uniform colors worn by a goalkeeper and the referee or by a team (or both teams) and the referee are similar enough to invite confusion, the referee must attempt to have the goalkeeper or the team(s) change to different colors. If there is no way to resolve the color similarity, then the referee (and the assistant referees) must wear the colors that conflict least with the players. Referees and assistant referees must wear the same color jerseys, and all must wear the same length sleeves. The referee uniform does not include a hat, cap, or other head covering, with the exception of religious head covering. Referees must wear the badge of the current registration year.

 

The paragraph above does not cover shorts, socks or shoes, but referees who want to get ahead will make every effort to present themselves neatly and professionally. Shorts should be made of the same materials as the jerseys. Shoes must be black and bear as little ornamentation as possible. Referees should dress as conservatively as possible, to avoid drawing undue attention to themselves.

The policy on hats was also published in the October 1999 issue of Fair Play:
Q. May referees wear caps and sunglasses?
A. With regard to caps, the policy of the United States Soccer Federation was stated in the Spring 1994 issue of Fair Play magazine: "Under normal circumstances, it is not acceptable for a game official to wear headgear, and it would never be seen on a high level regional, national or international competition. However, there may be rare circumstances in local competitions where head protection or sun visors might sensibly be tolerated for the good of the game, e.g. early morning or late afternoon games with sun in the officials' line of sight causing vision difficulties; understaffed situations where an official with sensitive skin might be pressed into service for multiple games under strong sunlight or a referee who wears glasses needing shielding from rain." Sunglasses would be subject to the same considerations. In addition, we ask referees to remember that sunglasses have the unfortunate side effect of suggesting that the referee or assistant referee is severely visually impaired and should not be working the game. They also limit communication between the officials and the players by providing a barrier against eye-to-eye contact. Sunglasses, if worn, should be removed prior to any verbal communication with players.

 


DUTIES OF CLUB LINESMAN

Question:
I have a question about the AR duties. Are the ARs required to do all their duties listed under Law 6 or can the referee instruct them which duties they will do during their pregame conference. I was an AR in a game and the referee instructed us to only mark the offside rule and when the ball went out of bounce in our pregame conference or are we required to do all the duties listed in Law 6 no matter what the referee tells us in the pregame conference. Is this procedure legal. We did exactly what the referee told us to do in the pregame conference, but we had unhappy players and fans cause we wouldn't signal any fouls that the referee might of not been able to see, so did we do right doing what the referee told us to do. I hope you can assist me on this matter for future situations like this one. Thanks.

Answer (July 27, 2007):
Unless the AR has shown he or she cannot do the job correctly, the referee cannot change or alter the duties assigned to the assistant referee by Law 6. However, as pointed out in the USSF publication "Guide to Procedures for Referees, Assistant Referees and Fourth Officials," the referee should explain in the pregame conference among the game officials what mechanics he or she might wish the AR to use in particular situations.

 


REFEREE SEES AR FLAG LATE

Question:
Here's the situation. The referee blows the final whistle after time has fully expired with no question to whether 90 minutes has gone by. After blowing the whistle, the referee sees the trailing AR waving his flag and a fight happening between two opposing players in the penalty area. After the fight is settled, the AR tells the referee that the defender struck the attacker inside of the defender's penalty area first before the final whistle. Now, of course all misconduct would be dealt with as necessary. That is not what I'm interested in. What I am interested in is the restart (if there is one). Assuming the referee accepts the AR's version of events, I want to know if a penalty kick for the attacking team would be appropriate. I know that the Law says a referee can change a decision provided the game has not been restarted, but it also says when the referee has terminated the match. Moreover, I thought that the Law was changed in direct response to a similar incident where a FIFA referee blew the final whistle but then accepted the missed AR's signal. I don't think that the penalty kick should be given, but could you clarify?

Answer (July 10, 2007):
The misconduct issue is clear. The referee must give whatever cards are appropriate prior to any restart. In this case, a send-off/red card for violent conduct.

As to the correct restart, suppose the exact same sequence of events had occurred but, instead of the referee blowing the whistle for full time, the ball had left the field for a throw-in or goal kick. Wouldn't it be pretty clear that we would negate the normal restart and give the PK because, once we accept the AR's information, we would count play as having stopped at that time? This matter is actually covered in the IFAB/FIFA Q&A 2006. The same argument applies here as well. If the assistant referee says the offense occurred before time ran out (based on the referee's signal) and the referee decides to accept the AR's information, then time has NOT run out--at least not yet. Given the short period of time involved, the correct restart is a penalty kick taken in extended time. And the referee had better take steps to protect the AR.

 


SUBSTITUTION PRIOR TO INITIAL KICK-OFF/PLAYER KEEPING OPPONENT ONSIDE

Question:
I had two situations that arose recently, and I was hoping for some guidance.

1. Unreported Substitution Prior to Kick-Off
In a match in which teams are only allowed seven substitutions and must nominate their starters prior to kick-off, we had the following occur. Both teams were checked in and their starters were marked on their line-up. In around the 50th minute, a player reported to the fourth official to substitute when it was discovered he was one of the nominated starters. Further, he sought to replace a nominated substitute who had been participating in the match from the beginning. The FIFA Q&A directs us that we can allow the nominated substitute to continue after being cautioned and complying with the substitution procedure. However, what happens if a team chooses to rectify their "mistake" and place the appropriate starting player in to the match? Further, is the nominated substitute subsequently permitted to become a substitute later in the match?

Further, do you have any advice on how to avoid such a problem in the future? This was an amateur match in which players only had numbers on their backs and it would have been quite difficult to confirm that the appropriate players are on the field at kick-off.

2. Unobserved Player Keeping Opponent Onside
In a recent match played in hot weather, the goalkeeper kept a water bottle about one yard beyond the goal line. One of her teammates was taking a drink unnoticed by the AR when an attacker received the ball in an apparent offside position. The AR indicated as such and the referee stopped play. It was only at this time that the second defender was noticed by the AR. What is the appropriate restart? Further, assuming that the defender had no ill-intent to deceive the officials, should the referee consider any sort of sanction for misconduct against the thirsty player?

Answer (July 10, 2007):
1. The nominated substitute who started the game became the player as soon as the game kicked off and, if removed for a substitute (the original player who was not there at the beginning), may not re-enter the game (unless the rules of the competition specify otherwise). He or she is cautioned for unsporting behavior and shown the yellow card.

2. The appropriate restart is a dropped ball, in accordance with Law 8. If there is no reason to suspect deceit, then no punishment is required; however, the referee could decide to issue a caution for leaving the field of play without the permission of the referee.

 


REFEREE FAILURE TO SIGNAL

Question:
I've been questioned for advice by a junior referee on the following situation:
Referee whistles a foul that would call for an IFK restart. However referee fails to signal IFK, kick is taken, and the ball travels directly into the3 opponent's goal.

What is the current consensus on the referee's next action? Restart? (Retake, Goal-Kick, or Center-Kick?)

Answer (July 9, 2007):
The Questions and Answers 2006 tells us:
6. An indirect free kick is awarded to the attacking team outside the opponents' penalty area. The referee fails to raise his arm to indicate that the kick is indirect and the ball is kicked directly into the goal. What action does the referee take?
He has the free kick retaken because of the referee's mistake. The initial indirect free kick, is not nullified by the referee's mistake.

7. A player takes a quick free kick and the ball goes into goal. The referee has not had the opportunity to indicate that the free kick was indirect. What action should the referee take?
Order the kick to be retaken as the original offence only merited an indirect free kick but the referee did not have the opportunity to give the recognized signal.

This information is repeated in the Laws of the Game 2007, under Additional Instructions and Guidelines for Referees:
LAW 13 - FREE KICKS

Procedure
//deleted//
An indirect free kick should be retaken if the referee fails to raise his arm to indicate that the kick is indirect and the ball is kicked directly into the goal. The initial indirect free kick is not nullified by the referee's mistake.

 


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 askareferee@ussoccer.org.

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