2. ASSISTANT REFEREES

Beep signal

The beep signal system is an additional signal which is only used to gain the referee’s attention. Situations when the signal beep may be useful include:

  • offside

  • offences (outside the view of the referee)

  • throw in, corner kick, goal kick or goal (tight decisions)

Electronic communication system

Where an electronic communication system is used, the referee will advise the ARs as to when it may be appropriate to use the communication system with, or instead of, a physical signal.

Gestures

As a general rule, the AR should not use obvious hand signals. However, in some instances, a discreet hand signal may assist the referee. The hand signal should have a clear meaning which should have been agreed in the pre-match discussion.

Signals

See Law 6 for diagrams of signals

Corner kick/goal kick

When the ball wholly passes over the goal line the AR (better line of vision) informs the referee that the ball is out of play and then if it is:

  • near to the AR – indicate whether it is a goal kick or a corner kick

  • far from the AR – make eye contact and follow the referee’s decision

When the ball clearly passes over the goal line the AR does not need to indicate that the ball has left the field of play. If the goal kick or corner kick decision is obvious, it is not necessary to give a signal, especially when the referee gives a signal.

Fouls

The AR must wait and offer an opinion if it is required and then inform the referee what was seen and heard, and which players were involved.

Before signalling for an offence, the AR must determine that:

  • the offence was out of the referee’s view or the referee’s view was obstructed

  • the referee would not have applied the advantage

When an offence occurs which requires a signal from the AR, the AR must:

  • make eye contact with the referee

The AR must use the “wait and see technique” to allow play to continue when the team against which an offence has been committed will benefit from the advantage; it is therefore very important for the AR to make eye contact with the referee.

Fouls inside the penalty area

When a foul is committed by a defender inside the penalty area out of the vision of the referee, especially if near to the AR’s position, the AR must first make eye contact with the referee to see where the referee is positioned and what action has been taken.

Fouls outside the penalty area

When a foul is committed by a defender outside the penalty area (near the boundary of the penalty area), the AR should make eye contact with the referee, to see the referee’s position and what action has been taken. The AR should be able to give information such as whether or not a foul has been committed and whether a foul was committed inside or outside the penalty area, and what disciplinary action should be taken.

Goal – no goal

When it is clear that the ball has wholly passed over the goal line in the goal, the AR must make eye contact with the referee without giving any additional signal.

When a goal has been scored but it is not clear whether the ball has passed over the line, the AR must attract the referee’s attention and then confirm the goal.

Offside

The first action of the AR for an offside decision is to be seen by the referee. The AR must maintain the signal until it has been acknowledged or the ball is clearly in the control of the defending team.

Penalty kick

If the goalkeeper blatantly moves off the goal line before the ball is kicked and prevents a goal from being scored, the AR should indicate the encroachment according to the pre-match instructions from the referee.

Substitution

Once the AR has been informed (by the official or team official) that a substitution is requested, the AR must signal this to the referee at the next stoppage.

Throw-in

When the ball wholly passes over the touchline:

  • near to the AR – a direct signal should be made to indicate the direction of the throw-in

  • far from the AR and the throw-in decision is an obvious one – the AR must make a direct signal to indicate the direction of the throw-in

  • far from the AR and the AR is in doubt about the direction of the throw-in – the AR must inform the referee that the ball is out of play, make eye contact with the referee and follow the referee’s signal