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Question Number: 28741

Law 6 - Assistant Referee 9/16/2014

RE: Under 19

adam wallace of sagae, yamagata japan asks...

great info as ever..

again on offside..
i was doing linesman yesterday and momentarily raised the flag on an offside player,and immediately dropped it as an onside player rushed to the ball.
i understand this is my mistake and i should employ wait and see.
however,i have 2 questions on this.
if i start to raise the flag do i have to keep it up or was the action above acceptable??(after the first error)..
secondly,if i wait to see if an onside player will take the ball before giving the offside on original offside player,should i hold my position (where orig offside was) or run with the play??
sorry for the long questions..

Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

If you raise the flag, keep it up. Hope the referee will wave you down. The hard part is when you start to raise it. A good referee will notice and look at you. You can then shake your head and the referee will then wave it down. Another referee might blow the whistle.

But, when a player in offside position has not interfered with play, keep running. If you stop AND someone plays the ball from an onside position, you can be as much as 20 meters in the wrong position the next time a critical offside decision needs to be made. Keep running. When the player infringes the offside law, stop, square to the field and raise the flag. After the referee stops play, you can walk up the touchline to the correct location for the restart.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Adam
Interesting question. There is no formal answer to the question of an erroneous flag and it is left to the referee crew to make the best decision on the day.
My take on this is that if the flag has been raised in error and it is not seen by the referee or he has not acted on it with play continuing then drop the flag and continue with play. If the referee has seen it and play has been stopped then unfortunately it has to be dealt with communication that it was an error which means a dropped ball restart. Hopefully the CR will have seen the ARs error in which case the flag will be waved down and play continues. In the case of a missed flag by the CR the advice is to keep the flag up until the referee acts on it. If a period of play has happened with say play continuing back over the half way line then the AR should drop the flag.
Here are two examples of erroneous offside flags by ARs
In both instances the AR flagged erroneously for offside. One the first one it is unclear from the video whether the CR waved down the flag and I suspect he did and in the second one the CR certainly signals for the flag to be dropped.
Both goals caused much grief for the games and the ARs which shows that it is better to be late and correct rather than fast and wrong.
As regards continuing the advice is to do so until the offside infraction has happened. If the AR stops and the ball goes to the onside player then that will place the AR perhaps hopefully out of position for subsequent play. If the offside player touches the ball then raise the flag and back up to the location of the infraction.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Adam. linesman?? hmm only ball in or out non neutral just teasing! You were an assistant referee AR and flagged a bit too quickly got caught out and are asking an astute question regarding the mechanics. A referee is usually not in as good a position to judge offside and are loath to overrule an AR unless they are positive the flag is incorrect so I prefer if you start to raise the flag, realizing oh crap better not, I rather drop it as quick as possible and IF there was confusion even a verbal, 'My mistake nothing there!' is not out of the question . That said, if the referee is looking in, eye contact, shake the head no, giving it a thumbs up all clear and run with the play! Always stay with the second last defender or the ball which ever is closer to the goal line . This is when offside can get a bit trickery, remembering just which players were restricted and where on the field they were! Much can happen before involvement occurs! It is also why as a referee and as a coach I tell players PLAY the whistle not the flag

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Offside Question?

Offside Explained by Chuck Fleischer & Richard Dawson, Former & Current Editor of AskTheRef

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