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Question Number: 30596

Law 9 - The Ball in and out of Play 7/12/2016

RE: Competive High School

Todd of fort wayne, IN United States asks...

Ball in and out of touch, AR raises flag but CR does not see. Play continues, is there a point when AR should drop the flag or just hold up forever?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Todd
As the ball is out if play that is a matter of fact so it cannot be ignored no matter how long it takes. If play has restarted elsewhere then the referee cannot go back to the flag.
Best advice is for the AR to shout loudly to get the CRs attention and ensure that the fame us restarted correctly.

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Answer provided by Referee James Sowa


The only time this flag can come down is if the ball goes out of play (into touch, foul, goal) and play is restarted. Once play is restarted there is nothing more you can do; that is why it is imperative that you get the referees attention immediately and if play is stopped you must ensure it is not restarted.

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Todd,

The AR needs to hold his signal and try to get the referee's attention until play next restarts. If the referee has missed the flag then I'd start shouting to get the referee's attention. Some argue that looks unprofessional - really, bringing play back after a flag has been missed for 30 seconds looks far more unprofessional than that!

AR's should also monitor each other - if you as an AR can see that the referee is facing you and missing a signal from the other AR, then you can draw the referee's attention to the other signal.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe Manjone

Todd, As indicated in NFHS Rule 9-1-1, the ball is out of play when it completely crossed a goal line or touchline whether the ball is on the ground or in the air. Thus, the AR must hold the flag and try to get the referees attention as soon as possible. In my experience very often the players will get the referees attention and let him/her know that the AR has the flag raised. This is a good topic to discuss as to how it will be handled during the pregame officials conference. I hope that your upcoming high school season will be successful.

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