Soccer Referee Resources
Ask a Question
Recent Questions

Previous You-Call-It's

VAR (Video Assistant Referee)

Q&A Quick Search
The Field of Play
The Ball
The Players
The Players Equipment
The Referee
The Other Match Officials
The Duration of the Match
The Start and Restart of Play
The Ball In and Out of Play
Determining the Outcome of a Match
Fouls and Misconduct
Free Kicks
Penalty kick
Throw In
Goal Kick
Corner Kick

Common Sense
Kicks - Penalty Mark
The Technical Area
The Fourth Official
Attitude and Control
League Specific
High School

Common Acronyms
Meet The Ref
Contact AskTheRef
Help Wanted
About AskTheRef

Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

Panel Login

Question Number: 35096

The Technical Area 9/6/2023

RE: Competitive High School

Jeff Rockow of Flagstaff, AZ United States asks...

According to the LOTG, can a coach use a bullhorn device to amplify their voice to communicate to the players on the pitch? As I read Law 4 Section 4, the coach can use electronic communication devices for “tactical/coaching reasons”. It doesn’t specifically prohibit or allow an electronic bullhorn. One of the problems with allowing such an electronic communication aid by the coach is that there is nothing that would prevent the coach from turning the volume to “11” and really interfering with the spirit of the game.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Jeff
Thanks for the question
No a bullhorn would not be allowed under the Laws. It is spelt out in the following

“”The use of any form of electronic communication by team officials is permitted where it directly relates to player welfare or safety or for tactical/coaching reasons but only small, mobile, handheld equipment (e.g. microphone, headphone, earpiece, mobile phone/ smartphone, smartwatch, tablet, laptop) may be used. A team official who uses unauthorised equipment or who behaves in an inappropriate manner as a result of the use of electronic or communication equipment will be sent off.“”

A bullhorn would be unauthorised equipment as it is a communication device not used for safety / welfare or for tactical / coaching reason and it is not allowed.

Read other questions answered by Referee Joe McHugh

View Referee Joe McHugh profile

Answer provided by Referee Joe Manjone

Coach Rockow,

Arizona high school soccer games utilize National Federation of High School rules. NFHS rules as indicated in NFHS Rule 12-9-1e do not permit coaches to use electronic communication devices with the on-field players during play. Examples provided in this rule include: amplifying devices, wireless communication devices, such as cell phones, head phones, personal digital assistant, etc.

Thus, in NFHS rules, the bullhorn which is an amplifying device is prohibited.

It is surprising to hear that Flagstaff High School girls soccer is played as a winter sport from December to February. I hope your team has a successful season.

Read other questions answered by Referee Joe Manjone

View Referee Joe Manjone profile

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Jeff,
traditionally not something you allow on the pitch. I have made an exception for a coach who had a voice impediment and used it as almost a medical outreach device as an operation had greatly reduced his vocal cords effectiveness . The other coach was fine with it as a one off kind of thing. Neither high school rules or FIFA /IFAB LOTG allow the use of such devices.

Read other questions answered by Referee Richard Dawson

View Referee Richard Dawson profile

Ask a Follow Up Question to Q# 35096
Read other Q & A regarding The Technical Area

Soccer Referee Extras

Did you Ask the Ref? Find your answer here.

Enter Question Number

If you received a response regarding a submitted question enter your question number above to find the answer

Offside Question?

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

This web site and the answers to these questions are not sanctioned by or affiliated with any governing body of soccer. The free opinions expressed on this site should not be considered official interpretations of the Laws of the Game and are merely opinions of AskTheRef and our panel members. If you need an official ruling you should contact your state or local representative through your club or league. On AskTheRef your questions are answered by a panel of licensed referees. See Meet The Ref for details about our panel members. While there is no charge for asking the questions, donation to maintain the site are welcomed! <>