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Question Number: 18874

The Fourth Official 4/24/2008

Avery Haskell of Overland Park, KS USA asks...

Is the 4th Official allowed to sit in a chair, perhaps a black foldable stool? I imagine 90 minutes of standing wouldnt feel great.

Answer provided by Referee Steve Montanino

Well... I guess he could do it if the referee required that of him. OR perhaps he could do it if he wanted too, but it is not reccomended!

I've done plenty of 4ths and I do enough walking around that I barely even noticed the standing. You should be so focused on the game anyway that you would hardly notice. It's not THAT bad, I promise.

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Answer provided by Referee Debbie Hoelscher

I never sat as a 4th official. It looks unprofessional and prevents the 4th from being able to do their job at a moment's notice. There is so much more to the job of 4th official than most people realize. Besides the paperwork and administrative details, the role of the 4th official has been expanded to include being another authoritative set of eyes on the field. Besides being a bench personnel supervisor, the 4th official can also give the referee pertinent and timely information about events occurring on the field of play. There have been many times where the referee has asked me to subtly give direction for throw-in and other things. I can tell you, if you are doing the job right, you won't be just standing around and you will go home emotionally and mentally exhausted.

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