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Question Number: 22782

Law 6 - Assistant Referee 1/31/2010

RE: Competitive Adult

Al of Strathroy, ON Canada asks...

This question is a follow up to question 22759

In response to Ethan's question, the expectation in Canada for AR signals for Goal Kicks and Corner Kicks (even when caught up field) is to sprint to the goal line first, stop, and make the correct signal there.

Even from a dead stop, it takes only 3 or 4 seconds to move 20 yards. If the referee hasn't already signaled, the players can wait. :)

Answer provided by Referee Tom Stagliano

Referee Al

I have seen high level matches officiated by a FIFA referee crew from Canada, and I do not remember seeing the ARs sprinting to the goal line from 12 to 20 yards away before giving the proper flag signal.

Three to four seconds is an Eternity in a soccer game, if the CR does Not know to whom to award the restart and is waiting for a signal from his assistant.

You may wish to ask this specific question to your procedural instructors, and of course you are expected to follow the procedures of your national association. Yet, watch International Matches on TV and see if the ARs are sprinting as you say.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Referee Al
These instructions are not cast in stone or 'every single time' advice.
If the AR is at the half way line and the ball is humped forward for a GK is the AR going to run all the way to the goal line when everyone in the park knows what it is. Indeed a quick fetch by the keeper could have the ball back in play again. What does following the advice do here. I would rather that the AR made the GK signal as close as possible and resume his correct position immediatley.
And hey every AR is different. Some will be relaxed about these instructions while other will want to follow them to the letter. Also circumstances will play a part as well. In a game that is 5-0 with three minutes to go on a wet, darkish evening is the AR going to sprint to the line in the scenario above ?

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Answer provided by Referee Michelle Maloney

These are questions to be gone over in the pregame with the referee, or if you are the referee, with your ARs. Indicate what you expect, when you would expect them to run all the way to the goal line, and whether or not you consider the speed of the decision to be paramount over normal mechanics. These are all normal things to be covered in a good pregame.

There will be times when an AR has not run to the goal line because 'everybody can see it will exit the field for a goal kick' and he will be out of position, because the ball takes a funny bounce and heads into the goal, whereby the keeper lunges for it and grabs it right on the line or... - did it go into the goal or not? If he's not there, he can't say. Not making an effort is just pure laziness.

Getting into the habit of running toward the goal line at least until the ball has actually exited the field (granting that balls can travel faster than most humans) is good practice, no matter where in the world one referees - and if one can make it all the way to the goal line by the time the ball exits, that's excellent. We expect this of referees above entry level grades in the USA, as you state it is in Canada.

Then when it matters (and it will matter, at some time, in some game), and the AR is there, the teams will not come unglued, because he's been where he needed to be all game - no room for argument.

A good AR will know when to stop and signal instead to continuing the run, but it is best (she says again) to cover this in a pregame, so all are on the same page.

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