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Question Number: 27050

Mechanics 12/4/2012

RE: Rec Under 13

Tom of Pasadena, CA USA asks...

I was the leading AR for an AYSO GU12 playoff game this weekend. The Referee called a PK. I took my position where the penalty area line intersected the goal line. After the referee's signal, the kicker banged the shot off the upright on my side of the goal right back to herself. She then kicked it into the goal - clearly a double-touch violation. My question is about the correct signal for me to give as the AR. Since the restart is an indirect free kick for the defenders, should I have stayed put, raised the flag straight up awaiting the referee's whistle, and then signaled for the defenders, possibly with my right hand on my chest pointing toward my chin (to indicate indirect)? Another referee who was watching the match told me later that I should have held the flag horizontal at waist level. I've looked at the FIFA Guide to Procedures and a FIFA supplement on Law 6 and haven't been able to find the definitive answer for the signal.

Thanks in advance - a great resource for those of us learning the ropes.

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Tom
Outside the US the signal is the same as for an infringement which is a raised flag in the left hand.
In Ireland and the UK the flag is fluttered slightly when it is raised above the head which just helps with the distinction on the infringement. One hopes that the CR knows what the flag is for but he may seek advice on it.

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Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

In the US, the AR's signal that a valid goal has not been scored is to stand at attention. There is only one exception: the AR raises the flag if the goal scorer was offside.

Stand at attention. If the referee doesn't see you, shout to her. Get her attention. Don't let her go forward with the kickoff.

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Answer provided by Referee Gil Weber

Tom, the situation you describe is one which speaks to the importance of a good pregame discussion. When the AR is on the goal line for a PK there are several situations where he/she needs to communicate to the referee but what is the proper signal? Some examples...

1) The ball rebounds from the GK back to an attacker who dribbles forward. The GK smothers the ball and it pops over the goal line NOT clearly either a corner kick or goal kick. How does the AR standing at the intersection of the goal line and penalty area signal for a corner kick? Does he/she turn 180 degrees and point back at the corner? NO, that would be ridiculous! What to do?

2) Same scenario but now the AR needs to signal goal kick. From that position does he/she signal with the flag pointed across the field (that is. along the goal line and at the opposite corner flag)? NO, so what to do?

3) Same scenario but now the ball receives another touch in the penalty area and the AR (even though on the goal line and not in line with the 2nd to last defender) can clearly see that an attacker who gets the ball and scores is offside. How to signal? Give the same flag as in #2 above? No, yet again, what to do from that position to communicate to the referee, in this case that the goal is not valid?

In all these scenarios the AR is in no-man's land until the ball is cleared from the penalty area and he/she has enough time to get back to the touchline and catch up to the 2nd to last defender. But until there is that time once the ball rebounds from the GK or from the frame of the goal that AR cannot cut across the field if the ball is going into that corner and a mass of players are headed there (remember US vs Brazil in last women's World Cup?).

Same thing if the ball rebounds into the middle of the penalty area. If the AR tries to run along the goal line to the corner flag and then around the corner to take a position on the goal line, well during that entire run (if it is to be quick) the AR will have his/her back to the action. Can't see anything and useless to the referee.

If the AR tries to quickly backpedal along the goal line to the corner flag that cannot be done at speed without the risk of falling. And even if able to backpedal quickly, again what is the signal from anywhere along goal line for corner kick or goal kick or offside? Same issues as scenarios above. Where to you point the flag? Or do you point the flag?

Assuming we don't have electronic headsets or beeper flags, is there another way of communicating to the referee in these situations where the AR is in no-man's land and pointing with the flag will be confusing at best and ridiculous at worst?

Now, think about all of that and figure out what to say to your ARs when you're the referee, or what to ask the referee when you're the AR and he/she hasn't touched on this in the pregame.

Good luck in no-man's land.

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