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Question Number: 27062

Law 6 - Assistant Referee 12/10/2012

RE: Intermediate Under 12

Phil of Tarzana, CA United States asks...

This question is a follow up to question 27053

I have a question on the duties of the AR in that situation. Suppose on the throw-in, the GK catches the ball while standing on the goal line & then steps back. Suppose further that whether the ball was completely over the goal line before the GK touched the ball was extremely close.

If the ball was already over the goal line when the GK touched it, it's a goal kick; otherwise, it's a goal (when the GK stepped back).

My questions are:
1) Since this is a rare event, should the AR have positioned him/her self on the goal line or with the 2nd to last defender?

2) If both the CR & AR are unsure whether the ball was entirely across the goal line when the GK first touched it, what call do you make?

Thanks as always for a great site.

Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Phil,

1)Offside position is considered against the ball or the second last line of defence. I've always been taught that once the ball passes that second last line of defence, then treat the ball like it's the second last line of defence. It's the responsibility of the AR to stay in line with the ball in these scenarios, therefore if there is any difficult decision to make on whether the ball has crossed the line, the AR should be right in line to make that decision. Of course the ball does move faster than somebody can run, but the AR should be making all reasonable efforts to move back in time. This is one of the most critical roles of the AR - because if there's a close ball in/out decision on the goal line, the referee has no chance of being able to judge it accurately. The AR is the only person able to make that decision.

2)If the refereeing team isn't certain that a goal has been scored, then you'd give the benefit of the doubt to the keeper and award a goal kick (assuming they're both certain it did cross the goal line in the end).

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi PHil
The AR must follow the ball as best he can when it is played forward and offside is no longer a consideration. The important calls are then position of the ball and any possible foul.
So in
1. The AR's first position is level with the 2nd last defender and then moves as play unfold by following the ball back towards the goal line.
2. If the CR and AR are unsure of any call then they must not give it. They should make the 'best' decision for the game. In this situation perhaps the GK will come forward with the ball in which case the referee should allow play to continue as there is no certainty that it crossed the line.

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Ask a Follow Up Question to Q# 27062
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The following questions were asked as a follow up to the above question...

See Question: 27528

See Question: 27529

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Offside Question?

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

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