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Question Number: 27955

Law 6 - Assistant Referee 10/30/2013

RE: local league Under 17

ian mckeown of eastbourne, east sussex england asks...

if a linesman also happens to be a coach of one of the clubs that are playing is he allowed to also coach the team while acting in an official capacity as a linesman

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Ian
The simple answer is no. Some Leagues have an explicit competition rule which states No coaching by Linesmen. The referee though should be clear in his pre match instructions to the linesmen. One instruction should be no coaching.
However what tends to happen is that teams turn up with perhaps only one/two coaches and no-one else is available to do linesman duties. The duty is then given to one of the coaches who sees his main role as coaching. The linesman part in his mind is secondary.
Mixing those roles is never a good idea and one that is likely to cause difficulties for the game.
I would also go as far as to say that in those situations where there is no-one other than a coach to act as linesman the referee should dispense with the linesman duties and to do it himself as best he can.
The reason is some of the more serious disciplinary problem that I have heard off has to do with coaches carrying out linesman duties. The opponents feel that decisions are biased even if they are not. The coach also finds it difficult not to coach all along the touchline which causes ill feeling which even prompts questions like your own. That ill feeling spreads into the game and can erupt into an unpleasant incident
I had a situation at the weekend where there was one manager with a team at a game. He did not have anyone to do the line and suggested he would do it. I told him that was not possible so I sourced a second linesman from the home club. If I could not have got someone I would have done without.

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Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

No. A club linesman is there to help with decisions when the ball has crossed the touchline - not to coach. If she wants to coach, someone else should be on the line. My experience is that bad things can happen when someone with the flag far down the line is coaching the players.

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