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Question Number: 31511

High School 5/6/2017

RE: High School

Billy Will of Virginia Beach, VA United States asks...

The AR moved the corner flag during a free kick to make is easier for the player to kick the ball. Is this legal. I know during a corner kick the flag can not be moved. I don't know about a free kick and an AR bending the flag out of the way so the player has a better line to the ball

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Billy
This should not happen. In the pre match inspection the field should be checked so that equipment like the corner flags are in place and properly centered. Once done properly there is no need for the flags to be touched again by anyone including an AR.
From experience I know that some flags can get damaged particularly ones with spring bases and not sit properly, tilting to one side perhaps in the way of the kick. I see no issue with that being addressed yet best if it was done pre match. However moving a regular correct flag, properly centered out of the way should not happen.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe Manjone


Simply put, the AR should not have moved the flag. NFHS rule 1-3 states that the flag may not be moved during the course of play. Hopefully, the AR found out that this was incorrect and that it was a learning experience for him/her. I also hope that your team is having a successful season.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Billy,
removing the corner flag is not something the LOTG permit.
The corner arc should be big enough to place the ball without the flag being an issue. If this was a kids game with perhaps a flimsy corner flag at an odd angle I suppose things done to make it possible might be seen as making sense for the kids to play but not something you would see in regulation match.

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