Gladesville-Hornsby Football Referees Association Assistant Referee Tips and Techniques

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1 Page 1 of 11 A game of football involves 3 teams the home team, the away team and the match officials. The referee and the 2 assistant referees are just as much a team as are the 2 groups of players. They wear the same uniform, they communicate constantly throughout the game and they work together to ensure that the game runs smoothly and the best possible decisions are made. As a match official, the first and most important thing is to know the laws of the game (LOTG). Read your LOTG book and read it again until you know all the laws thoroughly. This document is not a substitute for your LOTG book - it is a collection of practical tips to help you do your job well. Your LOTG book also contains a lot of guidance for both referees and assistant referees (ARs) including diagrams of all the flag signals you need to know in order to communicate properly with your referee. Study these - practise them and commit them to memory. Officiating at a football match should be enjoyable for you. If you are regularly uncertain because you do not know the law or the correct signals to make, your job will become stressful, you will be unable to do it properly and you will enjoy it less. 1: Before the match: Keep your uniform and all your equipment in your kit bag including your administrative instructions and your Laws Of The Game book. By doing this, you will avoid the embarrassment of arriving at the game without some vital piece of equipment. Arrive at the ground at least minutes before the scheduled kick-off. Your uniform should be clean, neat and tidy with your shirt tucked in Be fully equipped: This means that you have: A stop watch (a mobile telephone is not a stop watch) Your referee s note book 2 pens or pencils 2 flags A whistle Your red and yellow cards A coin to toss for ends Your GHFRA administrative instructions Whether you are a referee or an AR, come to all appointments fully equipped. Meet with your fellow officials. Your referee may want you to help with the pre-match duties such as: Checking the ground is properly dressed (goal posts, corner flags, markings etc.) Checking the integrity of the nets (ask the home team to fix them if necessary) Checking players equipment ALL jewellery must be removed (no taping allowed) Your referee will give you some instructions before the game. Each referee has his or her own way of doing things. Some referees will want you to take more responsibility; others will want to make most decisions on their own. As an AR, your job is to listen to

2 Page 2 of 11 your referee s instructions and follow them during the game. If you are uncertain how you are to handle a given situation (e.g. where does your referee want you to stand in the event of a penalty) - ask your referee before the game Be sure you know all the correct flag signals so that you can communicate properly with your referee During the game, your referee may make a decision that you do not understand or possibly do not agree with. If this happens you can discuss it in the dressing room either at half or full time. Do not discuss it with other people on the side line NEVER question your referee s decisions in front of other people. If players or managers question a decision after the game, allow your referee to deal with this in his or her own way. It was his/her decision and he/she must be allowed to decide how to respond or whether to respond at all Be polite and friendly with players, managers, coaches and spectators at all times 2: The Kick-off: In the Laws Of The Game, each law describing a method of starting or re-starting play includes a clear definition of when the ball actually comes into play. Make sure, for each method of restarting play, that you know at what point the ball comes into play. At certain re-starts of play, it is your job to advise your referee if the ball has not come into play properly and your referee has not seen this. Take the field with your fellow officials for the coin toss. Remember, you are a team with your referee being the captain Mark in your note book which team kicks-off to start the match For the kick-off (first and second half): Move to your sideline ready for the kick-off. It is normal for you to take the sideline nearest the team s defensive left flank. Move to that sideline and take up a position at the line of offside (see below) Set your watch for the start of the half and look at your referee. He or she will usually check that you are in position and ready before starting the half. Acknowledge your referee, make eye contact and be ready to start your watch when the kick-off is taken

3 Page 3 of 11 3: The Line of Offside Referees have choices regarding position because there is usually more than one spot on the field where a good view of play is available. ARs do not have this luxury. There is only one correct place for you to be, and you simply MUST be there. If you are not there then you will be unable to do your job properly. You will work your touch line from the half way line to the goal line. During open play, your job is to be at the line of offside at all times not somewhere near to it, but exactly on it. The Line of Offside is an imaginary line that is parallel to the goal line. It is either in line with the second last defender (remembering that the goal keeper counts as one defender) or in line with the ball whichever of these is closer to the goal line. AR Zone AR Zone At almost all times during the game, it is your job to be exactly at the line of offside. This requires great concentration because you have to watch play and you have to watch the 2 nd last defender, continually adjusting your position as the line of offside moves with the game. You will be constantly looking from the play to the line of offside and moving accordingly. If you become too interested in the play itself, you will find yourself out of position. You have to focus on your job and it demands great concentration. When the ball is kicked forward past the line of offside, the line of offside moves with the ball and you must run hard to reposition yourself. This could take you all the way to the goal line. When this happens you must get right to the goal line as quickly as you can without getting ahead of the line of offside if the ball hits the crossbar and bounces down, your referee will expect you to be in a position to signal accurately and confidently whether or not a goal has been scored. If you are out of position, you will be unable to do this you will have let your referee down.

4 Page 4 of 11 4: The Offside Offence These notes will not explain the offside law nor define the offside offence for a fully detailed explanation refer to your LOTG book. When the ball is kicked from your left by the attacking side, you will know whether an offside offence exists PROVIDED THAT YOU ARE IN POSITION. However, remember what you have been taught about the need to wait and see in circumstances where a second attacking player coming from an onside position could take possession of the ball. If an offside offence exists: Stop at the line of offside Give the signal by raising your flag straight up in the air and hold that position until your referee acknowledges your signal hold your flag in your right hand for this signal If for some reason your referee does not notice your signal immediately, DO NOT MOVE. Hold your position and your signal until: Your referee acknowledges you, or The ball goes out of play and play is restarted, or The attack completely breaks down and the defence has completely cleared its lines and has the advantage in a new phase of play Once you have given the signal, watch for your referee to acknowledge you. If your referee acknowledges you by waving his or her arm downwards lower your flag and move immediately to the new line of offside your referee has chosen to play on Usually, your referee will acknowledge your signal by stopping play. As soon as play stops, adjust your signal to indicate where, across the field, the offence occurred Far side of the field high flag / Centre field horizontal flag / Near side low flag

5 Page 5 of 11 It is your job to ensure that the free kick is taken from the correct spot. Hold your signal until you are happy that the ball has been correctly placed for the restart. Don t be too fussy about which blade of grass the ball is on somewhere within a few metres is normally acceptable for free kicks within a team s defensive half Your referee will usually move down field in readiness for the free kick. If the defence is trying to steal territory, your referee will know this because you will still be signaling. Once the ball is correctly placed, lower your flag and be ready to move to the line of offside once again 5: The Goal Kick hold your flag in your right hand for this signal When the ball goes out of play over the goal line, having been last touched by the attack and a goal has not been scored, you should signal a goal kick. Do this by: Raising your flag straight up in the air (indicating that the ball is out of play) And then lowering it in front of you until your arm is horizontal and pointing directly across the field Once this signal has been seen by your referee and play stopped, lower your flag and move so that you are in line with the outer edge of the goal area Your job is to see that the kick is correctly positioned. Your referee will know that it is not while you remain in this position Once the ball is correctly placed for the kick, move so that you are in line with the edge of the penalty area Your job is to ensure that the ball comes into play (by leaving the penalty area) before it is touched by another player and that no member of the attacking team enters the penalty area before the ball is in play If the ball does not come into play properly then raise your flag to signal this to your referee If an attacker enters the penalty area before the ball is in play, be ready to signal. You may not have to delay the game with a re-take if the defence does not become disadvantaged by the illegal presence of the attacker. Use your common sense. Once the kick has been properly taken and the ball is in play, move quickly to your position at the line of offside. 6: The Corner Kick hold your flag in your right hand for this signal When the ball goes out over the goal line, having been last touched by the defence, and a goal has not been scored, you should signal a corner kick. Do this by: Raising your flag straight up in the air (indicating the ball is out of play) using your right arm And then lowering it at your right hand side until your arm is 45 degrees below the horizontal and pointing along the touchline towards the corner flag

6 Page 6 of 11 Once this signal has been seen by your referee and play stopped, lower your flag and move so that you are behind the corner flag If the corner is being taken from your side of the field, it is your job to see that the ball is correctly placed for the kick. Also, your referee is likely to be somewhere in the penalty area possibly on the other side of the field. You should be prepared, if necessary, to tell defenders to remain at least 9.15 metres from the kick When the kick is taken, it is your job to know whether the ball goes out over the goal line directly from the corner kick immediately signal a goal kick if this happens Once the kick has been properly taken and the ball is in play, resume your position at the line of offside 7: The Throw in When the ball crosses your touch line at any point, play must be stopped and restarted with a throw in. You should first signal that the ball is out of play by raising your flag straight up in the air and then lowering it to your side until your arm is 45 degrees above the horizontal. Do this with your right hand if the throw in is to be taken by the team attacking your end. Use your left if the throw in is to be taken by the team defending your end. Most often, your referee will expect your signal to tell him/her which team is to take the throw in. However, sometimes your referee has seen something that you have not and intends to award the throw in the other way. Make sure you are watching your referee. If he/she overrules you with a hand signal in the opposite direction, lower your flag immediately Once your signal has been seen and play stopped, lower your flag and resume your position at the line of offside Watch the player taking the throw in to ensure that his feet are legally positioned If the throw in is delivered with one or both feet fully inside the field of play or off the ground, then you should raise your flag to indicate that a foul throw in has occurred Your referee will rule on the legality of the player s hands in delivering the throw in 8: Is that a penalty or not? When an offence punishable by a direct free kick is committed by the defence within their own penalty area, a penalty kick is awarded to the attack. Normally, your referee will know that a penalty is to be awarded when he/she stops play. However, when an offence occurs right on the

7 Page 7 of 11 edge of the penalty area, your referee may not be in a perfect position to judge whether this is a penalty kick or a direct free kick just outside the penalty area. If you see a direct free kick offence committed by the defence inside their own penalty you can indicate this to the referee without alerting the players or spectators. To do this, run to the corner flag post keeping you flag down and in your right hand. Once at the corner flag post, stand on the touch line facing the field keeping your flag down and behind your right leg out of sight of the referee. Since you are making no obvious signal this action will not be noticed by others. So, if your referee does not award a penalty (for whatever reason) others will be unaware that you have signaled for one it is always important that players and other believe the referee and ARs are in agreement about important decisions. This is an example of how close teamwork between the officials can ensure the correct decision is made without any show or fuss. A quick glance in your direction and your referee can award the penalty (or the free kick) and have complete confidence that this is the right decision even if he/she was not in a position to know. 9: The Penalty Kick Your referee may have given you instructions on what to do if he or she awards a penalty at your end of the field. These notes discuss the common practice, but if your referee instructs you differently then you should do what he/she has told you. Note: It is very important that you do not make any signals for infringements of the penalty kick law (e.g. encroachment) unless your referee has specifically told you to do so. Penalty kicks can easily become contentious issues and it is vital that you and your referee appear (to players and spectators) to be in full agreement about any infringements. When your referee awards a penalty at your end of the field, move around the corner of the field and take a position on the goal line about 1 metre outside the penalty area. Stand with your arms straight down in front of you and your hands linked holding your flag pointing directly towards the ground. Stand still so as not to distract the goalkeeper, the penalty taker or the referee. Your job will be to see whether or not the ball enters the goal. Your referee may also have instructed you to watch that goalkeeper does not move forward or behind the goal line before the kick is taken. If the goal is scored, reposition for the kick off. If the goal is not scored and the referee does not signal that the penalty kick it is to be retaken, move quickly back to your position at the line of off side as the game is now in a period of open play 10: A Goal is Scored There is no official signal expected from an AR when a goal is scored. The text book movement for the AR is to turn and run toward the half way line until the referee signals that the goal has been awarded. If you do make any signal, it should be very discreetly done and hopefully only noticeable to your referee - don t stretch your arm out, but rather point discreetly towards half way with your hand in front of and against your stomach.

8 Page 8 of 11 Most referees will look at you before awarding the goal to be confident that you have not seen an infringement by the attack leading up to the goal. So, look to your referee and be ready to make eye contact communication with your referee at these moments is important. Ideally, an AR will make eye contact and then turn to move back up field pointing discreetly towards the half way line. This tells your referee that you believe that a goal has been scored. However, if you have seen an offence by the attack then you should indicate this to your referee. If your referee has told you what to do in this case, do it now, otherwise you should raise your flag straight up in the air and hold your position. Your referee will come to you to hear about what you have seen. Wait for him/her at the side line do not call out about why you have raised your flag. If players follow the referee, do not begin speaking until they have been sent away. Explain why you have raised your flag. Do this without pointing at players or making any arm movements. It is quite likely that all eyes will be upon you and your referee in this conversation. Your arm movements and other body language may be misinterpreted by players or managers. If your referee decides to award the goal, you must not create the impression that you do not agree with that decision. This will only encourage the defence to dispute the referee s decision. Record the goal, the scorer and the minute of the match in your note book. 11: Player Interchange or substitutions A part of an AR s job is to assist the referee during substitutions and player interchange. Team managers should approach the AR and advise that they wish to make an interchange at the next break in play. When the ball is next out of play, make the substitution signal to your referee. Be aware if the interchange is being controlled by your fellow AR on the opposite side of the field. You can mirror his/her signal to help get the referee s attention. If you do not get the referee s attention, do not call out leave it to the team manager to get the referee s attention. The player entering the game should do so at the half way line. If necessary, move there to check the player s equipment and to ensure that the new player does not enter the field of play until the departing player has left it.

9 Page 9 of 11 In games where Substitutions are used rather than interchange, the player leaving the field is not allowed to return later and the number of substitutions permitted by each team is limited by the competition rules. Where this is the case, note the respective shirt numbers of the new and the departing player in your notebook. 12: Watching Back Play Your referee s priority is to be close to play and watch the action occurring where the ball is. This means that any illegal activity occurring behind play may not be seen by your referee. A part of your job is to be an extra pair of eyes and ears to help your referee control the game. You should be aware of what is happening in back-play as experienced players know how to do things behind the referee s back in the hope of evading punishment for illegal actions. If you see or hear something illegal in back play that your referee is not in a position to notice you need to tell your referee about it. Until you can, keep a mental note of the shirt numbers involved. At the next stoppage, make a signal to your referee that you want to talk to him/her. Do this by holding your flag horizontally across your chest. If your referee does not notice, and play restarts, watch for an opportunity to catch your referee s eye with this signal. When your signal is noticed, your referee will come to talk to you. As always, wait at the side line for your referee and do not call out or gesticulate. Explain the facts of the offence to your referee and identify the players involved. Your referee will decide what action to take. As mentioned above, you should conduct this conversation without any animated arm movements or pointing. Requesting that your referee come to talk to you will cause a delay in play. You should not do this for trivial reasons. As a rule of thumb, reserve this action for offences that will require a Red or Yellow card to be shown to a player or that require your referee to discipline a team official. If it is not for a Red or Yellow card offence, then it should be for a matter of safety or game administration that demands the referee s intervention (for example, you have seen a player who is not wearing shin guards or is wearing jewellery). 13: A Prolonged Stoppage in Play There are occasions when play is stopped for a prolonged period. This may be because of player injury, or a serious offence requiring the issue of a red or yellow card or perhaps due to some interference from an outside agent. At times like this, it may be necessary for your referee to move well away from the immediate area of the restart in order to deal with the matter that has caused play to be stopped. If this happens and play has been stopped in your half of the field and it looks as though the stoppage may be prolonged, reposition yourself to a point on your touchline that is in line with where the restart is to occur. This can be done discreetly and there is no need for any signals, but by making this move, you are ready to help your referee return to the correct spot for the restart when the problem has been dealt with.

10 Page 10 of 11 This is not a specified part of your job, but it is an example of the sort of teamwork that helps a team of officials to get it right on the field. 14: Signaling Read your LOTG book and learn the flag signals it describes. Make sure you know these and can make the correct signal, using the correct hand, at all times. Keep the following ideas in mind to help you develop your signal technique: Stop to make each signal do not make flag signals while you are on the run Quickly look to the referee before you make your signal you do not want to make a signal that contradicts a signal that your referee may already be making Make sure you are holding the flag in the correct hand before you start to signal DO NOT switch the flag to your other hand while your flag is in the air Stand on the touch line facing the field with your feet slightly apart and look at your referee Grip the flag so that your flag signals are clear with the flag seeming to be an extension of your arm one straight line from the top of the arm to the tip of the flag Make all your flag signals with simple crisp movements and a straight arm. This will make it clear to everybody that you have no doubt about what you are signaling Do not embellish your signals with extravagant flourishes or flag waving keep your movements simple Once you make a signal do not lower your flag until your referee responds Make eye contact with your referee so as to know when to lower your flag 15: Keeping a Record of the Match Write the details of the fixture in your note book the teams, the grade etc. When a goal is scored, record it together with the goal scorer and the minute of match When red or yellow cards are issued by your referee, record the shirt number of the offender, the minute of the match and the offence. Where abuse occurs, whether from players or elsewhere, record the exact words used, including any foul language, in your notebook. ARs are not usually expected to complete match reports. However, when a Red card is issued or a serious incident is to be reported, you are expected to provide an independent report to the competition authorities about of you have seen and/or heard. You will need to know the above details in order to do this. For example, the red card report requires that you state the score at the time of the offence. You will not be able to do this if you have not maintained a proper record of the match as it happened. You will also need players names and registration numbers for these reports so make sure you get these from the referee at the end of the game BEFORE YOU LEAVE THE GROUND.

11 Page 11 of 11 16: Referee abuse GHFRA does not tolerate abuse of match officials we are continually working to stamp it out. Your referee will deal with abuse from players according to the laws of the game. If you and/or your referee are abused, advise your referee and allow him/her to deal with it. Do not respond to it yourself. It is most important that you never use foul or abusive language to players, coaches, managers or spectators not even in response to abuse For more information, read the section on Referee Abuse in the document titled, Refereeing Tips and Techniques. 17: After the match: When the referee signals the end of the first half, and again at the end of the match, sprint into the field to join your referee. You enter the field as a team and you leave in the same way. If you wish to discuss any aspect of the game with your colleagues, wait until the 3 of you are alone in the dressing room. After the match, remember to do any paper work that is expected of you. Mostly this is the responsibility of your referee, but where Red card reports or incident reports are required you must to complete your own version of these (for more information on red card reporting see the document titled, Guidelines For Writing Send Off Reports, in the GHFRA web site library). Timely delivery of any paper work to the proper authority is an essential part of your job. If you do not do it properly and in a timely manner then you have not done the job you are being paid for. Ensure your referee has completed your details on the team sheet. When you get home, complete the score on the My history page of the GHFRA web-site. Know and understand the laws of the game The importance of this cannot be overstated! If you do not know the laws of the game, you will find difficult to be effective as an AR and you are unlikely to enjoy your job. Read and re-read your law book until you know all the laws thoroughly. Your Laws Of The Game book also contains several pages of tips and good advice about many aspects of the AR s role. Learn about the AR zone where it is and why it is important to an AR s job. As you become more experienced, the referees that you work with will gradually come to expect you to take more responsibility for incidents occurring in your AR zone. Be prepared to ask questions of your senior refereeing colleagues to help you understand these ideas and to build them into your work as an AR. The confidence you will gain from fully understanding the laws of the game will help you to enjoy your role as an AR and to come away from each game feeling satisfied that you have played your part in running a game that was enjoyed by players and spectators alike.

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