Since its early beginnings, as soccer evolved into the game we know today, there have been changes to the Laws of the Game and the officials’ expectations.

For some time now, the three official system has been proven to be the most efficient, practical, and recognized way to officiate soccer games.  The basic trio comprises a Referee (Law 5) and the Other Officials (Law 6).

For years, there were two LINESMEN whose primary responsibility was to run along each touchline, off the field, and provide help to the center official.  Then, linesmen became known as Assistant Referees and were given additional responsibilities at the center official’s discretion.

In today’s game, the OTHER OFFICIALS are expected to provide even more help and support to the center official.  During a match, some situations demand an Assistant Referee insist that a decision be made, making an assistant referee insistent.

During a corner kick, the ball may, while in the air, go out of play over the goal line and return to the field.  The assistant is the only one who can determine if the flight of the ball took it over the goal line.  The assistant must raise the flag immediately and make eye contact with the referee.  If the referee allows play to continue, stand by the corner flag and wait for the referee to come to you for an explanation.  The referee cannot overrule your decision, and the match must restart with a goal kick.

At times, the ball may barely roll off the field across the touchline; intentionally or not, the players will continue to play.  The referee may assume that the ball is still in play. They will follow the play and may not see the raised flag.  The assistant MUST keep the flag raised straight up until the referee recognizes the signal and stops the game.  The referee cannot overrule the flag signal, and the ball must be brought back for a throw-in, even if a goal is scored.

Look for (Part 2) in our next issue of Komments..!