Ask a Soccer Referee

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  • IFAB CIRCULAR NO. 3, 17 JULY 2015: ADDITIONAL GUIDANCE ON OFFSIDE
    To all football associations, confederations and FIFA Circular no. 3 Zurich, 17 July 2015 SEC/2015-C051/bru ADDITIONAL GUIDANCE ON LAW 11 – OFFSIDE Dear Sir or Madam, Following requests from a number of football associations and confederations regarding offside, The IFAB would like to provide additional clarification and/or guidance relating to the definition of the offside […]
  • USSF RECOMMENDATIONS FOR REFEREE SKIN CARE
    http://www.ussoccer.com/stories/2015/07/20/14/23/150720-referee-new-skin-care-guidelines Referee Health and Safety As part of U.S. Soccer’s commitment to health and safety, our medical and referee experts have prepared the following recommendations for the referee community and incorporated them into our referee education materials. In the interest of health and safety, U.S. Soccer recommends that match officials practice the following skin care […]
  • CONTINUING FOULS AND MORE
    Question: I was curious about the free kick foul in last night’s USA-GER game in which the referee awarded the U.S. a penalty kick. Is there an interpretation of the German defender’s foul as “continuing” as Alex Morgan entered the penalty area? The defender certainly initiated contact outside the area and kept Alex Morgan from […]
  • “COWBOY” REFEREES STRIKE AGAIN
    Question: During a game, can goalie speak to someone beside the goal during game? Referee issued yellow for not paying attention to game? Answer (June 30, 2015): There were two people of diminished mental competence involved here: the goalkeeper and the referee. There is no such rule in the Laws of the Game, and referees […]
  • CHARGING PROPERLY
    Question: Two players are going for the ball, and, within playing distance of the ball, one lowers shoulder and drives into other player. This is indeed a foul, but can you point to text in Fifa’s LOTG that would clarify this? It is a charge, of course, so is the only ground on which to […]
  • IT’S THE PLAYERS’ GAME, REFEREES, NOT YOURS
    Question: My team had a pK shoot out last weekend. The referee placed the ball on the mark. We kicked first and my player moved the ball because it was in a hole but left it on the mark. The referee walked back to the ball picked it up and appeared to push it even […]
  • NO QUESTIONS, PLEASE, THROUGH 9 FEBRUARY 2015
    PLEASE SEND NO QUESTIONS 1 FEB THROUGH AT LEAST 9 FEB I am having a routine surgery, but will not be able to sit at the computer until probably 10 February. If you send them, they will not be answered until at least that date. Thank you. Jim Allen
  • PLAYERS WEARING PROSTHETIC DEVICES—WHAT’S THE RULE?
    NOTE: This Q&A was published back in 2002 with the full approval of the U. S. Soccer Federation. I cannot claim that it still has approval, but it is a good path to explore when prosthetic devices are necessary for a player. I sent it out last week in response to a similar question from […]
  • DEALING WITH ILLEGAL ENTRY OF A SUBSTITUTE AND ENSUING EVIL
    INCIDENT ANALYSIS An interesting question came up the other day about a recent game in Asia and what the referee should do when a substitute, warming up behind his team’s goal, sees that his goalkeeper is down and there are no defenders nearby to stop the ball, which is rolling quickly toward the goal. The […]
  • SUBSTITUTIONS WHEN, AND HOW MANY?
    Question: If a player from Team A is injured and is being substituted, can Team B also substitute at that time? If so,is there a limited number of players that can be substituted? Answer (November 18, 2014): Q. 1: Yes. Q. 2: See below. Under the Laws of the Game, the following procedures apply: Substitution […]
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