In association football, an assistant referee (AR, known as a linesman or lineswoman from 1891 to 1996, expressions which are still in common unofficial use, and umpire before 1891) is an official empowered with assisting the referee in enforcing the Laws of the Game during a match. Although assistants are not required under the Laws, at most organised levels of football the match officiating crew consists of the referee and at least two assistant referees. The responsibilities of the various assistant referees are listed in Law 6, "The Other Match Officials". In the current Laws the term "assistant referee" technically refers only to the two officials who generally patrol the touchlines, with the wider range of assistants to the referee given other titles.
Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of eleven players. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport. The game is played on a rectangular field called a pitch with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing goal.
The referee is the person responsible for enforcing the Laws of the Game (LOTG) during an association football match. He or she is the final decision-making authority on all facts connected with play, and is the only official on the pitch with the authority to start and stop play and impose disciplinary action against players during a match. At most levels of play the referee is assisted by two assistant referees, who are empowered to advise the referee in certain situations such as the ball leaving play or infringements of the Laws of the Game occurring out of the view of the referee; however, the assistant referees' decisions are not binding and the referee has authority to overrule an assistant referee. At higher levels of play the referee may also be assisted by a fourth official who supervises the teams' technical areas and assists the referee with administrative tasks, and, at the very highest levels, additional assistant referees and/or video assistant referees.
The Laws of the Game (LOTG) are the codified rules that help define association football. The laws mention the number of players a team should have, the game length, the size of the field and ball, the type and nature of fouls that referees may penalise, the frequently misinterpreted offside law, and many other laws that define the sport. During a match, it is the task of the referee to interpret and enforce the Laws of the Game.
The assistant referees' duties generally consist of judging when the ball has left the field of play – including which team is entitled to return the ball to play, judging when an offside offence has occurred, and advising the referee when an infringement of the Laws has occurred out of his or her view. These two officials are typically positioned on opposite touchlines, and each stay beside different halves of the pitch.
Offside is one of the laws of association football, codified in Law 11 of the Laws of the Game. The law states that a player is in an offside position if any of their body parts, except the hands and arms, are in the opponents' half of the pitch, and closer to the opponents' goal line than both the ball and the second-last opponent.
At higher levels of play the referee is also assisted by a fourth official. The fourth official's duties are usually administrative in nature, such as supervising the substitution procedures, and he or she will generally spend the game in the vicinity of the teams' technical areas.
In association football, a substitute is a player who is brought on to the pitch during a match in exchange for an existing player. Substitutions are generally made to replace a player who has become tired or injured, or who is performing poorly, or for tactical reasons. Unlike some sports, but like in baseball, a player who has been substituted during a match may take no further part in it.
A technical area in association football is an area which a manager, other coaching personnel, and substitutes are allowed to occupy during a match.
Competition rules will mandate procedures for replacing officials who are unable to continue. Often, the fourth official will replace the referee or one of the assistant referees if they are unable to continue. The Laws also allow for designated reserve assistant referees who have no other responsibilities unless called upon to replace a member of the officiating team who is unable to continue.
At very high-level games there may be further assistant referees. Additional assistant referees are positioned to observe incidents near the two goals. Video assistant referees view footage of the game and can advise the referee to review decisions that may have been incorrect.
The video assistant referee (VAR) is a match official in association football who reviews decisions made by the head referee with the use of video footage and a headset for communication.
The referee is the sole arbiter of the Laws during the match. Assistants' calls and judgements are considered to be advisory and can be overruled by the referee.
As outlined in Law 6 of the Laws of the Game, the officiating team works together to enforce the Laws during a game, though the referee remains the final decision maker in all matters. The assistant referees (including additional assistant referees if present) and the fourth official are expected to advise the referee if they have a clearer view of any particular incident.At the highest levels of play, particularly in matches held in large stadiums, the entire officiating crew may be equipped with wireless microphones and earpieces to facilitate vocal communication across long distances or through loud stadium noise.
Having a team of assistants allows for the replacement of officials if one or more are unable to continue. The system of who replaces who is a matter for the organising competition.
All officials wear uniforms that match that of the referee, though the fourth official will often wear a tracksuit over the kit in colder weather.
Law 6 of the Laws of the Game specifies that "two assistant referees may be appointed".The assistant referees move along the touchlines, each covering their own half of the field of play.
In general, assistant referees are responsible for assisting the referee with:
All decisions by the assistant referees are only advisory to the referee; their decisions are not binding and the referee is allowed to overrule an assistant. An assistant referee may also be called upon by the referee to provide an opinion regarding matters which the referee requires clarification on. Occasionally the assistant referee will assist in player management during free kicks, as well as provide visual assistance during penalty kicks. The assistant referees also usually assist the referee with preparatory and administrative functions.
Assistant referees carry brightly coloured flags (usually red, yellow, or some pattern involving those colours) which are used to indicate their decisions to the referee, players, and spectators. During the game each assistant referee oversees one touch-line and one end of the field utilising the diagonal system of control. The more senior of the two assistants will normally occupy the side of the field containing the technical areas, to help oversee substitutions. At higher levels of play, the assistant referees' flags may be equipped with buttons that the assistant referee may press to send an audible signal to the referee in order to get the referee's attention.
Assistant referees were formerly called linesmen. In 1996, the name was changed, primarily to better reflect the modern role of these officials, and secondarily to become non-gender specific, though the term is still in widespread unofficial use. They are also sometimes incorrectly referred to as "referee's assistants".
The fourth official (also known as the reserve referee, replacement referee, or simply RR) assists the referee in a variety of tasks, and may be called upon to replace another match official. The practice of having a named replacement referee was introduced in 1966 by English referee and administrator Ken Aston, but the International Football Association Board (IFAB) did not officially create the position until 1991, and listed only areas of responsibility. The fourth official is simply instructed to assist the referee at all times, and their duties are largely at the discretion of the referee.
The fourth official typically has a table a short distance from the touchline between the two teams' technical areas, however their positioning is not defined by the Laws of the Game.
In general, fourth officials are responsible for assisting the referee with:
In practice, the fourth official becomes a key member of the officiating team, who can watch the field and players and advise the referee on situations that are going on out of their sight. The fourth official keeps an extra set of records, and helps make sure the referee does not make a serious error such as cautioning the wrong player, or giving two cautions to the same player and forgetting to send off the player.
Where the fourth official is a junior member of the officiating team, they are generally expected to replace an assistant referee where they are unable to continue to perform their duties (either due to injury or replacing the main referee). However, in most high-level competitions, the fourth official is a designated referee (as opposed to assistant) and therefore replaces the referee in cases where they are unable to continue.
The additional assistant referee (AAR) is an official that assists the referee behind the goal line to assist the referee in observing any incident that may occur near the penalty area. Recent trials, for example at the 2009–10 UEFA Europa League group stage, have been started to make place for an additional two assistant referees to be added to the game, positioned behind the goal lines, to "ensure that the Laws of the Game are upheld, informing the referee of incidents of any kind that they may otherwise have missed, particularly in key areas of the field like the penalty area and its surroundings," but only informing the referee of their observations through a wireless communication system. Their positioning also gives a good view to assist the referee in "ghost goal"-type incidents. The trial was evaluated by IFAB technical experts.
This trial was later extended to the 2011–12 UEFA Champions League and qualifying games and the final tournament for the UEFA Euro 2012. Their reception has been mixed.Following a two-year experiment in the UEFA Champions League, Europa League and Euro 2012, as well as the AFC President's Cup and competitions in Brazil, France, Italy, Morocco and Qatar, the use of additional assistant referees was approved by the International Football Association Board (IFAB) in July 2012. Additional assistant referees were used in the 2013 Scottish Cup Final, the first time they had been utilised in a domestic match in Scottish football.
The video assistant referee (VAR) is an official, who will also have assistants themselves, that reviews decisions made with the use of video footage and a headset for communication with the on-field referee. Their use by competitions is optional.
The fifth official was an official meant to serve as a replacement for either of the assistant referees in the unlikely event of an injury or incident that would prevent the assistant from continuing the game. For matches in the 2006 World Cup, FIFA assigned five officials. The role of the fifth official was to assist the fourth official in a variety of tasks, and potentially be called upon to replace another match official if necessary, for example in the case of injury.If an assistant referee could not carry on their duties, the fifth official was to be the primary replacement, whereas the fourth official was the referee's primary replacement. This distinction was made to reflect the fact that assistant referees and referees perform different tasks.
The fifth official had access to television coverage of the match, but was not permitted to advise the on-field referees of any incidents they had missed.Speaking after the 2006 FIFA World Cup Final, Italy coach Marcello Lippi claimed that the referee had sent off France player Zinedine Zidane after receiving advice from "the fourth and fifth officials looking at the video at the edge of the pitch". These claims were subsequently denied by FIFA.
In the current Laws of the Game the role of the fifth official has been reduced to that of the reserve assistant referee (RAR, also known as the reserve official). They have no duties other than to replace an assistant referee or fourth official who is unable to continue.
The International Football Association Board (IFAB) is the body that determines the Laws of the Game of association football. IFAB was founded in 1886 to agree standardised Laws for international competition, and has since acted as the "guardian" of the internationally used Laws. Since its establishment in 1904, FIFA, the sport's top governing body, has recognised IFAB's jurisdiction over the Laws. IFAB is known to take a highly conservative attitude regarding changes to the Laws of the Game.
Instant replay or action replay is a video reproduction of something that recently occurred which was both shot and broadcast live. The video, having already been shown live, is replayed in order for viewers to see again and analyze what had just taken place. Some sports allow officiating calls to be overturned after the review of a play. Instant replay is most commonly used in sports, but is also used in other fields of live TV. While the first near-instant replay system was developed and used in Canada, the first instant replay was developed and deployed in the United States.
In the sport of association football, fouls and misconduct are acts committed by players which are deemed by the referee to be unfair and are subsequently penalized. An offense may be a foul, misconduct or both depending on the nature of the offence and the circumstances in which it occurs. Fouls and misconduct are addressed in Law 12 of the Laws of the Game.
Shamsul Maidin is a Singaporean association football referee.
Mark Clattenburg is an English professional football referee.
Claus Bo Larsen is a former Danish football referee who officiates in the Danish Superliga and was FIFA-listed from 1996 to 2010. He has officiated numerous matches in the UEFA Cup and Champions League. Larsen is classified as a FIFA Top Class Referee, which is the highest level of referees. He is well known for his down-to-earth appearance on the field, preferring to control the game with a good personality rather than cautioning the players.
In association football, goal-line technology is the use of electronic aid to determine if a goal has been scored or not. In detail, it is a method used to determine when the ball has completely crossed the goal line in between the goal-posts and underneath crossbar with the assistance of electronic devices and at the same time assisting the referee in awarding a goal or not. The objective of goal-line technology (GLT) is not to replace the role of the officials, but rather to support them in their decision-making. The GLT must provide a clear indication as to whether the ball has fully crossed the line, and this information will serve to assist the referee in making his final decision.
Felix Brych is a German football referee who is based in Munich. He referees for SV Am Hart München of the Bavarian Football Association. He is a FIFA referee, and is ranked as a UEFA Elite group referee.
Rugby union match officials are responsible for enforcing the rugby union laws of the game during a match and imposing sanctions on individuals who do not follow the rules. "Every match is under the control of match officials who consist of the referee and two touch judges or assistant referees." Further officials can be authorised depending on the level and form of the game.
Sian Louise Massey-Ellis, is an English football match official who officiates generally in the role of assistant referee in the Premier League and the Football League. She has also been appointed to matches in the Football League Trophy, UEFA Women's Champions League, FIFA Women's World Cup qualification rounds, and the FIFA Women's World Cup. Massey-Ellis turned professional in 2010 and was appointed to the FIFA list of women assistant referees in 2009.
The 2018 UEFA Super Cup was the 43rd edition of the UEFA Super Cup, an annual football match organised by UEFA and contested by the reigning champions of the two main European club competitions, the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League. The match featured two Spanish sides, Real Madrid, the winners of the 2017–18 UEFA Champions League and the defending champions having won the previous two editions, and Atlético Madrid, the winners of the 2017–18 UEFA Europa League. It was played at the A. Le Coq Arena in Tallinn, Estonia, on 15 August 2018, and was the first European club final held in Estonia.
The 2018 UEFA Europa League Final was the final match of the 2017–18 UEFA Europa League, the 47th season of Europe's secondary club football tournament organised by UEFA, and the 9th season since it was renamed from the UEFA Cup to the UEFA Europa League. It was played at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais in Décines-Charpieu, Lyon, France on 16 May 2018, between French side Marseille and Spanish side Atlético Madrid.
Futsal began in the 1930s in South America as a version of association football, taking elements of its parent game into an indoor format so players could still play during inclement weather. Over the years, both sports have developed, creating a situation where the two sports share common traits while also hosting various differences.
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