In association football, the referee is the person responsible for enforcing the Laws of the Game during the 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 (formerly known as linesmen), 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.
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 Laws of the Game (LOTG) are the codified rules that help define association football. They are the only rules of association football subscribed to by FIFA. 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.
In association football, an assistant referee 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.
Referees' remuneration for their services varies between leagues. Many are wholly amateur, some may be paid a small fee or reimbursed for expenses, and, in some countries, a limited number of referees – mainly those who officiate in their country's top league – are employed full-time by their national associations and receive a retainer at the start of every season plus match fees.
A retainer agreement is a work-for-hire contract. It falls between a one-off contract and permanent employment, which may be full-time or part-time. Its distinguishing feature is that the client or customer pays in advance for professional work to be specified later. The purpose of a retainer fee is to ensure payment for future services or work to be rendered.
Referees are licensed and trained by the same national organisations that are members of FIFA. Each national organisation recommends its top officials to FIFA to have the additional honour of being included on the FIFA International Referees List. International games between national teams require FIFA officials. Otherwise, the local national organisation determines the manner of training, ranking and advancement of officials from the youngest youth games through professional matches.
The FIFA International Referees List is an annual publication of the global list of FIFA international referees in the football-variants controlled by the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) – association football, futsal and beach soccer. Members of the list are qualified to officiate at international level and are entitled to wear a FIFA badge on their uniform for the year in which they listed.
The referee's powers and duties are described by Law 5 of the Laws of the Game.These include:
In association football, kit is the standard equipment and attire worn by players. The sport's Laws of the Game specify the minimum kit which a player must use, and also prohibit the use of anything that is dangerous to either the player or another participant. Individual competitions may stipulate further restrictions, such as regulating the size of logos displayed on shirts and stating that, in the event of a match between teams with identical or similar colours, the away team must change to different coloured attire.
As per Law 9 of the game (Ball in and out of play), if during the game the ball hits the referee (or an assistant) there is no stoppage in play.However the officials would be expected to position themselves such that this would be unlikely to occur.
Modern day referees and their assistants wear a uniform consisting of a jersey, badge, shorts and socks: until the 1950s it was more common for a referee to wear a blazer than a jersey. Traditionally that uniform was almost always all black, unless one of the teams was wearing a very dark jersey in which case the referee would wear another colour of jersey (usually red) to distinguish themself from both teams. At the 1994 World Cup finals, new jerseys were introduced that gave officials a choice of burgundy, yellow or white, and at the same time the creation of the Premier League in England saw referees wear green jerseys: both changes were motivated by television considerations. Since then, most referees have worn either yellow or black, but the colours and styles adopted by individual associations vary greatly. For international contests under the supervision of FIFA, Adidas uniforms are worn because Adidas is the current sponsor. FIFA allows referees to wear five colours: black, red, yellow, green and blue. Along with the jersey, referees are required to wear black shorts, black socks (with white stripes in some cases), and black shoes. The badge, which displays the referee's license level and year of validity, is often affixed to the left chest pocket.
All referees carry a whistle, a watch, penalty cards, a data wallet with pen and paper, and a coin for determining which team has the choice of ends or kick-off. Most are encouraged to have more than one of each on them in case they drop a whistle or a pen runs out and so on. Often, referees utilise two watches so that they can use one to calculate time lost for stoppages for the purposes of added time. At the highest levels, referees wear a full duplex radio with customised headset to communicate between with their assistants, and assistant referees use electronic flags, which send a signal to the referee when a button is pushed.In matches with goal-line technology, the referee will have on their person a device to receive the system's alerts.
Referees use a whistle to help in match control. The whistle is sometimes needed to stop, start or restart play but should not be used for all stoppages, starts or restarts. FIFA's Laws of the Game document gives guidance as to when the whistle should and should not be used.Overuse of the whistle is discouraged since, as stated in the Laws, "A whistle which is used too frequently unnecessarily will have less impact when it is needed." The whistle is an important tool for the referee along with verbal, body and eye communication.
Before the introduction of the whistle, referees indicated their decisions by waving a white handkerchief. The whistles that were first adopted by referees were made by Joseph Hudson at Mills Munitions in Birmingham, England. The Acme Whistle Company (based at Mills Munitions Factory) first began to mass-produce pea whistles in the 1870s for the Metropolitan Police Force. It is frequently stated the referee's whistle was first used in a game between Nottingham Forest and Sheffield Norfolk in 1878; however the last such fixture known to have taken place between the two clubs was in 1874. The Nottingham Forest account book of 1872 apparently recorded the purchase of an "umpire's whistle" and in 1928 an article by R M Ruck about his playing days in the early 1870s referred to the use of a whistle by umpires to indicate an infringement.
The whistle was not mentioned in the Laws of the Game until 1936 when an IFAB Decision was added as footnote (b) to Law 2, stating "A Referee's control over the players for misconduct or ungentlemanly behaviour commences from the time he enters the field of play, but his jurisdiction in connection with the Laws of the Game commences from the time he blows his whistle for the game to start."
In 2007, when IFAB greatly expanded the Laws of the Game Additional Instructions section, a full page of advice on how and when the whistle should be used as a communication and control mechanism by the referee became available.
Referees in football are first described by Richard Mulcaster in 1581.In this description of "foteball" he advocates the use of a "judge over the parties". In the modern era, referees are first advocated in English public school football games, notably Eton football in 1845. A match report from Rochdale in 1842 shows their use in a football game between the Bodyguards Club and the Fearnought Club.
In the early years of the codified sport it was assumed that disputes could be adequately settled by discussion between gentlemen players who would never deliberately commit a foul. However, as play became more competitive, the need for officials grew. Initially there existed two umpires, one per team, who could be appealed to with the referee (the game's timekeeper) being "referred" to if the umpires couldn't agree.
The promotion of referees to the dominant position they occupy today, and the reformation of umpires into the linesmen role, occurred as part of a major restructuring of the laws in 1891.
The predominant system of positioning and division of responsibility used by football match officials throughout the world is known as the Diagonal system of control (DSC).
The referee has final decision-making authority on all matters. The referee is assisted by two assistant referees who advise the referee. An assistant referee's judgement is only enforced if the referee accepts that judgement, and the referee has the authority to unilaterally overrule an assistant referee. The referee is the only official empowered with starting and stopping play, and meting out disciplinary actions such as cautions or send-offs.
The two assistant referees are instructed by the referee to each patrol half of a single touchline on opposite sides of the field. For example, on a field running north-south, one assistant referee (AR) would run on the eastern touchline from the north goal line to the halfway line, while the other assistant referee would run on the western touchline from the south goal line to the halfway line. In general, the assistant referees' duties would be to indicate (using their flags): when an offside offence has occurred in their half, when a ball has left the pitch, and if a foul has been executed out of the view of the referee (typically in their quadrant of the field). Generally, the ARs will position themselves in line with either the second to last opponent or the ball – whichever is closer to the goal line – to better judge offside infractions. However, the assistant referee will have specific positioning with respect to corner kicks, penalty kick, and throw-ins.
The referee patrols the length of the field to cover the ground not covered by their two assistants, generally running in a diagonal pattern from the southeast quadrant of the field towards the northwest quadrant; hence the term "diagonal system of control". Note that this pattern is not a specific route but a general guideline that should be modified to the style of play, nature of the game, the location of play at a given time, etc. In some cases the referee may even exit the field if it aids in their decision-making ability. The main idea is that the referee and assistants using the DSC should be able to position themselves quickly and easily to observe the important aspects of play (offside, ball in or out of play, goal-scoring opportunities, challenges for the ball) from multiple angles with multiple sets of eyes.
Note that the description above refers to a left diagonal system of control, known as "running a left" or "standard diagonal". If, before the match, the centre referee on this field decides to run from southwest to northeast, then the assistants must position themselves accordingly and the result will be a right diagonal system of control, otherwise referred to as "running a right" or "reverse diagonal".
In many cases in England, referees now use more of a 'curve' based on a line running from the edge of the 18 yard box, and when near the centre circle they then curve to a line level with the other 18 yard box line. This is similar to the diagonal system, but with the speed of modern football it is easier to keep up with play. This also helps the referee avoid being in a common "passing lane" through the centre circle itself.
In international matches the left-wing diagonal shown above has been universal since the 1960s. It is now predominant across the world. England until recently was an exception to this convention. Until 1974 referees in the Football League were required to run both diagonals during a match, most opting to run from right wing to right wing in the first half before switching to the left-wing diagonal for the second half. The chief reason for this alternation was to avoid linesmen wearing down the same part of the touchline during matches – this was important given the generally lower quality of pitches at the time. However switching diagonal was also justified in terms of allowing officials to patrol different areas of the field during games. From the 1974–75 season English referees were allowed to run the same diagonal throughout the same match. Most initially opted for the right-wing diagonal although over the years the left-wing diagonal became increasingly popular and the preferred choice of most referees by the early 2000s. From 2007–08 the left-wing diagonal has been mandatory in English professional football although some referees at lower levels still use the opposite approach.
Its implementation as a standard practice for referees is attributed to Sir Stanley Rous, former referee and President of FIFA from 1961 to 1974.
While the Laws of the Game and FIFA mandate for a single referee with assistants as described above, a less common system, the dual system, has two referees with no assistants.The system is used some matches played under the rules of the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) in the United States, and in other youth or amateur matches. Both referees have equal authority, and the decision of one referee is binding on the other. Each referee is primarily responsible for a specific area of the field similar to those of the assistant referees in the diagonal system, except that the referees are allowed and encouraged to move away from the touch line into the field, particularly as play approaches the goal lines. Like the assistant referees in the diagonal system, each referee is responsible for patrolling one touch line and one goal line and determining possession for the restart if the ball goes out of play on either of those two boundaries.
Positioning in the dual system is similar to that used by officials in basketball: each referee is either termed the "lead" or the "trail", depending on the direction of the attack. If the attack is against the goal to the referee's right (when facing the field from their assigned touch line), then that referee is the lead, and the other is the trail. The lead is positioned ahead of the play, even with the second-to-last defender to the extent possible, while the trail is positioned behind the play. Both are responsible for calling fouls and misconduct and determining the restart when the ball goes out of play on one of their assigned boundary lines. Since the lead is in a better position to determine offside, the lead is responsible for calling offside, while the trail provides an extra monitor for fouls and misconduct while the lead's attention is focused on offside. When the attack changes direction, the trail becomes the lead and vice versa.
Although use of the two referee system is mainly in amateur football, FIFA has experimented with it, and UEFA has lobbied FIFA to implement it at the highest levels of the game.
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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.
Futsal is a variant of association football played on a hard court, smaller than a football pitch, and mainly indoors. It can be considered a version of five-a-side football.
In rugby football, the penalty is the main disciplinary sanction available to the referee to penalise players who commit deliberate infringements. The team who did not commit the infringement are given possession of the ball and may either kick it towards touch, attempt a place kick at goal, or tap the ball with their foot and run it. It is also sometimes used as shorthand for penalty goal.
A touch judge is an official who monitors the touch-line in a game of rugby union or rugby league and raises a flag if the ball goes into touch. Touch judges also stand behind the posts to confirm that a goal has been scored following a penalty kick or conversion of a try. There are two touch judges, one for each touch-line and each holding a different coloured flag.
An umpire in field hockey is a person with the authority to make decisions on a hockey pitch in accordance with the rules of the game. Each match is controlled by two such umpires. In theory they are responsible for decisions taken on their respective half of the field, but practically they 'control' on either diagonal half of the field. In many higher-level events, a reserve umpire is appointed in addition to the two field umpires to act as a back-up in the event of injury or other issue preventing a field umpire from commencing or continuing a match. In World-Level competitions, a video umpire is also appointed in addition to the field and reserve umpires.
Harrow football is a code of football played between two teams of eleven players, each attempting to win by scoring more bases (goals) than their opponent. Harrow Football is played predominantly with the feet, but players may use any part of their body including, in certain circumstances, their hands and arms to propel the ball. The leather ball is shaped like a giant pork pie, about 18 inches in diameter and 12 inches (300 mm) deep. It tends to soak up mud and water and become extremely heavy.
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.
A football pitch is the playing surface for the game of association football. Its dimensions and markings are defined by Law 1 of the Laws of the Game, "The Field of Play". The surface can either be natural or artificial. Artificial surfaces must be green in colour. The pitch is typically made of turf (grass) or artificial turf, although amateur and recreational teams often play on dirt fields.
A throw-in is a method of restarting play in a game of football when the ball has exited the side of the field of play.
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.
The experimental law variations (ELVs) were a proposed set of amendments to the laws of rugby union. They were proposed by the sport's governing body, the International Rugby Board (IRB), and trialled games at Stellenbosch University in 2006. In 2008 thirteen of the 23 variations trialled were played globally including; greater responsibility for assistant referees, corner posts no longer considered to touch in-goal, no gain in ground if the ball is moved into the 22 by a player from the same team as the kicker, quick throw ins can travel backwards, no restrictions to players in the lineout, restrictions on where receivers and opposition hookers can stand in a lineout, pregripping and lifting allowed, mauls can be pulled down and players can enter with their head and shoulders lower than their hips, offside line is five metres away from the scrum for the backs and scrum half must be positioned close to the scrum, all offences apart from foul play and offsides are a free kick, and unplayable rucks and mauls are restarted with a free kick. In 2009 the IRB approved ten of the laws, rejecting the laws relating to mauls, numbers in a lineout and the increase in sanctions punishable by free kicks.
Rugby union is a team sport played between two teams of fifteen players. It is known for its rich terminology.
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 the 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.
A penalty in rugby union is the main disciplinary sanction available to the referee to penalise a team who commit deliberate infringements. The team who did not commit the infringement are given possession of the ball and they may either kick it towards touch, attempt a place kick at goal, or tap the ball with their foot and run. It is also sometimes used as shorthand for penalty goal.
Association football was first codified in 1863 in England, although games that involved the kicking of a ball were evident considerably earlier. A large number of football-related terms have since emerged to describe various aspects of the sport and its culture.
Offside is a rule in bandy which states that if a player is in an offside position when the ball is touched or played by a teammate, the player may not become actively involved in the play. A player is in an offside position when closer to the opponent's goal-line than both the ball and the second-to-last defender, and also in the opponent's half of the bandy field. "Offside position" is a matter of fact, whereas committing an "offside offence" occurs when a player is "actively participating" and is subject to the interpretation of the referee. Goals scored after committing an offside offence are nullified if caught by the referee.
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.
wireless communication ... a concept used by international soccer referees for several years