Assistant Referee (from Club)

Parents or Players who run the line are known as Club-Appointed Assistant Referees.

Learn how to run the line as a Club-Appointed AR.

A Club AR focuses mainly on ball-outs and offsides.


  • Ask the referee "Would you like me to stay with my own Attackers or Defenders".  
  • After toss, check other AR goes to the correct position. Then you go to yours.
  • Which lines you're doing ball-outs for.  Your "L".    


AR throw in
  • If the ball goes out over your touch-line, look at the referee (always agree with the ref), then signal.

  • Signal is stop running, face the ground, get the flag in the correct hand (change hands at the bottom), then put your arm up at 45deg in the direction the team receiving the throw is going. Hold for 3 secs.   

  • If the wrong team is lining up to take the throw, double check which way the ref is pointing and keep holding your signal (same as ref) until the players are aware of the decision.

  • If ball nearly goes out but doesn't:   Swipe across with lowered open hand. (Not in rules but helps)

  • For a ball high in the air, move onto the line to get the best view.

  • Club ARs shouldn't indicate foul throws.  Leave them to the referee.

Goal Kicks & Corners

  • Look at the ref.  Always agree with the ref.  

  • If the ball comes off an attacker and goes over the goal line, signal for goal kick
    Flag in right hand, arm straight out pointing across goalbox. Hold for 3 secs

  • If the ball comes off a defender and goes over the goal line, signal for corner.
    Flag in right hand, point 45 deg. down, towards the corner flag on your side. Hold for 3 secs

  • If teams are lining up for the wrong decision, double check which way the ref is pointing and hold your own signal to match theirs, until the players are aware of the decision.

  • If ball nearly goes out but doesn't: Swipe across with lowered open hand. (Not in rules but helps)

AR  Corner AR  Goalkick

Penalty Kicks

  • Moves to the goal line where the side of the penalty box meets it. 
  • If the goalkeeper moves off their line with both feet before the ball is kicked, and the penalty is saved, then put your flag straight up. The referee will come over and ask what happened. If you are sure the GK moved early with both feet then the penalty will be retaken.
  • Monitor whether the whole of the ball crossed the whole of the line.

Indicating Fouls

  • Club ARs shouldn't indicate fouls.  Leave them to the referee.

Holding the Flag

  • The flag must always be unfurled and visible to the referee. This usually means carrying the flag in the hand closest to the referee and pointing down.

  • When making a signal, the assistant referee (AR) stops, faces the field of play, makes eye contact with the referee and raises the flag.

  • Especially don’t wave the flag about swatting flies unless you want the referee's attention.

AR Flag


AR  Sub

  • As soon as a sub is requested by a coach (must be when the ball is not in play), hold your flag horizontal over your head with your arms straight to indicate to the ref that a sub has been requested.  

  • Hold it up until the the ref signals for the subs to come on. 

Offside Basics

  • Trigger for offside is set if the attacker is in an offside position when the ball is kicked
  • Offence of offside doesn't occur until the attacker gets the ball (or interferes with play, eg involved in a tackle).  
  • Location of the offence (and subsequent free kick) is where the attacker was when they got the ball (or interfere with play).  
  • Exceptions. A player can’t be offside
    • in their own half
    • directly from a throw-in
    • directly from a goal-kick
    • directly from a corner kick

Monitoring for Offside

  • ARs must stay in line with 2nd last defender,
    (GK counts as a defender.   Sometimes GK is out of position, then the offside trigger line is still 2nd last defender)
  • or the ball,  whichever is closer to the goal line.
    (If GK is lining up to kick it long, then it's ok to leave the ball and move to 2nd last defender).
  • You have to monitor attackers in the hot zone and at the same time, watch for who put it out for a throw.

Signaling for Offside

  • If offside is triggered, don't put the flag up.  Keep running to where the attacker might get the ball.
  • When you get there, only put the flag up if the attacker got the ball or was involved in play (Eg a tackle).
  • Stop at that location.  Hold the flag straight up and wait.
  • Keep the flag straight up until either
    • the ref blows the free-kick, or
    • the refs waves you down, or
    • More than 15 seconds have passed and the game has moved 4-5 plays ahead of the offence.
  • Once the ref blows the free-kick for offside, then lower your flag to point to where the offence occurred. 
  • Stay still like that until the ball has been placed for the free-kick. You are telling the ref and the players where to take the kick from.

Flyer for Assistant  Referee  Course