April 7, 2008
This applies to all USSF games.
I recently heard that once a goal is scored the Referee is to blow his whistle and point to the center spot.
What is the difference between a defensive free kick which requires to blow the whistle and point the direction and the Goal scored and blowing the whistle and pointing toward the center spot when you are in the last third of the of each end?
Blowing the whistle and Raising the arm and pointing to the center spot when in the penalty area gives the impression to the fans, coaches and managers that a defensive free kick has been awarded not a goal.
USSF answer (April 7, 2008):
Correct practice for the referee and lead assistant referee is outlined in the USSF publication “Guide to Procedures for Referees, Assistant Referees and Fourth Officials.” The guidance you seek for the referee’s signal reads:
“Points up field and, only when satisfied that the teams are disengaged and further attention on the goal area is not needed, backpedals toward center circle.”
A whistle would be required only if it is needed to get the attention of players — e. g., the ball is still being played despite the fact that the AR has signaled a successful goal.
The signal of pointing toward the halfway line is traditional throughout the world. If “fans, coaches and managers” in your area are confused, it might be because they have not followed play closely enough.
The Laws of the Game do not require a whistle in this situation — see above. You can find guidance on when to whistle in the Additional Instructions and Guidelines for Referees and Assistant Referees in the back of the full version of the Laws of the Game 2007/2008:
Use of whistle
The whistle is needed to:
• start play (1st, 2nd half), after a goal
• stop play
– for a free kick or penalty kick
– if match is suspended or terminated
– when a period of play has ended due to the expiration of time
• restart play at
– free kicks when the wall is ordered back the appropriate distance
– penalty kicks
• restart play after it has been stopped due to
– the issue of a yellow or red card for misconduct
The whistle is NOT needed
• to stop play for:
– a goal kick, corner kick or throw-in
– a goal
• to restart play from
– a free kick, goal kick, corner kick, throw-in
A whistle which is used too frequently unnecessarily will have less impact when it is needed. When a discretionary whistle is needed to start play, the referee should clearly announce to the players that the restart may not occur until after that signal.