Welcome to the “new” Ask A Soccer Referee. After a brief suspension, the website has returned with a new look (thanks to Chris, the talented volunteer webmaster) and a new manager of the questions and answers to which the site will remain dedicated.

I would like to thank Jim Allen, the prior manager of the site and a friend of long standing, for his invaluable services to the soccer officiating community over many years, not least of which were his efforts in creating and maintaining this service.  I was honored to assist Jim in the early years regarding this site but also with other projects we mutually pursued.

I am even more honored by his confidence in inviting me to continue the important work which he launched here.  I am committed to the same level of professional, reliable, and useful advice that Jim was justly recognized for being able to provide.

Here are the basic premises under which this site will operate:

  • Readers may agree or disagree with specific answers found here in the future but there is no interest in debating a particular point of view, and the site will not engage in verbal fistfights with anyone.  If information provided turns out to be incorrect in any material way, this will be admitted and amended information will be published where needed.
  • Readers should keep their questions focused on the laws of soccer, including mechanics and procedures, according to the International Football Association Board (IFAB), as further explained by US Soccer.  This site continues to emphasize that nothing offered here after 2012 is to be considered “official” or otherwise approved by USSF.  Questions regarding any other rule sets (NFHS, NCAA, or any other hybrids) or any interpretations or practices engaged in by countries other than the United States will be disregarded.
  • The management of this site will not respond to any questions or comments regarding specific decisions made by specific officials in specific games.  Our objective is to increase and expand general knowledge and an appreciation of the laws, traditions, mechanics, and procedures of soccer, not to critique or pass judgment on decisions.  This applies as well to questions about alleged assessor feedback or instructor statements.  If you have doubts or concerns, ask someone else, ask the assessor or instructor in question, or structure your question to this site with no reference to persons, state associations or rules interpreters.

Depending on various factors (including the volume of mail), the site will try to respond to every temperate, cogent, understandable, and answerable question.  We may request clarification.  We may respond privately.  We may publish the question and answer.  Any question sent to the site will be assumed to be from a real person who really wants to extend their knowledge and does not object to having their question published.  If you require anonymity, state this clearly.   Any question answered publicly is subject to editing for brevity and/or clarity.

About The Site Manager and Chief Answerer (Dan C. Heldman)

Started in soccer in 1981.  Became a referee in 1986, an instructor in 1986, and an assessor in 1991. Currently, a State Referee Emeritus, State Assessor, and a State Instructor (after formally serving as a National Referee Instructor, 1999 – 2014). Chaired USSF’s Instructional Program Advisory Panel and worked for USSF as a Referee Education Resources Advisor (2011 – 2014).  Contributing Editor for REFEREE magazine (1994 – 2015) while authoring more than two dozen articles for the publication. Became the Soccer Content Manager for the magazine in December 2017 while continuing to write articles for it. Appointed by USSF to teach referee and/or instructor clinics in 20 states, as well as in Germany (7 years) and Italy (6 years).