Recently I was a Field Marshall at a tournament, and I have been a ref for the 10 years now (although I have been coaching for the last 5 years and have only refed 2 games in that time) … anyway, there was a handball in the penalty area near that AR’s side of the field that the ref was out of position to call, but the AR on that side clearly saw, but did not call. At half time the asst. coach of the team that did not get the call ran over and admantly opposed his “no-call”. To which the AR replied that “as an AR I am not allowed to make that call”, now unless I missed something along the way, I thought that an AR was allowed to make that call??Secondly, during PK’s in another game at that same tournament, a shot was taken that bounced off the crossbar and presumeably in (it was ruled a goal), the CR made no call but looked to the AR who simply shook his head yes …. what should have been the proper signal from the AR?

USSF answer (April 9, 2007):
1. Assistant referees do not make “calls,” they indicate to the referee that something has happened. However, they only flag for events that they are CERTAIN that the referee has not seen. In this case, the AR may have felt that the so-called deliberate handling was either trifling or that it was not deliberate at all. As to the rest, it is not our job to second guess ARs or referees, but we can certainly do as good a job from our desks as an assistant coach who has no business approaching either the AR or the referee in any situation. The assistant coach’s behavior was irresponsible, which means he or she should have been expelled from the game.

2. Your question is not quite clear. By “during PK’s” do you mean kicks from the penalty mark or a single penalty kick called during the match. If it was during KFTPM, then the AR’s mechanic was certainly within the range of what a referee may request an AR to do to indicate a good goal. If this occurred during a single penalty kick during the match, then the AR should have made eye contact with the referee; once eye contact was made, then the AR should have sprinted to his or her kick-off position.

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