In the past couple of months I’ve noticed a trend among some of the ARs I’ve worked with. I was taught that when a goal is scored into the goal on my side of the pitch, as an AR I should sprint briefly along the touchline toward the center circle. This is also how I’ve always seen it done at the professional level. Several of the ARs I’ve worked with recently have, instead, walked or stood still and motioned downward with both hands along the touchline. It’s the motion you’d make if you were insisting that someone go ahead in front of you. Is this an alternate form of this signal or just laziness? I’ll admit it’s been very hot in SoCal these last few months so I understand the desire to conserve energy, and I’m one who usually abhors officiousness for its own sake, but it seems a tad unprofessional. Am I being the over-officious official I’ve always detested on this one or can I, in good conscience, correct ARs working with me who do this?
USSF answer (July 21, 2010):
We are unaware of any changes to the procedure outlined in the USSF publication “Guide to Procedures for Referees, Assistant Referees and Fourth Officials”:
Lead Assistant Referee
• If the ball briefly but fully enters the goal and is continuing to be played, raises the flag vertically to get the referee’s attention, and then after the referee stops play, puts flag straight down and follows the remaining ;procedures for a goal
• If the ball clearly enters the goal without returning to the field, establishes eye contact with the referee and follows the remaining procedures for a goal
• Runs a short distance up the touch line toward the halfway line to affirm that a goal has been scored
• Keeps moving to avoid confrontation if approached
• Observes the resulting player b behavior and the actions in ad around the penalty area
•Takes up the position for a kick-off
• Keeps players under observation at all times
• Records the goal after the trail assistant referee has recorded it.