Situation: AR is at the mid-line, action is down at the goal to his left. Defenders and two attackers are milling around the mid-field awaiting some action. The AR witnesses a defender come up behind an attacker and rake his Achilles tendon with his cleats.
Clearly this is Violent Conduct and requires sanctioning with a send-off. But my question is how should the AR signal this to the Ref, and when? Should he stand there waving his flag (foul), whistle, or wait until the next break in play and dash out on the field? Can an AR stop play with a whistle blow?? Should he?
This seems to me to require immediate attention, although one might also say that stopping play immediately could impact potential goal scoring opportunities, and the offense could be resolved at next stoppage of play.
USSF answer (September 29, 2009):
According to the USSF publication “Guide to Procedures for Referees, Assistant Referees and Fourth Officials,” this is the procedure the trail AR must follow for fouls not seen by the referee but indicated by the trail assistant referee:
Trail Assistant Referee
• Determines that the infringement was not or could not be seen by the referee and that, per the pregame conference, the referee would likely have stopped play for the infringement if it had been seen
• Signals with the flag raised vertically in the hand appropriate for the restart direction and, after making eye contact with the referee, gives the flag a slight wave
• If the referee stops play, signals with the flag held 45 degrees upward in the direction of the restart if the foul was committed by any player outside of the penalty area or by an attacker inside the penalty area
• If the referee does not see the signal, continues to hold the flag straight upward in accordance with the pre- game conference
• Takes position to assist with offside on the free kick and monitors other player actions in accordance with the pre-game conference
Lead Assistant Referee
• Mirrors the trail assistant referee’s flag signal if this is not seen by the referee and, upon making eye contact with the referee, directs the referee’s attention to the lead assistant referee