In USSF if a second AR is not present for the game how should we proceed with the game and should we collect all the money or only the money for the center and AR1?

Answer (September 6, 2014):
This answer is based on USSF historical documents and the Laws of the Game. The Federation, in its infinite wisdom, appears to have ceased publishing this information, possibly using the same reasoning used by the International Football Association Board, the folks who bring us the Laws of the Game:” Everyone knows that!”

Here is the appropriate extract from page 39 of the Referee Administrative Handbook (2010-11 edition):

Systems of Officiating Outdoor Soccer Games
The Laws of the Game recognize only one system for officiating soccer games, namely the diagonal system of control (DSC), consisting of three officials – one referee and two assistant referees. All competitions sanctioned by the U.S. Soccer Federation require the use of this officiating system. (Certain competitions will use a 4th Official.)In order to comply with the Laws of the Game which have been adopted by the National Council of U.S. Soccer, all soccer games sanctioned directly or indirectly by member organizations of the U.S. Soccer Federation must employ the diagonal system. As a matter of policy, the U.S. Soccer Referee Committee prefers the following alternatives in order of preference:
1.One Federation referee and two Federation referees1 as assistant referees (the standard ALL organizations should strive to meet).
2.One Federation referee, one Federation referee as an assistant referee and one club linesman*who is unrelated to either team and not registered as a referee. (Only if there are not enough Federation referees as stated in 1, above).
3.One Federation referee, and two club linesmen* who are unrelated to either team and not registered as referees, acting as club linesmen, (only if there are not enough Federation referees as stated in 1 or 2, above).
4.One Federation referee and two club linesmen* who are not registered Federation referees and who are affiliated with the participating teams, (only if there are not enough Federation referees as stated in 1, 2 or 3, above).
5.One Federation referee, only if there are not enough federation referees or if the club linesmen are unavailable as stated in 1, 2, 3, or 4 above and one referee is appropriate for the level of competition.

Member organizations and their affiliates should make every effort to assist in recruiting officials so that enough Federation referees will be available to permit use of the diagonal officiating system for ALL of their competitions.

1 In all cases, the Assistant Referee may be Grade 12 if the game level is appropriate for that assignment* Club linesmen (not registered as Federation Referees) are limited to calling in and out of bounds only

* If only two officials turn up at the field, one must be the referee (with the whistle), while the other becomes an assistant referee (outside the field with the flag). They split the field between them, but only one may make the final decisions and blow the whistle.

The upshot of all this is that you must try to find at least a club linesman to work one line, who must be provided by the home team. As to pay, you should collect only the pay for the two assigned officials. The home team MUST provide the club linesman.…


From: Warren Wright
I volunteer for asst referee duties in mini-soccer and am confused by an apparent anomaly in the rules. It relates to child welfare and possible mass confrontation issues.

If you enter a pitch without a referee’s permission you could be charged with misconduct – but if your help is needed, you are prevented from helping because of the fear of being charged with misconduct!

What is the correct answer for the following case study…?

“A tackle in a youth game results in a broken ankle. It was a fair tackle but an unfortunate accident. No foul is given. Play is stopped due to the injury.

The parent of the child whose leg is broken runs on the pitch and screams at the referee. The referee (aged 16) explains that the tackle was fair but that the boy fell awkwardly. The parent doesn’t accept this explanation and proceeds to shake the “tackler” by the shoulders and lets off a volley of expletives.

The referee goes to help the child but by now the adult is out of control and punches the referee to the floor”.

You are the assistant referee. Would you …..

a.) Instantly recognise a trigger issue. Follow procedure, intervene at the earliest possible moment to protect the child, prevent the referee from being punched and to help calm the situation down?

b.) Wait until after the child was shaken and the referee punched to satisfy yourself that help was needed?

c.) Do nothing. You are not allowed to enter the playing area unless instructed to do so by the referee. The fact that he/ she is a child and now incapable of sending or receiving a signal is irrelevant.

USSF answer (April 17, 2011):
The club linesman (CL), which is what you are in this situation, has absolutely no authority to do anything but indicate that the ball has passed out of play. However, any decent person acting as CL will recognize that only trouble can occur if any unauthorized person enters the field without the permission of the referee The CL would be within his rights to do whatever was necessary to protect the players or the referee from injury by an outside person who has invaded the pitch. We hesitate to give any specifics here, as local laws on such things vary.…