As a grade 8 referee, I referee both youth and adult matches. I have worked with referees who are doing their first game up to the 30+ year veteran. There always seems to be some discussion and disagreement about whether an AR’s flag should be “snapped” up or raised quietly. I could not find anything specifically in the Laws, Guide to Procedures, or Advice to Referees (maybe I missed it), but I believe that the flag should be raised quietly. The reason for this is that that if the AR snaps the flag up, now everyone turns their attention to the AR. We referees are supposed to be involved in a game as little as possible, but, to me, this clearly does not meet this guideline. Another way I think of it is that the AR’s flag is for the referee and not the players, coaches, spectators, substitutes, etc. The referee should be glancing over to the AR every time there is potential for offside. What are your thoughts?
USSF answer (October 16, 2009):
Although “snapping” the flag was once fashionable, there is no longer any reason to do so. You have outlined quite succinctly the principal reasons for not snapping the flag.