I want to ask this question in the dual vein of resolving the “official” response, and to make sure that I teach it “officially” correct. It may be minutia, but also as an assessor I want to make sure I’m conveying not only good info, but officially correct info. This deals “how long you hold the indirect kick signal” and the “angle” of the free kick signal.Indirect Freekick Signal
In a recent Q&A there is a question on how long the indirect signal should be held and the response was: “If the ball is kicked away from either goal, you may drop your arm entirely, as there is no way in which the ball can enter the goal without another player either touching or playing it.” I remember reading a similar Q&A response to the same question that the answer was given to the effect, if in the opinion of the referee the kick from the indirect kick will not go directly into the goal, the referee may lower his arm. While in essence these seem like the same explanations that are slightly different. I like the latter, because it says it in a nut shell, and actually includes the former explanation. My question; is it OK to explain/teach the mechanic in this matter using these words? I find too many of us older refs still sticking to the old mechanic of holding until the ball is touched or goes out of play, and it looks awkward. I like the new mechanic.
Direct Freekick Signal
This may sound like minutia, but again falls into the category of what I should instruct/assess correctly. As an old ref (1986) I was taught and instructed to teach the “45 degree” criteria. However, I’ve seen many good/top referee use what I call “just above horizontal” signal, and I’ve adopted it. IMO, I think it’s a much more distinct signal from any perspective and clearly distinguishes itself from the familiar corner kick signal which I describe just slight lower than straight up. I still see the reference to “45 degree” and the hangup may be in what each of us defines as 45 degrees. But if one looks at the FIFA/USSF example in the law book, and “Procedures” (even in the NFHS book), the signal clearly is lower than 45 degrees, and just above horizontal. While this really doesn’t seem in conflict or maybe minutia, I think it signifcant enough to clarify. I too often see many experience referee signally 45 degrees or higher. To me it looks like a corner kick signal. From a parallel perspective it is high enough to look even like an indirect free kick signal. Hence I personall prefer, and would like to teach the “just above horizonal” vs the “45 degree” reference. Your advice?
USSF answer (May 14, 2007):
The Q&A you cite could not have come from USSF sources. This answer from 2003 applies to the referee’s signals for indirect and direct free kicks:
To indicate a direct free kick, the referee simply points an arm at approximately 45 degrees in the direction the kicking team is attacking. To indicate an indirect free kick, the referee indicates the direction and then raises his arm above his head. He maintains his arm in that position until the kick has been taken and the ball has touched another player or goes out of play.