I know that our governing bodies do not recognize a Dual System of Control (2-referee system) but have never read the reason why they maintain this position. Would you please explain their reasoning? I ask this question because it is my experience that this stance is burdensome to intramural/recreational soccer organizations. While it may be possible for travel leagues and higher level of competition to sport full rosters of referees, intramural/recreational leagues often struggle to find referees to officiate their games. I know that if my league, with its ten clubs, attempted to comply with this edict, we would not play any games. Also, why wouldn’t a Dual System be preferrable to a single CR with two club linesmen? As you know, club linesmen can only signal that the ball has gone out of touch. They can’t make any calls. With a properly implemented Dual System, the field is fully covered and the game fairly called. Again, I can understand travel leagues and up being required to use three referees but it seems that the rulemakers are shortsighted when it comes to intramural/recreational soccer.
USSF answer (November 4, 2008):
As a member of FIFA, the world governing body of soccer, the U. S. Soccer Federation must follow the requirements of FIFA, the International F. A. Board (the people who make the Laws of the Game), and the Laws themselves.
The Laws of the Game require the diagonal system of control: one referee, two assistant referees, and a fourth official in some competitions. Rules of other competitions may require other officials. Organizations and members affiliated with U. S. Soccer are expected to use the diagonal system of control for all competitive matches.
The dual system of control has been examined by FIFA and the IFAB and found wanting.
There are alternative system other than the referee and two official assistant referees. These are spelled out in the USSF Referee Administrative Handbook 2008/2009, p. 38:
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 referees [see footnote]1 as assistant referees (the standard ALL organizations should strive to meet).
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).
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).
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.