Please clarify the new signal for the AR. As I understand it, the AR is to Hold the flag in both hands parallel with the ground if a foul is called by the referee and the referee is looking to the AR for guidance rather it occurred inside the penalty area or outside. If inside, the flag as mentioned above, if outside the flag down at the AR’s side.

If the AR calls the foul (inside the penalty area) the AR should raise the flag, give it a wave, then walk to the corner flag while making eye contact with the referee.

I was recently told that this was no longer the case, the AR would signal for the foul, then bring the flag down parallel to the ground as mentioned above.

USSF answer (July 9, 2009):
When the referee has signaled a direct free kick foul and makes obvious eye contact with the assistant referee for advice on whether the offense occurred inside the penalty area, the assistant referee’s signal to indicate that the offense was inside the penalty area is to display the flag across the lower body.  The same signal is also used when the AR has indicated a direct free kick foul committed by a defender inside the defender’s penalty area. In a change from last year, the AR should insert the new flag signal (display the flag across the lower body) after waggling the flag to indicate the foul and before beginning to move down toward the goal line to take the position for the recommended penalty kick.

In addition, the responsibilities of the lead assistant referee for the taking of a penalty kick (as well as for kicks from the penalty mark to break a tie) will now clearly include assisting the referee in determining if a goal has been scored and for indicating if the goalkeeper has moved illegally AND IT MADE A DIFFERENCE. The signal to indicate this is the same as the signal described in the previous paragraph. Referees must be sure to discuss these changes regarding penalty kick and kicks from the mark situations in their pregame and to be very clear about the circumstances in which the signal for goalkeeper movement should be given.

This information will be included in the 2009/2010 edition of the Guide to Procedures for Referees, Assistant Referees and Fourth Officials.

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