I encountered this situation a little a while ago and wish to have some clarification: A ball was played to a player in an offsides position, but the pass was too long, so it rolled to to keeper. The AR raised the flag, but I waved him down, since tha ball was back in the defense’s posession. As the keeper was picking it up, he drops the ball and the forward scores. Right after the goal is scored, the AR goes back to the same spot and raises his flag. I ran over and he tells me that that was the player that had been offsides. I call the goal back and restart the game with an indirect kick for the defensive team. Was this the right call, or should a goal had been scored?This play didnt affect the game much, since the offensive team was winning 5-1.


Answer (August 24, 2007):
Whether your decision was correct or not, let’s get something straight from the start: When you wave off the assistant referee’s flag, that means you have overruled the AR’s suggestion. It also means that he or she should get on with the game and not bring up this situation again until any discussion you may have after the game.

During the pregame conference, you as referee should tell the ARs what you expect in this and other situations. The ARs, in turn, should then ask any questions to clarity what you expect of them. Their job is to ASSIST, not to INSIST.

Now, all of that said, the referee would seem to have been too quick with the wave down. Technically, when he waved you (the AR) down he indicated his decision that there was no offside infringement. However, that raises the issue … could the referee change his mind? Might there be a better way for the AR to indicate the offside?

If the goalkeeper was judged not to have “possessed and controlled” the ball, a better mechanic for indicating the offside would have been for the AR (you) to stand still rather than run up field. This is not the standard procedure here, but it makes sense. It gives the AR a chance to advise the referee of the circumstances, despite having been waved down earlier, It is more unobtrusive than coming back up field and putting the flag up in the air, and it maximizes the referee’s flexibility to decide either way. As long as play was not restarted, the referee could then choose to disallow the goal.

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