I’m a 1st season referee. When does the referee blow the whistle?

USSF answer (April 5, 2009):
Good question. The answer is contained in the Interpretations section of the Laws of the Game for 2008/2009. That’s in the back of the book, which you can download from this site or from the referee homepage at the Federation website, http://www.ussoccer.com .

Use of whistle
The whistle is needed to:
* start play (1st, 2nd half), after a goal
* stop play
– for a free kick or penalty kick
– if match is suspended or abandoned
– when a period of play has ended due to the expiration of time
* restart play at
– free kicks when the wall is ordered back the appropriate distance
– penalty kicks
* restart play after it has been stopped due to:
– the issue of a yellow or red card for misconduct
– injury
– substitution

The whistle is NOT needed
* to stop play for:
– a goal kick, corner kick or throw-in
– a goal
* to restart play from
– a free kick, goal kick, corner kick, throw-in

A whistle which is used too frequently unnecessarily will have less impact when it is needed. When a discretionary whistle is needed to start play, the referee should clearly announce to the players that the
restart may not occur until after that signal.

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