History Biography Geography Science Games


Soccer Rules:

Sports >> Soccer >> Soccer Rules

Referees are part of the game of soccer in order to make the game as fair as possible. There may be times when we don't agree with the referees, but the reality is that referees make the game more enjoyable for everyone.

The referee's decision is always final including the final score.

In professional soccer there are usually one referee and two assistant referees. In some games there may be a fourth or even fifth referee calling the game.

Head Referee

The head referee is responsible to enforce the laws and rules of the game. This includes keeping track of the time, calling penalties, stopping play for an injury, checking that the ball meets the proper requirements, and even providing a match report after the game.

Assistant Referee

The assistant referees are generally called linesmen. Each assistant covers one of the touch lines. They make calls regarding whose ball it is when the ball goes out of bounds as well as offside. The assistant referee also provides advice to the head referee.

The assistant referee often uses a flag to signal calls such as offside and possession of the ball.

Referee signals

Direct Free Kick referee signal

Direct Free Kick - Pointing one hand and arm indicating the direction.

Indirect Free Kick referee signal

Indirect Free Kick - The referee holds one hand straight in the air until the ball is played.

Goal kick referee signal

Goal Kick - The referee points in the direction of the goal.

Play on or advantage hand signal

Play on (Advantage) - Holds both arms out in front with palms up.

Red or yellow card signal

Caution or Expulsion - Holds the card high in one hand so all can see. The yellow card for a caution and red card for an expulsion.

Corner kick signal by referee

Corner Kick - Points with one hand and arm toward the corner.

Penalty kick signal

Penalty Kick - Points directly at the penalty mark.

Assistant Referee Signals (using the flag)

Offside signal by assistant referee

Offside - The linesman will point the flag when the offside occurs. The angle of the flag is used to indicate where the offside occurred. Substitution signal by referee

Substitution - Holds the flag in both hands above the head.

Throw in signal by referee

Throw In - Points the flag in the direction of the throw in.

The Whistle

The whistle is generally used to signal the starting or stopping of play.

* Images from the NFHS

More Soccer Links:

Soccer Rules
Soccer Field
Substitution Rules
Length of the Game
Goalkeeper Rules
Offside Rule
Fouls and Penalties
Referee Signals
Restart Rules

Soccer Gameplay
Controlling the Ball
Passing the Ball
Playing Defense

Strategy and Drills
Soccer Strategy
Team Formations
Player Positions
Set Plays or Pieces
Individual Drills
Team Games and Drills

Mia Hamm
David Beckham

Soccer Glossary
Professional Leagues

Back to Soccer

Back to Sports

Ducksters Footer Gif with Ducks

About Ducksters Privacy Policy 


This site is a product of TSI (Technological Solutions, Inc.), Copyright 2024, All Rights Reserved. By using this site you agree to the Terms of Use.