Assistant Referee Flag Signals in Soccer

Understand the different flag signals of football linesmen.

Soccer referee flag

There are two assistant football referees who help the head referee in officiating matches. Each assistant official patrols only half of the playing field and stays on the touchline along the left-hand side of each goal.

The linesmen communicate to the head official with the use of flag signals. Below are the basic flag signals that assistant referees use in football games:


Flag signal for a throw-inThrow-in flag signal



Flag signal for a corner kickFlag signal for coner




Flag signal for a goal kickFlag signal for goal kick


Flag signals for offsideOffside flag signal in soccer

When signaling for an offside, the first step that a linesman does is to go to level with the spot of the infraction. Then he raises his flag directly up in the air. The next step will depend whether the offside is far, at the center field, or near the assistant referee.

Below are the three different flag signals for an offside violation in football:

Far offside
Far offside signal in soccer
The signal for far offside is made if the violation happened far from the sideline where the assistant referee is standing:



Center offsideCenter offside signal in soccer

The signal for center offside is made if the violation at the middle of the field:


Near offsideNear offside signal in soccer

The signal for near offside is made if the violation happened near the assistant referee:


Flag signals for substitutionSubstitution flag signal in soccer

The assistant referee aids the main official in the changing of players. To make the flag signal for substitution, he:

In professional leagues, a fourth football official assists in the substitution of players by holding an electronic board. This board shows the number of the player coming out and the one substituting in.

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