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-in
Flag signal for a corner kick
Flag signal for a goal kick
Flag signals for offside
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:
The signal for far offside is made if the violation happened far from the sideline where the assistant referee is standing:
The signal for center offside is made if the violation at the middle of the field:
The signal for near offside is made if the violation happened near the assistant referee:
Flag signals for substitution
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.
Assistant referee flag signals in football. A photos & pictures guide to the flag signals used in soccer, their meanings, and their simplified explanation. Learn how to read linsman flag signals in soccer through this simple guide.