Assistant Referee Flag Signals in Soccer

Understand the different flag signals of football linesmen.

Soccer referee flag signals are the standard form of communication with a referee.

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-inA flag is held out to one side, pointing in the direction of play of the team awarded the throw.



Flag signal for a corner kickReferee flag signal for corner kick




Flag signal for a goal kickReferee flag signal for goal kick


Flag signals for offsideThe flag is held above the head to signal for an offside offence.

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

Flag position that indicates 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 offside

Indicates center offside signal in soccerThe signal for center offside is made if the violation at the middle of the field:



Near offside

Near offside signal in soccer

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


Flag signals for substitutionA flag is held above the head with both hands to indicate a 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.

More about Soccer referee

Football Referee Hand Signals

Football Referee Hand Signals

look into this complete & illustrated guide to the hand signals of football referee....

Soccer Referee Equipment

Soccer Referee Equipment

Take a close look at the gears & accessories of professional football referees...

How to Become a Soccer Referee

How to Become a Soccer Referee

a simplified guide on how to become a soccer referee....

The Soccer Referee Responsibilities

The Soccer Referee Responsibilities

read what are the main responsibilities of football referees and how they enforce fair play and play...

GLT, soccer goal-line technology explained

GLT, soccer goal-line technology explained

How soccer GLT is used during official football matches, plus information & video on the first goal ...