Ref4Me

Assistant Referee tips and advice

Jacktscallaghan

Active Member
Level 7 Referee
Hi everyone!

I haven’t been an assistant referee at a very high level before and so I understand the basics of being liner but I am unsure of the nuances.

I was wondering if anyone can give any tips and advice to improve on the line please?

Thanks so much!
 

es1

RefChat Addict
Level 4 Referee
concentration...that is the number one thing to consider when runing the line imo

keep your eyes on that 2nd rearmost defender at all times and make sure you're in a credible position to judge offside

as well as that, be aware that the ref should give you a briefing pre match on their expectations for you for certain situations you might encounter in the match. if i were you i'd mention your lack of experience as it'll make their briefing more relevent to you and your levelto the ref as this will enable them to adject their expectations from you.

for example imo the AR has 2 main duties as a minimum, advise the ref when the ball is out of play and when an offside offence has been committed

the more experienced you get i'd expect the AR to be able to signal for fouls and other misconduct including penalties, indicate potential disciplinary sanctions, manage the position of throw ins and free kicks and manage player dissent / benches and subs as and when needed - but i wouldnt expect you to be in a position to handle all of this right now and neither should your ref on the day
 

Jacktscallaghan

Active Member
Level 7 Referee
concentration...that is the number one thing to consider when runing the line imo

keep your eyes on that 2nd rearmost defender at all times and make sure you're in a credible position to judge offside

as well as that, be aware that the ref should give you a briefing pre match on their expectations for you for certain situations you might encounter in the match. if i were you i'd mention your lack of experience as it'll make their briefing more relevent to you and your levelto the ref as this will enable them to adject their expectations from you.

for example imo the AR has 2 main duties as a minimum, advise the ref when the ball is out of play and when an offside offence has been committed

the more experienced you get i'd expect the AR to be able to signal for fouls and other misconduct including penalties, indicate potential disciplinary sanctions, manage the position of throw ins and free kicks and manage player dissent / benches and subs as and when needed - but i wouldnt expect you to be in a position to handle all of this right now and neither should your ref on the day
That’s great! I’ll be sure to talk to the ref about that. I’m on the line tonight so i’ll remember what you said. I feel really comfortable in the middle now but I’ve just got minimal experience on the line so it’ll be good to keep learning. I suppose it’ll teach me what to ask of my liners as well. Thanks so much for your help 🙏
 

es1

RefChat Addict
Level 4 Referee
That’s great! I’ll be sure to talk to the ref about that. I’m on the line tonight so i’ll remember what you said. I feel really comfortable in the middle now but I’ve just got minimal experience on the line so it’ll be good to keep learning. I suppose it’ll teach me what to ask of my liners as well. Thanks so much for your help 🙏

honestly you learn so much on how to referee when you're on the line. watch what the ref does and why and take bits and pieces that you like from their game into yours.
 

Jacktscallaghan

Active Member
Level 7 Referee
honestly you learn so much on how to referee when you're on the line. watch what the ref does and why and take bits and pieces that you like from their game into yours.
I will do! I had a tough game as my first game back from lockdown last week and got some advice on what i could do to deal with that game better and I feel as though I’ve improved more in the last week (i’ve had 8 games in 7 days) than in the 2 years prior. I just read through the observation documents for 7-6 and 6-5, and i don’t feel i was doing very many things well on 7-6 or 6-5, and now i genuinely feel I’m doing a lot of them well. Your advice is so useful and it’ll help me to keep improving so thank you so much for helping me 🙏
 
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socal lurker

RefChat Addict
Go back to the magic book and read that boring process stuff in the back.

Practice the flag signals in front of a mirror. I know it sounds dorky, but a lot of us do things like stick the flag backwards instead of making a sharp signal (a finger along the post of the flag helps on that. As with being in the middle, looking like you know what you are doing helps.

Take the pre-game seriously so you understand what this referee really wants help on and how this referee wants to handle things.

Eye contact with R. I think this is one of the challenging things about learning to AR (as well as learning to work with ARs). Regular eye contact is a key to working effectively as a team.
 

JamesL

RefChat Addict
Level 4 Referee
Really hard to explain, but the best way to get a crisp, clean flag signal is to use your finger as directioner.
I hold my thumb on the buzzer button/where the buzzer button would normally be and then my index finger points along the flag pole. When I signal, I am essentially pointing at a 45degree angle and the index finger stops the flag from skewing.
Seems trivial, but it looks so much more proffessional.
Always keep flag in hand closest to ref unless signalling, this is normally the left hand unless running up towards halfway and if the ref is using outside rights (lb/RW). Outside lefts is opposite but there are only very very few old schoolers who still do it this way.
Crab up and down the line when play allows, try not to walk to much.
Change flag over down below when signalling for attackers.
Make eye contact with referee before signalling to agree the direction. A good ref will be leading you in. Don't be afraid to tell him discreetly he is wrong if you are 110%. The ref should give you some input on what to do here anyway so listen to the pre match.
Most importantly learn from the ref. Both good and bad things. If you see something you don't like you can not do that in your game and of you see or hear things you do like then you can see how to incorporate that into yours.
 
Last edited:

Jacktscallaghan

Active Member
Level 7 Referee
Really hard to explain, but the best way to get a crisp, clean flag signal is to use your finger as directioner.
I hold my thumb on the buzzer button/where the buzzer button would normally be and then my index finger points along the flag pole. When I signal, I am essentially pointing at a 45degree angle and the index finger stops the flag from ****ing.
Seems trivial, but it looks so much more proffessional.
Always keep flag in hand closest to ref unless signalling, this is normally the left hand unless running up towards halfway and if the ref is using outside rights (lb/RW). Outside lefts is opposite but there are only very very few old schoolers who still do it this way.
Crab up and down the line when play allows, try not to walk to much.
Change flag over down below when signalling for attackers.
Make eye contact with referee before signalling to agree the direction. A good ref will be leading you in. Don't be afraid to tell him discreetly he is wrong if you are 110%. The ref should give you some input on what to do here anyway so listen to the pre match.
Most importantly learn from the ref. Both good and bad things. If you see something you don't like you can not do that in your game and of you see or hear things you do like then you can see how to incorporate that into yours.
That’s wonderful! That’s a lot, James. I’ll do my best to put it into practice tonight 🙏
 

Jacktscallaghan

Active Member
Level 7 Referee
Go back to the magic book and read that boring process stuff in the back.

Practice the flag signals in front of a mirror. I know it sounds dorky, but a lot of us do things like stick the flag backwards instead of making a sharp signal (a finger along the post of the flag helps on that. As with being in the middle, looking like you know what you are doing helps.

Take the pre-game seriously so you understand what this referee really wants help on and how this referee wants to handle things.

Eye contact with R. I think this is one of the challenging things about learning to AR (as well as learning to work with ARs). Regular eye contact is a key to working effectively as a team.
I’ll have a look! Does the IFAB app have all up-to-date information as well do you know?
 

PinnerPaul

RefChat Addict
Level 7 Referee
It went pretty well! The ref was being observed and so the observer gave me and the other liner advice too and he said i did really well and there wasn’t much to pick me up on really! Thanks for asking 😄
Excellent - see, not as difficult as you thought!:p

Seriously, not surprisingly, its just like refereeing. 2 or 3 offsides you miss and a couple of fouls the benches want and it can be just as difficult as being out in the middle on another day.

Glad you enjoyed it.
 

WiisardNic

Active Member
Level 4 Referee
Glad it went well mate, everyone offered some good advice, and good to hear the observers thought you did ok as well.

I can understand the nerves at being AR at a very high level.. I'm getting them now for this weekend!
I've done games as AR before, but got appointed to do a fixture in my state's Premier League this weekend (which is a bit out of the blue to me, considering I only did Premier League U13s and U14s in the middle this past weekend).

Not much advice now considering you've already done the game, but being an AR at a higher level (Well, at any level really) is communication and teamwork with the Referee. After all, they are in charge, not us (but make sure we do the right calls!)
 
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