50% of all soccer injuries are due to contact with another player (Peterson 2000) and half of these were due to foul play/tackling.  Also, injuries occur during games more often than training. Despite all the proper preparation and training, injuries will still occur due to the physical nature of the sport. To minimise injury during game time, it is important to Play hard but play fair!  It is up to players to do so but it is the referee who sets the example and boundaries for behaviour of the players.

Dissent: An audible or visible disagreement with the referee's decision that reflects negatively on the official's fairness or competency...

Dissent is disruptive to the players and the game and destructive to game control, if not in the short term, then in its long-range effect on the Game.All referees need to be aware of their responsibility to, not only the game in which they are involved, but to the Game itself. All referees need to consider not only the effect on themslves when dissent occurs, but also the effect on their assistants and the officials who will referee these players in the future.




  • Stops the game with a whistle.
  • Moves to the spot of the foul if necessary to prevent possible retaliation or misconduct.
  • Makes eye contact with the assistant referee for assistance with determining if a defender inside the penalty area committed the infringement.
  • Indicates the direction of the free kick.
  • Ensures that the ball is properly placed.
  • Allows a quick free kick, except where this is prevented or interfered with by an opponent's failure to respect the required distance.
  • In cases where the restart is interfered with, clearly indicates that a separate signal is now required for the restart and then deals with the interference.
  • If the kick is indirect, gives the appropriate hand signal for the restart, and holds the hand signal until the ball has been touched or played by another player or goes out of play.
  • Signals for the restart.

The control of coach and spectator dissent is a key element in assuring that players, spectators, and referees alike can enjoy the sport of soccer..

It is expected that coaches, parents, and spectators will have a sportsman-like attitude toward the game and will show respect for the Referee. No matter how great the supposed inaccuracy of a Referee's decision, there is NO reason to berate the efforts of that referee. Verbal abuse from the sidelines by coaches, parents, or spectators, whether directed at the Referee or players, is NOT to be tolerated.A way of determining verbal abuse/dissent from the sidelines is if you, as a referee, are bothered by the statements being made, and if statements could degrade the respect for you as the referee on the field, then action toward the coach of the offending team is warranted.


Question: Two players have a break away behind the second-to-last defender with only the GK between them and the goal. The player with the ball makes a backward heel pass to the trailing player that takes the shot and scores. Is this an offside situation?

Answer: The player receiving the pass must be closer to the goal than the ball to be offside. No foul.

Question: A player takes a free kick to restart play. The opposing players are withdrawing, but they have not yet withdrawn the mandatory 10 distance. The ball goes directly to an opposing player only three metres from the spot of the kick. The opposing player, without moving to interfere with the original kick, intercepts the ball. The referee should?

Answer: Play on. No foul. The player re-starting the ball should wait for the defence to retreat the mandatory distance.

Question: A pass made to a player in an offside position, but is intercepted by the second-to-last defender, should the Assistant Referee signal offside.

Answer: The answer is yes and no. The Assistant Referee should give a pause to see what develops. If player B (A is offence and B is defence) misplays the ball and A gains possession, A is offside. If B clearly plays the ball and/or clears it out of the defensive area (some people think it has to be the defensive half of the field), then no signal is warranted. This (delay) can cause fans to scream and yell about a late call but it is good officiating. Remember, advantage is a big part of the game. Another way of looking at it is that A never was involved in the play so cannot be offside. If A tackles the ball and gains possession, he can be called offside as in above.

Question: Can a player get red carded after the game was over and is it a foul to yell out, "mine", when going for the ball?

Answer: The International F. A. Board and FIFA have made it clear that no one may be shown the card after the final whistle. However, the referee is still expected to provide full details on the incident in the match report.

No, it has never been a "foul" to call out "mine" when going for the ball, but it is misconduct and subject to a caution and yellow card for unsporting behaviour if, in the opinion of the referee, the player's action was intended to deceive an opponent unfairly. Just calling out "mine" is not misconduct.

Question: What are fouls and what results from each?

Answer: There are nine major fouls, which would results in a direct free kick outside the penalty area. It results in a penalty kick if committed inside own penalty area. Nine out of ten times this means you give up a goal. The nine major fouls are:

Handling the ball using handsPushing (shoulder to shoulder charge is not a foul)HittingTrippingHoldingKickingJumping at an opponentCharging violentlyCharging from behind

According to new changes in the laws, referee may punish tackles from behind with a red card as this does not give the player the opportunity to protect himself and cause serious injuries.

The final fouls, which are punished by indirect kicks, are:

Dangerous play (usually high kicking)ObstructionDelaying the gameCharging away from the ballUnsportsman like (usually mouthing off)Charging the goalie in the goal areaGoalie taking more than six seconds after catching the ball with his hands.

Question: The ball has gone out of play for a corner kick for team A. Who is allowed to substitute?

a. Only team A.

b. Both team A and team B.

c. Team A, and team B only if team A wishes to substitute.

d. Only team B.

e. Neither team A nor team B.

Answer: b. Both team A and team B.

Question: In the first half of play, a shot is taken on goal and the assistant referee signals the ball entered the goal. The referee disagrees and does not award the goal. At halftime, a spectator who was video taping the game shows that the ball did, in fact, cross the goal line. Can the goal still be awarded?

a. No, a decision that a goal was not scored cannot be changed after play has been restarted.

b. Yes, the goal does count and the game must be replayed from that point.

c. Yes, the goal does count, but the game continues starting with the second half.

d. No, the goal does not count, but the game must be replayed from that point.

Answer: a. No, a decision that a goal was not scored cannot be changed after play has been restarted.