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Randall Howes

Imagine a properly marked field, grab the touchlines and push one several feet and pull the other one the same distance (along their lengths).

We have created a parallelogram but it will pass your test.

I do the same thing you do but I also do a few more. I stand about ten feet behind the corner flags and sight along the back of the goal posts. I should be able to see the other flag (if it is not straight up then I may need to move my head a wee bit).

I also stand with both feet barely touching the touch line opposite the 18. If I can't see all the way along the 18 while looking straight ahead then I know something is not right.

I think we need to check both along and across the pitch to get it right.

I always walk the perimeter of the fields and it doesn't take long. Your sightings and my additional sightings only require a slight pause. I also count steps from the 18 to the goal line and along the goal line to verify that the penalty areas and goal areas are the right size and that the goals and nets are set properly.

I know the ARs check the nets just before the kickoff but I like to catch problems so they can be taken care of without delaying the game.

Dustin Edwards

Math isn't fun, but it does prove a point. This blog is beginning to look like the writings of Chomsky.

For the Adriano play, being a few yards from him when the cross gets there does look nice, especially when we already know where to look. I've always been taught and have found that being somewhat away, at least 10 yards usually is best for you to see the entire scope of the action. Then if you need to you can take a few large steps forward while blowing the whistle, giving the impression you were right on top of it. Any thoughts on how close/far a referee should be from play for those situations, especially tricky game changing ones in the box?

Gary Voshol

Yeah, but ...

Your method of checking the field will work to determine the field is not rectangular only in some cases. If the field was trapezoidal, with the V endline longer than H's, and the goals were still centered, all those reference points would still align. That might also be the case if one touchline was longer than the other.


I have long used Bob's tool of using the lines at one end to check the lines at the other end, but I add a check from each corner flag, looking across the center mark at the other corner flag. This latter check will only work if the field is a 90-degree rectangle, not a parallelogram.

I also remember that the penalty mark is half-way between the goal area line and the penalty area line, and before the game I pace off 6 yards and 18 yards from the goal line. Then, whether there's actually a penalty spot or not, I don't have to look like a dork by pacing off 12 yards before the taking of a PK.

Jack Miller

I've done matches at a local venue where the touchlines are not of equal length, it's very easy to see. Just stand on the corner flag and if you don't see a right angle, start checking. This is a known condition at this field and since the city marks the fields, it hasn't been corrected yet (going on a couple years now)

[Then why are you still refereeing on it? RE]

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