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Steve Horton

I'm just curious what the rationale is to have AR and AAR on the same side - especially in this situation. It seems counter-intuitive to put them on the same side of the goal for this exact reason. The three can triangulate the ball/action better if AAR is opposite from AR in any situation.

[Response: The rationale escapes me too. There was some thought that having the AAR on the other side made the referee alter his diagonal to the center. See our previous blog on this subject last year. EB]

Sandip Vyas

The point about technology to assist reducing refereeing clangers is noteworthy. Most weekend league matches around the world will not have such resource available in the first instance and pragmatically could use eyes closer to the goal-line.

Several years ago, refereeing solo in O40~2 and Mens Amateur Div3/4 matches, standing on the goal line on CKs helped me make the right decisions, especially on ball going out of play, and in goal. Not surprisingly, I did not have any disagreements from the players on both teams, and they had wondered where I was. They adjusted, and took the ball on counter attack, but could not sustain it, and as you have observed, the counter attacks during a match are few. Assessors, and the D&G chaps have advised me 'never' to be near the goal area on CKs in a DSC system, as I am most likely to get behind in the counter attacks, although I had not fallen behind in those matches. So at this time, it is difficult to ascertain what the consequences will be in continuing to risk furrowing the assessors and D&G counsellor's brows by effectively going against the checks and balances they have put in place.

Are there any places where this practice is encouraged?

[Response: positioning is always supposed to be flexible. Yes, some assessors, but not all will not be happy with some positions. I note you are at Santa Cruz. There is at least one assessor in NCal who would not mark you down! EB]

Manuel Ortiz

As far as I am concerned, old school works. I am stll going into the penalty area when there are fouls against the defenders and I call them, and the complaints are rare. The instruction to stay outside the penalty area are not always effective because you are missing an important part of refereeing. PRESENCE. In my opinion, keeping the referee outside of the penalty area is just an excuse to avoid conflict. -MO


It should be noted that taking the position near the top of the area is only a recommended starting point of reference. Problems arise when Referees choose to maintain or rather "freeze and watch" play develop once it is kicked into play rather than moving as is often necessary. This is the matter that needs to be addressed more than equating that the blame is where one starts as opposed to where one is able to finish to have a view of this or similar incident requiring a deeper and/or wider angle.


To get all instances of "ball over the goal line" decisions correct, the most important refereeing decision, technology is needed. No two ways about it.

A worse case than even the one highlighted in this article occurred in the big match in Italy a few weeks ago between Milan and Juventus. The AR was on the goal line for a corner kick with an unobstructed view and still managed to cock up the decision, which was massively over the line.


Ed -- what about the referee's view into the goal mouth, to see the fouls that could occur there? When going solo on OTH games, I often change my positioning on set pieces as I learn what works and what doesn't in given situations. I used to go to the goal line on corner kicks and close DFKs, so that I could watch for offside and goals. What I tended to miss, being on the backside of the play and the players, were fouls on the other side of the body and even handling (potential denial).

[Response from Ed: You are absolutely correct to vary your positioning. All positioning in solo games or with ARs is a matter of compromise, as it is physically impossible to cover everything. You have to try to select the positioning that has the highest probability of seeing as much as possible.]

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