Game Day Roles
For the smooth running of game days, in addition to a Coach and Team Manager, all teams will require a Marshal and First Aider, and for most games U12 and up, a linesperson. Team Managers will roster families for these duties throughout the season. Information about these duties is found below.
- Needs to be at the ground no less than 15 minutes (ideally 30 minutes) before commencement of the match and locate the Team Manager
- Must wear a Marshal vest and remain at the game for its entirety
- Check that balls cannot get through goal nets, check that corner flags are safe, and ensure the pitch is clear from any objects that can cause danger to players and officials
- Escort the Referee(s) to the middle of the pitch at commencement & completion of the game
- Escort the Referee(s) at half time to the Referee room and escort them back onto the pitch
- Check that the bench side corners of pitch are roped off
- Make sure pitch gates are closed at both change room ends of the pitch
- Ensure that nobody, apart from officials (Coaches, Team Managers, First Aid Volunteer) and players are to be on the bench side of the pitch
- Remain on the club room side of the pitch (Community games) OR stands at mid pitch on the bench side of the ground for game play entirety (JBNPL)
- Retrieve any balls that go over the fence, feed balls onto the pitch when required
- Parent/crowd control for Ringwood City teams only
- Off-field marshals from both teams converse with each other if there is an issue with crowd control, you must not approach the offending person directly.
- If there are any issues with on-field team members or officials this needs to be brought to the attention of the Referee and handled accordingly
- You must remain calm and level headed at all times
- If there are any issues escalating you will need to find a Club committee official and inform them of the situation, they will attend to the situation for you
For further information, please see the FV Ground Marshal Handbook.
- Assists in providing first aid, i.e. bandaging a wound, icing a bruise, cleaning and dressing a wound, and calling an ambulance if necessary
- Takes responsibility for team first aid kit and top up supplies when needed
Clubs are required to supply one linesperson each (i.e. one linesperson is supplied by the home club, and one by the away club). Linespersons are required for all games U12 up to Seniors (Reserves). While in general Football Victoria (FV) appoints Assistant Referees (linespersons) for each game, when FV is not able to supply an Assistant Referee (i.e. for JBNPL and Senior games), each club must provide a linesperson, who:
- Assists the Referee, primarily through calling out of play and off-side (see below)
- Remains neutral at all times
Out of Play
A ball is out of play when it has wholly crossed the sideline or goalline, whether on the ground or in the air, or when play has been stopped by the Referee.
When a ball goes out of play over the sideline, the linesperson:
- Stops running
- Gets the flag into your right hand (no crossovers)
- Holds it up at 45° in the direction of the team to take the throw
- If the Referee is pointing the other way, then changes their direction to agree with the Referee
- Keeps indicating for a minimum of 3 seconds, longer the wrong team is lining up to take the throw
When a ball goes out of play over the goalline, the linesperson:
- Stops running
- Gets the flag into your right hand (no crossovers)
- For a goal kick, points it straight at the goal box.
- For a corner, points the flag downwards towards the corner nearest to you, regardless of which side the corner is to be taken from
- If the Referee is pointing the other way, then changes their indication to agree with the Referee
- Keeps indicating for a minimum of 3 seconds, longer if the teams are lining up against the decision.
For some useful images of out of play, go here.
Simplified, the offside rule is:
Where are they? A player is offside if they are nearer to the opponent’s goal than both the ball and the last opponent (excluding the goalkeeper) when their teammate plays the ball to them.In other words, a player can’t receive the ball from a teammate unless there is at least one defender between him and the goal (unless their teammate is playing the ball backwards).
What are they doing? A player is only offside if they are
- interfering with play (e.g. part of the attacking move)
- interfering with an opponent (e.g. preventing the opponent from defending against the attacking move)
- gaining any advantage by being in that position.
Exceptions. A player can’t be offside
- in their own half
- directly from a goal-kick
- directly from a throw-in
- directly from a corner kick
Note that standing in an offside position when the ball comes forward does not mean a player is offside.
Don’t flag for offside unless a player actually gets the ball or they tackle a defender.
Linespersons need to run to stay level with the last defender in order to see if anyone is offside. Unless signalling, always keep the flag pointing down and pitchside so the Referee can see it even when you are sprinting.
To indicate offside:
- Stop moving
- Stand still with the flag straight up
- Stay like that until a) the Referee awards a free-kick, b) the Referee waves you down, c) more than 15 seconds have passed and the game has moved 3-4 plays ahead of the offence.
- Once the Referee awards a free-kick for offside, then lower the flag to point to where the offence occurred.
- Stay still like that until the ball has been placed for the free-kick. The Linesperson is telling the Ref and the players where to take the kick from.
Try a Video Offside Test here.
To review linesperson signalling, go here.
Other Linesperson Duties
As soon as the Referee gives permission for a substitution to occur, hold the flag horizontally over the head with arms straight until the Referee signals for play to resume.
- Unseen Incidents
The Linesperson acts as a second pair of eyes for the Referee. When an incident occurs out of the Referee’s view, they signal that by holding the flag straight up.
- Better View
If the referee believes the linesperson had a better view of an incident, they will consult with the linesperson to determine the correct course of action.
- Penalty Kicks
The linesperson must stand on the goal line where the side of the penalty box meets it and
- decide whether the goalkeeper moved off the goal line before the penalty-taker kicked the ball.
- decide whether the ball crossed the goal line.
- Entering the Field of Play
Linespersons rarely enter the field of play, remaining on the sideline for most of the game. If needed, a linesperson can enter the field of play to assist the referee, upon the request of the Referee.
- Holding the Flag
When a linesperson is not using the flag, it needs to be kept down and on the pitch side of your body so the ref can see it at all times. DO NOT wave it about unless you want the Referee’s attention.