The little flag's job in the field is simple: help the judge. The referee has the help of the little flag to mark, for example, laterals and offsides. Understanding the role of the little flag is as important as understanding that of the judge. Here, then, is an intensive course for little flags.
Step 1. Point the flag up and stop the game
This is the most basic sign of the little flag. By pointing the flag up, he indicates to the referee that the match needs to be stopped for some reason. Normally, when the little flag sees something, he raises the flag and, after the referee blows his whistle, he says what happened. If the judge doesn't see the flag, the other little flag makes the same signal to help get his attention.
Step 2. Marking balls out of bounds and restarts
Two of the linesman's most important functions are to indicate when the ball leaves the field line and how play should continue. After the judge whistles, the little flag will indicate the procedure:
- If the lineman raises the flag at a 45-degree angle and points it horizontally towards the touchline, he is indicating a touchdown. The team that attacks in the pointed direction takes the side.
- If the lineman stands near the end of the touchline and points towards the goal, he is signaling a goal kick.
- If the assistant stands near the goal line and points the flag down at a 45-degree angle towards the corner flag, he is signaling a corner.
Step 3. Mark impediments
Offsides are initially marked by the flag pointing upwards, indicating to the referee that the game must be stopped. When the referee whistles the offside, the lineman raises the flag in front of him in one of three positions to indicate where on the field it took place and where the ball must be placed for the free kick to be taken. However, if the referee waves, it means that there was no advantage in the game and he must continue. The little flag then lowers the flag.
- If he holds the flag up at a 45 degree angle, he is signaling an offside on the far side of the field (far from him).
- If you raise the flag straight horizontally, it is signaling an offside in the middle of the field.
- If he holds the flag down at a 45 degree angle, he is marking an offside in the part of the field closest to him.
Step 4. Take care of replacements
If the lineman holds the flag above his head with both hands, he is indicating to the referee that a substitution is being made and the game should not start until it is over.
Step 5. Flag goals
When the lineman thinks a goal has been scored, he lowers the flag, points to the center with his hand (optional) and runs to the center line. If he wants to contest the goal, however, he raises the flag and remains stationary.
Step 6. Flag a penalty
This varies from region to region. Normally, if a foul is called by the referee inside the penalty area, the lineman runs towards the corner flag. If the little flag remains stationary, he will be indicating that the foul was outside the penalty area. The judge can schedule the appropriate restart. Other signals related to the lineman penalty include holding the flag horizontally at chest height or running to a corner flag and placing the flag on the back.
Step 7. Flag multiple occurrences
When the lineman keeps the flag pointed up after the whistle, he is indicating that he needs to talk to the referee. The lineman can make this signal if, for example, a player disrespects him or there is outside interference on the field. In particular, if he wants to indicate that a player deserves a yellow or red card, he will place his hand over the insignia on his chest.
- A good lineman is always positioned on the line between second and last defenders or on the line of the ball. He should choose the placement that is closest to the goal line to make it easier to mark offsides.
- To decide whether there was a foul or not, consider whether the play was intentional, accidental, out of time, whether the player is faking it, or whether he went down alone.
- A quick explanation of the flag signs:
- A goal kick is scored when the ball crosses the end line and was last touched by a player of the attacking team. A goal kick can be taken by any defensive player (including the goalkeeper, of course) and the ball is considered to be in play when it leaves the penalty area.
- A corner is taken when the ball goes over the end line and was last touched by a player of the defending team. A corner is taken from anywhere in the corner arc by any player of the attacking team and the ball is considered in play when it is kicked and goes into motion.
- A touch is assigned to the team opposite the one that touched the ball before it left the touch lines. The throw-in must be taken in a fluid movement above the players' heads. The ball is considered to be in play when it leaves the kicker's hands and enters the field.
- The referee's marking always has priority over that of the little flags.
- One of the main responsibilities of the lineman is to mark impediments. In order for this foul to be called, the ball must be played from one player to another player who is in an offside position and participating in the rally.
- A player is in an offside position when he stands:
- in the opposite half
- closer to the goal line than the ball
- closer to the goal line than the last defender (not including the goalkeeper)
- A player participates in the play when he:
- touch, hit or try to hit the ball
- harms an opposing player (such as stopping the goalkeeper)
- gain advantage of being in an offside position
- There are no impediments in goal kicks, corner kicks or throws.
- A player is in an offside position when he stands: