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The Laws of Soccer 101: The Assistant Refs

Wouldn’t soccer be more enjoyable if this is how the assistant refs actually looked? It could revolutionize the game and completely do away with the need for a separate team of lady dancers. Moreover, the assistant refs have a pretty easy job, so even this lady (who is a blonde and thus presumably not too bright) could handle an assistant ref’s duties.

Here is all the responsibilities of the assistant ref, according to the 6th Law of Soccer: (1) judge when the ball leaves the field of play; (2) make offsides determinations; (3) help move players 10 yds back from free kick takers; and (4) assist the ref with difficult decisions regarding corners/goalkicks and misconduct (but only when the ref doesn’t witness it).

Sounds pretty easy, huh? Well, it can be a little more difficult than it sounds on paper. Although the 6th Law of Soccer is the shortest in the entire FIFA Rulebook, it does contain a few interesting nuggets of info. While we skipped the Pop Quiz for the last blog (you can’t question the refs, so we had no questions about them) let’s reinstate it for their mates:

A head referee can relieve an assistant referee of his duties and expel him from the pitch for which of the following offenses:

A. Undue Interference;

B. Improper Conduct;

C. Public Intoxication; or

D. All of the Above.

It’s (D), of course, but I must admit (C) is not actually in the Rules (and I think assistant refs in some leagues are required to be wasted prior to kickoff). My point is that the assistant refs are really nothing more than the head referee’s loyal minions. In fact, the Rules state the head referee can “appoint their duties” however he wishes.

I can think of a few duties I would like to appoint to the assistant ref above…

Oh, I’m sorry about that bit of naughtiness. I don’t want to get a card due to “dissent”, but when it comes to the lady assistant ref above, I would gladly get sent off for “persistent infringement”.