File Date Title Description
2008 Padded Goals 3/2008 Memorandum Padded Goal Structures 2008 Padded goal posts not permitted in USSF affiliated games.
2007 Injuries 10/2007 2007 Memorandum Handling Injuries An incident at the first U.S. Soccer Development Academy Fall Showcase tournament led to extensive discussions regarding the correct referee actions to be taken when a goalkeeper and opponent are injured. The lack of a single clear answer among the many experienced observers gathered there is the reason for this position paper.
2007 Offside Myths 10/2007 Memorandum Offside Myths USSF In response to the suggestion that there is Òwidespread confusionÓ regarding Law 11 (Offside), the allegation that referees are being inconsistent in applying the requirements of this Law, and the increasing use of phrases like Òpassive offside,Ó we would like to offer the following brief explanation to assist in understanding the meaning and application of Law 11.
2007 Law Changes 10/2007 2007 Memorandum Law Changes The 121st Annual General Meeting of the International Football Association Board (IFAB) took place in Manchester, England on 03 March 2007. The amendments to the Laws of the Game made at the meeting and the various instructions and directives are listed below.
2006 Advice to Referees 8/8/2006 Advice to Referees on the Laws of the Game 2006 Edition. This book of Advice to Referees is specifically intended to give USSF referees, assistant referees, and fourth officials a reliable compilation of those international and national guidelines remaining in force, as modified or updated. It is not a replacement for the Laws of the Game, nor is it a “how to” book on refereeing. It is one of a number of sources of information.
2006 Memorandum 6/7/2006 2006 Memorandum of Law Changes The 120th Annual General Meeting of the International Football Association Board took place in in March 2005 . The amendments to the Laws of the Game made at the meeting and the various instructions and directives are listed below.
2006 Memorandum (PPT) 6/7/2006 2006 Memorandum of Law Changes A power point presentation for the 2006 Memorandum of Law Changes
AR Mechanics 6/6/2006 Updated Assistant Referee mechanics Based on developing trends in high level national and international matches, the following change in procedure should be given immediate consideration.
Advantage and OGSO 6/2/2006 Advantage and Obvious Goalscoring Opportunities Chivas USA at New England RevolutionUEFA ChampionÕs Cup, Arsenal versus Barcelona
2006 Throw-in 1/18/2006 Regarding Law 15 (Throw-In) Enforcing the Minimum Distance
2005 Q & A 7/10/2005 Q&A2005_E Questions & Answers to the Laws
2005 Laws Memorandum 6/13/2005 2005 Memorandum of Law Changes The 119th Annual General Meeting of the International Football Association Board took place in in March 2005 . The amendments to the Laws of the Game made at the meeting and the various instructions and directives are listed below.
PPT Memorandum 2005 6/13/2005 2005 Memorandum of Law Changes A power point presentation for the 2005 Memorandum of Law Changes
PKs and 2005 Law Changes Position Paper 6/13/2005 Penalty Kicks and the 2005-2006 Law Changes A position paper clarifying Law 14 and the implications of the latest change.
2005 Memorandum on Instructions for Referees 5/23/2005 Memorandum on Instructions for Referees and Resolutions Affecting Team Coaches and Players [in] Regional and National Cup Competitions and Tournaments 2005 Instructions for Referees and Resolutions Affecting Team Coaches and Players. This is the same as the one below as a Word document.
Resolutions 2005-1 (PPT) 5/23/2005 Memorandum on Instructions for Referees and Resolutions Affecting Team Coaches and Players [in] Regional and National Cup Competitions and Tournaments A Power Point presentation outlining the 2005 Instructions for Referees and Resolutions Affecting Team Coaches and Players has been prepared for use at upcoming tournaments. This is the same as the one above as a PowerPoint presentation.
2nd Cautions 10/12/2004 Sendoffs for Receiving a Second Caution Recent incidents in several professional matches suggest that referees are hesitating to caution a player who has already been cautioned in the match, as this would then require that the player be sent off and shown the red card.
2005 Cautions 7/25/2004 Cautions and Cautional Offenses Because players have a right to some reasonable degree of predictability regarding how the referee will evaluate player actions in terms of the seven cautionable offenses, The National Program for Referee Development has developed guidelines for each of these offenses. Referees should read the document carefully, as there are numerous cases mentioned in which only the referee’s common sense and discretion will dictate whether a caution should be given.
2004 FIFA Q & A 7/2004 FIFA Publication Questions & Answers to the Laws
2004 FIFA Laws of the Game 7/2004 FIFA Publication The latest up-to-date version as a pdf.
Removal of the Jersey 6/28/2004 FIFA directive Examples of when to caution when players use their jersey to celebrate after a goal.
2004 USSF Memorandum 6/28/2004 Law changes for the year. The 118th Annual General Meeting of the International Football Association Board took place in Belfast , Northern Ireland in March 2004 . The amendments to the Laws of the Game made at the meeting and the various instructions and directives are listed below.
2004 Resolutions (Tournaments) 4/15/2004 Memorandum on Instructions for Referees and Resolutions Affecting Team Coaches and Players [in] Regional and National Cup Competitions and Tournaments Decisions and instructions to referees appointed to Regional and National Cup Competitions and Tournaments.
2004 7+7 Memo (Pro) 3/18/2004 7 Cautionable + 7 Sending-Off Offenses – Professional Version Amplifies Law 12 with regard to misconduct. Includes MLS points.
2004 7+7 Memo 3/18/2004 7 Cautionable + 7 Sending-Off Offenses Amplifies Law 12 with regard to misconduct.
2003 Guide to Procedures 10/15/2003 Guide to Procedures for Referees, Assistant Referees and Fourth Officials 2003 Edition. The United States Soccer Federation adopts the procedures outlined in this pamphlet in order to standardize officiating techniques, signals, and mechanics at all levels of play. They have been recommended by a panel of senior referees and instructors and have been thoroughly tested at international, professional, amateur, and youth levels of competition.
2003 Advice to Referees 10/15/2003 Advice to Referees on the Laws of the Game 2003 Edition. This book of Advice to Referees is specifically intended to give USSF referees, assistant referees, and fourth officials a reliable compilation of those international and national guidelines remaining in force, as modified or updated. It is not a replacement for the Laws of the Game, nor is it a “how to” book on refereeing. It is one of a number of sources of information.
2003 Severe Weather 9/23/2003 Dealing with Severe Weather This position paper provides basic guidelines for dealing with lightning, windstorms, and other severe weather conditions.
2003 Non-Compulsory Equipuipment 9/3/2003 Players Wearing Non-Compulsory Equipment Modern protective equipment such as headgear, facemasks, knee and arm protectors made of soft, lightweight, padded material are not considered dangerous and are therefore permitted.
2003 Cardable Offenses 8/26/2003 Cardable Offenses and the Restart of Play A situation in a recent US Professional Division match presented a difficult decision involving a cardable offense and a quick restart of play. The referee must balance two competing objectives Ð effective management of misconduct and a teamÕs right to a quick free kick restart.
2003 USSF Memorandum -Revised 7/1/2003 USSF Memorandum 2003 – Revised The 117th Annual General Meeting of the International Football Association Board took place in Belfast , Northern Ireland on 15th March 2003. The amendments to the Laws of the Game made at the meeting and the various instructions and directives are listed below.
2003 Memorandum 7/1/2003 USSF Memorandum 2003 The 117th Annual General Meeting of the International Football Association Board took place in Belfast , Northern Ireland on 15th March 2003 . The amendments to the Laws of the Game made at the meeting and the various instructions and directives are listed below.
20030506resoltourn.pdf 5/6/2003 Memorandum on Instructions for Referees and Resolutions Affecting Team Coaches and Players [in] Regional and National Cup Competitions and Tournaments The decisions and instructions to referees appointed to Regional and National Cup Competitions and Tournaments contained herein conform to the Laws of the Game, the decisions of the International F.A. Board, and guidance from USSF through its Advice to Referees, Guide to Procedures, and various official memoranda. This document is therefore regarded as authoritative and may be quoted as such. For further details on any of these points, consult the sources listed above. Decisions made during play depend entirely on the opinion of the referee, who forms a judgment at the time of the incident. Coaches are requested to inform their players of the points specified below and to ensure that every game is played sportingly.
20030323RemovalofJersey.pdf 3/23/2003 Removal of Jerseys to Celebrate a Goal Referees are reminded that they must take action against goal celebrations that incite, are provocative, or take an excessive amount of time. Simply removing the jersey in a momentary emotional reaction to scoring a goal should not be treated as misconduct unless doing so excessively delays the restart of play or is performed in such a manner that, in the opinion of the referee, it taunts, provokes, or incites opponents.
20030317playerjewelry.pdf 3/17/2003 Law 4, PlayersÕ Equipment (Jewelry) Law 4 (The Players’ Equipment) states very clearly that “A player must not use equipment or wear anything which is dangerous to himself or another player (including any kind of jewelry).” In addition, FIFA included in the 2002/2003 edition of the Laws of the Game a section on “Additional Instructions for Referees, AssistantÊ Referees and Fourth Officials” in which this requirement is further emphasized: “Referees are reminded that, in accordance with Law 4, players may not wear any kind of jewelry.”
20030314MassConfront.pdf 3/14/2003 Mass Confrontation The referee’s ability to maintain composure in the face of dissent from a player is magnified when he becomes the focus of dissent and challenge from several players simultaneously. For the purpose of this guidance, a “mass confrontation” is defined as the concerted actions of three or more players from the same team who are disputing a decision while surrounding the referee or hindering or forcing movement by the referee. Such situations bring the game into disrepute, are inherently intimidating, and create a strongly negative public image.
20030314Language.pdf 3/14/2003 Misconduct Involving Language/Gestures Player language, including gestures and other forms of nonverbal communication, can take many forms É The referee must intelligently apply common sense, feel for the spirit of the game, and knowledge of the way in which player language can affect management of the match in order to distinguish effectively among these forms.
20030307PlayerEquipment.pdf 3/7/2003 PlayerÕs Equipment USSF has received a number of inquiries recently about how officials should handle situations where players wish to wear equipment that is not included in the list of basic compulsory equipment in FIFA Laws of the Game. Referees are facing increased requests from players for permission to wear kneepads, elbowpads, headbands, soft casts, goggles, etc.
20030304ManagingMatchTime.pdf 3/4/2003 Managing Match Time Where delays are excessive, however, the referee is obliged to take their length fully into account in timing each half. Such decisions must always be made in accordance with the refereeÕs feeling for the spirit of the game.
20030106RescindCard.pdf 1/6/2003 Rescinding a Displayed Card for Misconduct If play has been restarted or if the match is over (including required periods of additional play and/or kicks from the penalty mark), a displayed red or yellow card cannot be canceled by the referee for any reason.
20030000-7+7MemoPro.pdf 1/1/2003 7 Cautionable + 7 Sending-Off Offenses – Professional Version Amplifies Law 12 with regard to misconduct.Ê Includes MLS points.
20030000-7+7Memo.pdf 1/1/2003 7 Cautionable + 7 Sending-Off Offenses Amplifies Law 12 with regard to misconduct.
20021122SeqInfringe.pdf 11/22/2002 Sequential Infringements Recent matches in the professional division have highlighted a basic principle of the Laws of the Game — that a foul cannot be committed when the ball is not in play. Reduced to its most simple elements, this principle assists the referee in deciding what action to take if an infringement of the Law occurs after play is stopped. Because such action cannot be a foul, the referee must deal with it as misconduct and remember that the restart has already been determined based on what stopped play in the first place.
20021122PositioningatFK.pdf 11/22/2002 Positioning at Free Kick Restarts In accordance with current instructional guidance from FIFA and CONCACAF, the United States Soccer Federation adopts the following advice to referees regarding positioning for a free kick restart taken close enough to the opponent’s goal that a score might result.
20021122PlayerDress.pdf 11/22/2002 Player Dress É In respect of certain religions that require members to wear head coverings, the Secretary General of the United States Soccer Federation has given permission to those bound by religious law to wear such head coverings, usually a turban or yarmulke, provided the referee finds that the headgear does not pose a danger to the player wearing it or to the other players. This principle could be extended to other clothing required of members by their religion.
20021122noreplacement.pdf 11/22/2002 No Replacement for Player Sent Off after the Game Has Started International Football Association Board (IFAB) Decision 3, Law III, formerly stated: “A player who has been ordered off after play has started may not be replaced.” The rewrite of the Laws of the Game in 1997 was extensive and included both new language and revisions of existing language: numerous provisions in the 1996 edition of the Laws of the Game, including this one, were also removed. Nevertheless, the provisions of IFAB Decision 3, Law III, remain valid to this day.
20021122misconductatFK.pdf 11/22/2002 Misconduct by Attackers at a Free Kick If defenders form a wall at the proper distance and one or more attackers are involved in this formation, the referee must be alert for specific dangers and must adopt appropriate positioning in order to watch for possible misconduct by these attackers. Increasingly in recent years, some teams have adopted a strategy in which an attacker
20021122insuffnumbers.pdf 11/22/2002 Abandoning a Match Due to Insufficient Number of Players Each national association is given authority to set the minimum number of players in a match. The United States Soccer Federation has established this number at seven, one of whom must be identified as a goalkeeper. (Law 3 — IFAB Decision 1). Accordingly, the referee must abandon a match if a team either cannot or will not field at least seven players.
20021104JerseySleeves.pdf 11/4/2002 JerseyÊSleeves Rule Suspended USSF has been informed by FIFA that it has decided to temporarily set aside the new provision regarding jersey sleeves found in International Board Decision 1 of Law 4.
20021100resoltourn.pdf 11/1/2002 Memorandum on Instructions for Referees and Resolutions Affecting Team Coaches and Players [in] Regional and National Cup Competitions and Tournaments The decisions and instructions to referees appointed to Regional and National Cup Competitions and Tournaments contained herein conform to the Laws of the Game, the decisions of the International F.A. Board, and guidance from USSF through its Advice to Referees, Guide to Procedures, and various official memoranda. This document is therefore regarded as authoritative and may be quoted as such. For further details on any of these points, consult the sources listed above. Decisions made during play depend entirely on the opinion of the referee, who forms a judgment at the time of the incident. Coaches are requested to inform their players of the points specified below and to ensure that every game is played sportingly.
20021022USSFMandSusp.pdf 10/22/2002 Mandatory Suspension Following Dismissal FIFA Circular 821, dated October 1, 2002 , reminds all national associations that any player dismissed from the field is to be automatically suspended from the next match of the competition in which the player was dismissed.
20021022MandSusp.pdf 10/22/2002 Mandatory Suspension Following Dismissal FIFA Circular 821, dated October 1, 2002 , reminds all national associations that any player dismissed from the field is to be automatically suspended from the next match of the competition in which the player was dismissed.
20020916DOGSO4Ds.pdf 9/16/2002 Obvious Goal-Scoring Opportunity Denied (The 4 Ds) Number of Defenders; Distance to goal; Distance to ball; Direction of play.
20020826MiscCards.pdf 8/26/2002 Misconduct and Display of Cards Questions have been raised recently regarding the use of yellow and red cards before, during, and after play and regarding misconduct committed by various people in or around the field. Although the answers to these questions can generally be obtained from the Laws of the Game, prior USSF Memoranda, and Advice to Referees on the Laws of the Game, this memo is intended to summarize in a single place the correct referee action in these different situations. A substantially similar memorandum was issued on June 8, 2000 .
20020701USSFMemorandum.pdf 7/1/2002 USSF Memorandum 2002 United States Soccer FederationÕs annual memorandum summarizing the changes to the Laws of the Game approved at the 116th Annual General Meeting of the International Football Association Board, held in Zermatt, Switzerland on 16th March 2002, can be found herein.
20020611KFPMReduce.pdf 6/11/2002 The ÒReduce to EquateÓ Principle The purpose of this position paper is to focus on one particular element of the taking of kicks which has recently been introduced and remains subject to some uncertainty Ð the Òreduce to equateÓ principle. Introduced into The Laws of the Game in 2001, the principle ensures that teams begin the procedure with the same number of players.
20020601FAAdvice.pdf 6/1/2002 Football Association (ÊEnglandÊ) Advice on the Application of the Laws of the Game The Council of The Football Association has decided that in England , instructions regarding the Laws of the Game will be issued only by The Football Association. Consistent Law interpretation and application must be achieved. It is hoped that this booklet will assist towards that end.
20020406availofwater.pdf 4/6/2002 Availability of Water During a Match The FIFA Medical Committee recently emphasized the importance of proper hydration during a match and the need for water (or other appropriate liquids) to be available to the players. Referees are advised to use the following common sense guidelines in determining the correct ways in which this concern can be implemented.
20020000refreporting.pdf 1/1/2002 Accurate preparation and timely submission of completed reports to appropriate authorities. IT CAN NOT BE OVER EMPHASIZED THAT THE OFFICIALÕS OBLIGATIONS ARE NOT FULFILLED UNTIL THE PROPER PAPERWORK IS COMPLETED AND SUBMITTED TO THE APPROPRIATE AUTHORITIES.
20011100rstrtafter.pdf 11/1/2001 Restarts after Striking, Throwing or Spitting The International Football Association Board (IFAB) has recently provided a new interpretation of where a foul has occurred when there has been no direct contact or when the contact has occurred off the field of play. Prior to now, for example, striking using a thrown object was punished where the action originated (see USSF Advice to Referees on the Laws of the Game 12.6, which will be updated in 2001). The IFAB now instructs that all such infringements are to be punished where the contact occurs or would have occurred if the action had been successful, provided this location is on the field of play.
20010405feint.pdf 4/5/2001 Feinting at the Taking of a Penalty Kick A player taking a penalty kick feints before kicking the ball. Is this permitted?Ê Yes. ButÉ
20010000ATR.pdf 1/1/2001 ADVICE TO REFEREES ON THE LAWS OF THE GAME This book of Advice to Referees is specifically intended to give USSF referees, assistant referees, and fourth officials a reliable compilation of those international and national guidelines remaining in force, as modified or updated. It is not a replacement for the Laws of the Game, nor is it a “how to” book on refereeing. It is one of a number of sources of information.
200004008MandatoryC.pdf 4/1/2000 USSF: THE EIGHT MANDATORY CAUTIONS There are only eight mandatory cautions in the current edition of the Laws of the Game. All other cautionable offenses mentioned in the Laws are discretionary. In other words, they are cautionable if they meet the standards set by the individual referee in a particular game at a particular time and if the caution is used to meet a particular game-management or game-control need.
20000000USSFTourneyMemo.pdf 1/1/2000 Memorandum on Instructions for Referees and Resolutions Affecting Team Coaches and Players [in] Regional and National Cup Competitions and Tournaments The decisions and instructions to referees appointed to Regional and National Cup Competitions and Tournaments contained herein conform to the Laws of the Game, the decisions of the International F.A. Board, and guidance from USSF through its Advice to Referees, Guide to Procedures, and various official memoranda. This document is therefore regarded as authoritative and may be quoted as such.
20000000Guide2Procs.pdf 1/1/2000 GUIDE TO PROCEDURES FOR REFEREES, ASSISTANT REFEREES AND FOURTH OFFICIALS The United States Soccer Federation adopts the procedures outlined in this pamphlet in order to standardize officiating techniques, signals, and mechanics at all levels of play. They have been recommended by a panel of senior referees and instructors and have been thoroughly tested at international, professional, amateur, and youth levels of competition.
19990701USSFMemo.pdf 7/1/1999 USSF Memorandum 1999 The 113th meeting of the International Football Association Board (IFAB) was held in the Vale of Glamorgan ( Wales ) on 20 February 1999 .
19980801sendoffsubs.pdf 8/1/1998 Sending Off Substitutes and Non-Players The display of yellow and red cards applies to players and named substitutes and only to them. É In addition, all instances of players or substitutes being cautioned or sent off must be reported, in writing, in the referee’s game report.
19980701USSFMemo.pdf 7/1/1998 USSF Memorandum 1998 The 112th meeting of the International Football Association Board (IFAB) was held in Paris on March 6, 1998 .
19980000ElecFlag.pdf 7/1/1998 USSF Electronic Flags ÒElectronic Flags” can be an effective tool for the officiating team. Though still relatively new, their use has been monitored carefully at the highest competitive levels and enough experience has been gained to suggest a number of general guidelines. These devices, however, remain a specialized aid for officials to be used judiciously.
19970701USSFMemo.PDF 7/1/1997 USSF Memorandum 1997 The 111th meeting of the International Football Association Board (IFAB) in Belfast on March 1, 1997 , resulted not only in a number of amendments to the Laws but also in approval of a modernized version of the previous wording and layout.
19690000memos6996.pdf 7/1/1996 Selections from USSF Annual Memoranda And FIFA Circulars 1969 – 1996 A compendium of instructions, advice, definitions, interpretations, decisions, recommendations, and reminders for Referees which do not appear in the FIFA Laws of the Game but which Referees are responsible for enforcing and implementing.Ê Prepared by Dan C. Heldman.