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Translating Referee Signals for Coaches



Referees communicate through hand signals and whistles more than through voice calls.


The referee at the Grade 1 / 2 level is going to be signaling what the restart is going to be.


The referee should be speaking to the players but does not need to be yelling so that the coaches can hear.  


The referees have been told that they are responsible for educating the youngsters on the field and helping them to restart the play.


The referees will be blowing the whistle at the start of the 1st and 2nd half, the restart after a goal, the end of the 1st and 2nd half, any infractions, the restart of play after a substitution and when players do not recognize that the ball is out of play.


The referees will be looking for substitutions at every stoppage. If there are players at the half line, the referee will waive the players in. Players should not enter the field until the referee has recognized them and calls them in. Coaches should stand a distance from the half line so that the referee can recognize that players are being substituted.


Following are the signals that you will see:


GOAL KICK = Ref faces the goal line with arm pointing at the goal, chest height.


CORNER KICK = Ref faces the goal line with arm pointed at the corner at 45-degree angle.


GOAL = Ref points to the center spot with arm straight out from chest.


THROW INS - OUT of BOUNDS DIRECTION = Ref faces touchline with arm at 45-degree angle in the direction of the throw.


DIRECT FREE KICK = After the whistle, Ref faces direction of kick with arm out straight towards goal line.


INDIRECT FREE KICK = After the whistle Ref faces the direction of kick with arm out straight towards goal line then raises an arm and holds the arm up straight until after kick and the ball is touched by a second player.


A video of these signals can be found below. To learn more about the modified laws of the game for 4v4 play for coaches click here.

Click here for more on Laws of the Game (LOTG) from a referees perspective.