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duties of referee

Why Referee is Important and What’s their duties

The referee is very important to a game. They make the game proceed in a fair manner. Therefore, the referee can call fouls in the game, The penalty of the call depends on the type and severity of the fouls. When the referee officiates the game, fouls always belong to the types below.

  • Minor offenses
    The opposite team gets an indirect free kick.
  • Serious offense
    The opposite team gets a direct kick, if the offense happens in the penalty box, the opposite team gets a penalty kick.
  • Caution
    Yellow card for repeat or on-purpose fouls
  • Ejection
    Serious fouls, misconduct, or serious unsportsmanlike behaviors. When a player is ejected, he or she must leave the court.

How many referees in a regular football game?

Generally, there are 4 referees in a regular soccer game.
The roles are as below

  • One Head Referee
  • Two Linesmen(Assistant Referees)
  • The Fourth Official

With the development of technology, nowadays in some important games, VAR is brought into the game. VAR stands for Video Assistant Referee.VAR doesn’t make the decisive call, he helps the head referee to make the accurate calls in the game.

The Duties of the Referee

Head Referee

Head Referee controls the whole game and makes the decisive calls. The head referee needs to stay inside the field and run with the player. They need to watch carefully and be responsible for making the game proceed within the laws of the football game. Also, he is a timekeeper, makes sure the direct kicks and indirect kicks are within the allowed time, and decides how many minutes for the extra time. The duties of the head referee are summary below

  • Regular fouls call
  • Timekeeping
  • Disciplinary behavior report
  • Handing out penalty cards
  • Communicating with players(Caution)
  • Communicating with his assistant referees, and the fourth official.VAR(if necessary)

There is a very high requirement for the head referee in physical and mental condition because he must run in the match, and also work under the pressure of players, coaches, and spectators.

Linesmens (assistant referees)

linesmen stay on two opposite sides of the field, they also need to run with the player in the game. However, they don’t run inside the field. Below are the duties of linesmen

  • Calling when the ball is out of bounds, and deciding which side has the right to throw in.
  • Call fouls if they observe fouls happen near them.
  • Call offside, goal kicks, and corner kicks.
  • Signal substitutions

The Fourth Official

The fourth official doesn’t need to run on the field, they stay off the field. They are also very important in a formal match. However, in amateurish games, they don’t need a fourth official. The duties of the fourth official are as below

  • Supervising substitutions.
  • Check player equipment.
  • Re-entering players to the field.
  • Supervising replacement balls
  • Signaling extra time at the end of the half-time and full-time.

Video Assistant Referee

In some important matches, VAR(video assistant referee)is introduced into the game. However, the video assistant referee doesn’t make the final decision, he assists the head referee and makes sure some important and controversial calls are more accurate. By replaying the videos, the head referee can review the plays and make the final calls. Therefore, the duty of the VAR(video assistant referee) is to review the video of the match during some key period of time.


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