New Referees` Page.

This page is aimed at the newly qualified referee and provides a wealth of information. If you still cannot find that answer to that all important question, then why not ask Agatha?

Let's start with Off-sides, then Cautions and finally Sending-off, you should be familier with these offences. but let's recap...


Like most things in football, the offside rule is pretty simple - but Asier Del Horno's disallowed goal for Chelsea against Birmingham on Saturday has re-drawn the grey areas once more.
Although Del Horno scored from an onside position, fellow defender Ricardo Carvalho attempted to head the ball, having come back from an offside position.
An amendment to the rule was introduced at the start of the 2003/04 season, which allows a player to be in an offside position provided he or she is not "actively involved in play".
It was designed to promote attacking football, but different interpretations of what constitutes "active play" have led some to suggest it is open to abuse.
Fifa, world football's governing body, has clarified when a player is to be regarded as "actively involved in play":
"Interfering with play means playing or touching the ball passed or touched by a team-mate."
The changes apply to all levels of football and Manchester United's Ruud van Nistelrooy often exploits this by standing in an offside position as a free-kick is about to be taken.
He is taking advantage of the rule that, if the ball doesn't come to him, then he is not "active" and therefore onside, which is the argument Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho used for Ricardo Carvalho's attempt to score.
However, a player doesn't necessarily have to touch the ball to influence the play. They are still offside if they are judged to be:

Interfering with an opponent - If an attacker interferes with an opponent by either preventing them from playing or being able to play the ball, then they are offside. This could be done by blocking the goalkeeper, or obstructing their line of vision.
Gaining an advantage - If the ball is played into the penalty area and rebounds off either a post, the crossbar or an opposing defender, then the attacker is offside as they have gained an advantage by being in that position.
So was Carvalho obstructing the line of vision of the goalkeeper? The referee's assistant obviously thought so.

OFFSIDE ESSENTIALS Got your head around the new rules? Here's our guide to the basics.
A player is in an offside position if, when the ball is played by a team-mate, they are nearer to the opposition's goal line than both the ball and the second last opponent.
Clear so far? There are a few more things to remember.

You can't be offside if:
- You receive the ball directly from a goal kick, a throw-in or a corner
- you are in your own half of the pitch
- you are level with the second last or last two opponents
- you are level with or behind the team-mate who plays you the ball
- you are not actively involved in play, as explained above
- For any offside offence, the referee awards an indirect free-kick to the opposing team, to be taken from the place where the infringement occurred.


A player is cautioned and shown the yellow card if he commits any of the following seven offences
- Unsporting behaviour.
- Dissent by word or action.
- Persistent infringement of the Laws of the Game
- Delaying the restart of play.
- Failure to respect the required distance when play is restarted with a corner kick, free kick or throw-in.
- Entering or re-entering the fi eld of play without the referee's permission.
- Deliberately leaving the field of play without the referee's permission.

A substitute or substituted player is cautioned if he commits any of the following three offences:
- Unsporting behaviour.
- Dissent by word or action.
- Delaying the restart of play.

Sending-off offences

A player, substitute or substituted player is sent off if he commits any of the following seven offences:
- Serious foul play.
- Violent conduct.
- Spitting at an opponent or any other person.
- Denying the opposing team a goal or an obvious goalscoring opportunity by deliberately handling the ball (this does not apply to a goalkeeper within his own penalty area.
- Denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity to an opponent moving towards the player's goal by an offence punishable by a free kick or a penalty kick.
- Using offensive, insulting or abusive language and/or gestures.
- Receiving a second caution in the same match.

A player, substitute or substituted player who has been sent off must leave the vicinity of the fi eld of play and the technical area.

Laws of the Game

More information please download the Laws of the Game.
Laws of the Game

Misconduct Forms

It is vital that when match officials report misconduct, you submit the forms to the correct association for processing.
Not doing so causes significant delays to the disciplinary process and creates additional work for those involved by having to advise where reports should be sent to.
Therefore, it is essential that when officiating in a match, you are aware of where to send both participating teams' disciplinary reports. If you are in any doubt then please refer to the details that follow, or by contacting the FA Referees or Disciplinary Departments, or your local County Association who will be able to advise you.
A guide to writing misconduct reports can be downloaded here.

This season, referees must report misconduct via the Whole Game System.