A flag is a football term that is used to describe a rectangular cloth that is attached to a handle being used to signal an infraction or a foul by an assistant referee. This flag must be visible to the referee and is considered as an extension of the assistant referees’ arms.
When assistant referees make signals using the flag, they must stop running, raise the flag with the right motion and face the field of play as well as make and maintain eye contact with the referee.
Furthermore, one of the flags must come with a one color, which is often yellow. The other flag on the other hand must come with two colors, which is usually in yellow and red. These colors are usually patterned in four equal parts.
There are some flags that come with buttons located in the handle. These buttons, when pushed, signals the activation alarm worn by the referee.
Using the Flag
The flag helps the assistant referee in signaling to the referee an infraction or foul that is made. These can be done through using different signals.
The assistant referee can use the flag to signal a throw-in. A throw-in can be called when the ball comes across the touch line. When this happens, the assistant referee will signal the referee by raising his flag. He will also use the flag to point or indicate where the throw-in’s direction.
Calling for a goal kick also requires the use of the flag. The assistant referee will indicate a goal kick by raising his right hand along the line of vision. This means that the right hand with the flag will be raised parallel to the ground.
Furthermore, a corner kick can also be called by the assistant referee with help of the flag. First, he will raise his flag indicate to the referee that the ball is out of play. If the referee decides a corner kick, the assistant referee can showcase this by point the flag diagonally to the ground. If the choice for the corner kick is very obvious, the assistant referee can directly make the decision.
The flag can also be used to signal a substitution and an offside. The signal for substation involves holding the flag with both hands in both ends while the one for offside is raising the flag vertically up.
Lastly is using the flag to signal a foul. The assistant referee will first raise the flag straight up and then wave it slightly in the air.