Linespeople play a very important role in our Association and are a key part of the match officials team. Below are a number of key areas to be aware of with regards to the role of a linesperson.
Official Guide Rules
479. There shall be two linespersons, one at either side of the field. They may be appointed by the referee, County Board, Provincial or Central Council or their sub committees.
480. The linespersons duties shall be:
To decide where the ball crosses the sideline and to which team the sideline kick is to be awarded.
Point the flag in the direction in which the sideline kick is to be taken.
Deal with and bring to the referees attention, any incidents which the referee may not have seen, or incursions onto the field of play by the team managers, coaches, selectors or unauthorised persons.
481. The Linespersons may change sides at half time.
Key Areas for a Linesperson
1. Off the Pitch
- Essential to remember that you are part of a TEAM of officials
- Must arrive at least 40 minutes prior to match
- Lateness puts unnecessary pressure on the referee
- Referee should speak to all officials together before the game outlining:
- Incidents to look out for
- How to make contact
- Enter the pitch to either side of referee with flag in outside hand
- Decide which side you will stand
- Warm up
- If no 4th official introduce yourself to both managers and tell them to let you know when they want a sub. Their sub should be ready to go on.
2. Positioning/ Follow the Ball
- Linesperson on the side that ball is travelling keeps up with play while other linesperson takes up position slightly behind watching play behind referee’s back
- Essential to be up with play – move with the ball
- Place yourself in line with one of outside midfielders for throw in so view is not blocked
- Face the field of play at all times and ensure that you can make eye contact with the referee
- Remember the WHOLE ball must cross the line so you must be in a good position to ensure this
- You may mark a free within 10m of the side line if there is stoppage in play
- Move in line with umpire to mark a 45m kick. Ensure ball in position before returning
- Footwork will be key to being in correct position
- Use side to side shuffle to move along the line and can still face play
- If play speeds up you can turn and sprint but ensure that you continue to look at play
- Important to practice footwork to prevent any collisions on match days
4. Holding The Flag
- From the time you leave the dressing room the flag should be unfurled
- Linesperson with flag with loudest buzzer with stay on side with subs
- Keep the flag pitch side at all times and in hand closest to referee so s/he can clearly see. This should be the hand in the direction of the play so ready to lift straight away in that hand
- Practice the passing of the flag from hand to hand at low waist level as you will need to change hands while running
- Simple act of moving the flag into correct hand before raising can also be spotted by the referee and assist to signal in unison
- Ensure the referee can see the flag surface area so hold high for them to see at an angle
- It is essential to use clear signals
6. Communication with Referees
- Referees may ask you to assist by letting a player(s) know you have seen an offence (e.g Pull on a jersey)
- Essential to give a clear signal if you have something you need to bring to the attention of the referee
- There is no point saying this at half time when it may have an impact on the result
- Wait for the referee to approach you before entering discussion
- Only give information on incidents that you clearly seen yourself and worthy of a card
- If something you heard it is important that you have word for word
- Press the buzzer on the flag if available
– Off the ball incident
– Incursions on the pitch
– Injury/Treatment to a player
7. On The Line
- Easy to lose concentration when play switches quickly to the opposite end of the field
- Remain vigilant and quickly change to follow play
- Your body language should be strong with head raised and eye contact maintained following the action
- Important that you are always in a state of readiness
- Keep everyone back from the line
- The only official allowed on the line is the Bainisteoir
- The Maor Foirne may run at a break in play
- There will be two maor uisce on either side and can be asked to move back if blocking view
- You must be strong when dealing with side line officials and do not get involved in altercations on decisions or scores etc.
- If they refuse to move then signal for the referee
8. Self Evaluation
- This is essential after every game to ensure improvements
- We always look at performance of players, management and referee but how did you do?
- This will assist to improve with every game
- Only a mistake if it is repeated
- Did I keep up with play?
- Did I communicate with the line and fellow officials?
- Were my signals clear?
- Was I properly attired?
Guidelines for Linespeople
- Arrive on time – at least 40 minutes prior
- Wear official gear if provided by LGFA. You may be asked to return this until completion of a number of games
- Your jersey must be inside your shorts and socks pulled up
- Do not engage in unnecessary conversation with anybody along the line
- Be confident not arrogant!!! How you speak and act!
- Ensure to follow play
- Give clear and prompt signals
- The referee has the power to overrule a linesperson and the referee’s decision shall be accepted without question or debate
- Do not go chasing after the ball when it is out of play. If you are at a pitch where there is nobody else you can drop the flag at the point the ball went out and then retrieve the ball. This is in exceptional circumstances.
- Linespersons shall change ends at Half-Time
- No phones, chewing gum etc.