The referee is assisted by two subordinates, known as assistant referees, and, on occasion, by a fourth official. The referee oversees the game with the help of his or her subordinates. They make calls at the request of the referee or themselves if they perceive a need to do so.
In addition to their duties as officials, some assistant referees may have roles within the team structure. For example, an assistant referee may be given the role of "marker" by the match commissioner, meaning that they will act as one of the try-scorers if a try is scored during their part of the game. There are three assistants who take part in this process: one marks each end zone; one stays in line with their marker; and one watches the play from the side line.
Other responsibilities that may be assigned to assistant referees include that of free kicks, penalty kicks, and goal-line drops. An assistant referee can also call time-outs if needed. Some countries have more than two assistant referees while others have only two. Generally, the number of assistant referees reflects the number used throughout the world.
There is no specific requirement for an assistant referee to have any particular skills or qualifications, but most national associations do require them to have reached the age of 18.
In professional soccer, one referee and two assistance referees are generally present. In certain instances, a fourth or even fifth referee may call the game. The chief referee is in charge of enforcing the game's regulations and rules. He can also dismiss any player for serious misconduct.
In international matches played by the United States men's national soccer team, three additional officials known as linesmen are assigned to control various aspects of play. They signal the offside rule, determine whether a goal was scored directly from a corner kick, and award or deny penalties if there is a dispute about an incident during play. Linesmen do not take part in actual gameplay; they work with the referee on the field during stoppages in action.
In lower-level games and amateur competitions across the country, several factors may lead to more than two being used on the field at once. These include the number of teams involved and the time allowed for the match to be completed. Typically, only one official is responsible for monitoring all players on the field at once; the other assistants coordinate their efforts with him or her.
In Major League Soccer (MLS), three officials make up the crew members who will oversee the match: a referee and two assistants. The third official is a linesman, who has responsibility for certain important decisions involving offside and goalscoring opportunities.
Refereed The referee is the head official in charge of the game and is the final authority in all decisions. All penalties must be announced by the referee. The referee explains penalties to the captain and coach of the guilty side and specifies which player is accountable for the penalty. He may also explain why he has decided as he has.
He makes the initial call on whether or not there will be a penalty given, and if so, what type. He can also signal to the team managers that a penalty is about to be taken so they have time to tell their players not to play the ball. After the kick-off, the referee monitors play throughout the match to make sure there are no more incidents requiring his attention. He may also need to talk to players from either side if there is an issue relating to discipline or medical treatment. The last job of the referee is to sign off on the match report - confirming how many goals were scored and who won/lost.