Skip to main contentAccess keys helpA-Z index

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
watch listen BBC Sport BBC Sport
Low graphics|Help
---------------
---------------
CHOOSE A SPORT
 
RELATED BBC SITES
Know your referee's signals?
Know your referee's signals

When the referee starts waving his arms about after blowing the whistle, do you know what he is indicating?

He may be conducting himself in a medieval dance, but more likely he will be signalling a free-kick.

Here is our guide to the referee's signals.

DIRECT FREE-KICK

The referee should point with a raised arm in the direction that the free-kick has been given.

The referee does need to make a further signal to indicate it is direct.

Players often wait before taking a free-kick to check with the ref whether it is direct or indirect.

INDIRECT FREE-KICK

The referee will signal the positioning and direction of an indirect free-kick in the same way as any other free-kick.

However, to show that the kick is indirect the referee keeps one arm outstretched above his head until after the kick is taken.

It avoids any confusion when a goal is scored directly from a free-kick.

BOOKINGS

These are not the signals you should be wanting a ref to show you.

The signal for a caution or sending off is the same - it's just the colour of the card that is different.

The referee will take a note of the player and then hold the card high above the head with an outstretched arm.

If the player is sent off for two bookable offences, the referee will show the second yellow card before holding up the red card.

It is possible, though, that a player who has already been booked can be shown a straight red card.

ADVANTAGE

Even after a foul, a ref may allow play to continue sometimes.

He will look to see if the team that would have been awarded the free-kick has an advantage in playing on.

To signal that he is waving play on, he will extend both arms out in front of his body.




RULES IN OTHER SPORTS
 

RELATED BBC LINKS:

RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

BBC PRODUCTS AND SERVICES
Daily and weekly e-mails | Mobiles | Desktop Tools | News Feeds | Interactive Television | Downloads
Sport Homepage | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League | Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Snooker | Horse Racing | Cycling | Disability sport | Olympics 2012 | Sport Relief | Other sport...

Help | Privacy & Cookies Policy | News sources | About the BBC | Contact us