The Referee’s Signal For Advantage

This position paper was published by the U.S. Soccer Referee Education Resource Center on August 5, 2011

USSF constantly monitors the best practices of senior and international referees, both here and in other countries, to ensure that the standard mechanics recommended for referees in this country are kept up to date with evolving methods of communicating, new ways of working as a team, and adaptations to evolving strategies by players. As new or modified practices, methods, or techniques come to our attention, they must be evaluated before determining if the standards outlined in the Guide to Procedures should be updated.

The referee’s signal for advantage has long been described in our publications and training as an upswept gesture of both arms, starting from a position below the waist and brought up to waist level, palms upward, and accompanied by a forcefully delivered verbal statement (e.g., “Advantage!” or “Play on!”). Effective upon distribution of this memorandum (and confirmed in the next version of the Guide to Procedures), this signal will be modified as an upswept motion of the arms in front of the body up to shoulder level, finishing as shown below:

The verbal portion of the advantage signal remains the same. This gesture should not be maintained for any longer than necessary and must not include any repetitions of the movement or any pumping of the arms. With the arms held higher, this modified signal will be more easily seen by all participants.

About Brian Sperlongano

Brian Sperlongano is the State Youth Referee Administrator
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