This brief article addresses a commonly posed question on U8 soccer fields around the world: Why do we use corner flags in soccer?
Some people think they are decorations. Others think they’re a sort of “nice if you have them” luxury. Referees think they are an absolute must, and administrators think they’re a waste of money. What are we talking about? Soccer corner flags.
Although the everyday person who doesn’t love the game of soccer might not know this, those flags do a lot more than just make the field look pretty. They are a visual for referees (and players) to tell the bounds of the game from any point.
Think about the shape of the field and the players standing on it. They can see only so much area around them. It’s hard for them to see everything, especially at an angle so far away from where the ground is marked with aerosol field marking paint.
It’s just a basic law of soccer: corner banners are required to mark the four corners of the field.
Buying soccer corner flags is a game in its own right. The person responsible for the purchase, often the coach, league supervisor, or gym teacher, must find the right corner flag for the size of the field, abilities of the players, and the – to be frank – the budget.
Here are the basics on corner flags:
- If the ball crosses the boundary line, marked by the flags, it's out of bounds (afuera in Spanish).
- The flags also help tell players if there is a breeze in the air. By watching the flag, they can see where the wind may send the ball if airborne.
- If the ball hits the flag, and stays in bounds, then the game continues. If it goes out of bounds after contacting the flag, it does not.
If there is one thing that people should remember when grabbing the corner flags for the big soccer match is to ensure there’s a soccer first-aid safety kit on site before the game begins. If somebody runs into those flags while playing, they might need a band-aid.
Pro-tip: Don’t forget to fill out an accident report if in an official organization.