The whistle is needed:

  • for the Kick off (1st, 2nd half and after a goal is scored)
  • to stop play
  • for a ceremonial free kick restart
  • penalty kick
  • if match is suspended or terminated
  • when a period of play has ended due to the expiration of time
  • restart play after it has been stopped due to:
    • the issue of a yellow or red card for misconduct
    • injury
    • substitution

The whistle is NOT needed to stop play for:

  • a goal kick, corner kick or throw-in
  • a goal
  • to restart play from a free kick.

A whistle which is used too frequently or unnecessarily will have less impact when it is needed. When a discretionary whistle is needed to start play, the referee should clearly announce to the players that the restart may not occur until after that signal