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A quick guide to VAR

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Video review in MLS launches tomorrow

Soccerex - Manchester: Day Four Photo by Dave Thompson/Getty Images

It’s almost here. After years of testing, preparation and trail runs, video replay is now a part of Major League Soccer.

League writer Charles Boehm does a great job explaining the role of VAR in further detail, and the step by step guide is as follows.

1. Checks & Analysis

The Video Assistant Referee (VAR) is constantly checking and analyzing each of the 4 match-changing incidents to determine if there’s a clear and obvious error.

VAR alerts head referee to potential CLEAR & OBVIOUS ERRORS in the 4 match-changing incidents or serious missed incidents.

There is “open” and ongoing communication between the Referee and the VAR.

The VAR has access to, and may only use, video available to the broadcast.

If play restarts, previous plays cannot be reviewed (except for violent conduct and serious foul play)

2. View Review

Although a match-changing incident may not warrant a stoppage of play for further review, all such plays are being checked and analyzed for clear and obvious errors.

In cases of a potential CLEAR & OBVIOUS ERROR, the head referee can decide whether to conduct a Video Review by making the Video Review signal (TV box sign).

A Video Review takes place when play has stopped.

During a Video Review, the referee can either take information from the VAR AND/OR view replays via a sideline monitor.

NOTE: There are no time constraints to conduct a Video Review

3. Final Decision

Once a decision has been made it will be communicated as follows:

IN-STADIUM: An announcement by the PA announcer accompanied by the relevant video;

TV BROADCAST: The final decision and relevant video will be communicated to the match broadcasters.

4. Restart

Play resumes with the correct restart or drop ball.

Time used for Video Review is made up in stoppage time at the discretion of referee.