Entries related to Law 5 – Referee
February 13, 2014
December 31, 2013
As announced two weeks ago, the site will be closing down as an interactive entity as of close of business today (9 PM U.S. Eastern Standard Time).It has been a great ride, but now it is time to shut it down, at least in the interactive sense. We will likely post some updates and some other items. The webmaster has agreed to leave the site up for people to do research.
Thank you to all of you for helping make the site a success.
November 17, 2013
About 10 minutes into a game, it was noticed that one of the players was not wearing shin guards. The laws state that the ref can either wait for the next stoppage or go ahead and make a stoppage and order the player off the field to fix the problem and that player cannot return without the ref’s permission.
The laws do not talk about subs in this situation so I interpreted that to mean that a substitution could not happen. Is that right?
Does the team remain down one player until the next stoppage and the ref calls on the sub or can the team immediately send in a sub while the one without the proper equipment is being sent off? It seems as though if the team is allowed an immdiate replacement on the fly, it would give them a tactical advantage if allowed since the other team would not be able to piggy back on it or sub in a one for one sub like with injuries.
Lastly, if the ref stops the game for the equipment infraction, is the restart a dropped ball or an indirect for the opposing team at the spot of where the sent off player was seen with the missing gear?
My decision at the time was to stop the game, I sent off the player (I cautioned the player but did not show the yellow), the coach tried to send another on in the meantime and I denied it, restarted with a dropped ball where it was when I stopped the game, and the team played down one until the next stoppage.
Thanks in advance for any advice on such a situation.
Answer (November 17, 2013):
I cannot guarantee what your local rules may say, as some local rules are—like high school rules—from another planet. However, under the Laws of the Game a team may substitute at ANY stoppage of play with the referee’s permission. It cannot be done on the fly, as that is not the way substitutions are handled—again unless your local rules are from another planet. To caution the player, you must believe that he willfully broke the Law. See this quote from the back of the book, Interpretation of the Laws of the Game and Guidelines for Referees (Law 4):
The players are to be inspected before the match begins and substitutes before they enter the field of play. If a player is discovered to be wearing unauthorized clothing or jewelry during play, the referee must:
• inform the player that the item in question must be removed
• order the player to leave the field of play at the next stoppage if he is unable or unwilling to comply
• caution the player if he willfully refuses to comply or, having been told to remove the item, is discovered to be wearing the item again
If play is stopped to caution the player, an indirect free kick must be awarded to the opposing team from the position of the ball when play was stopped (see Law 13 – Position of free kick).
September 26, 2013
Ladies and Gentlemen,
As stated in the About section of this site, we do NOT answer questions on high school rules, which are from another planet. Please do not ask any more questions on games played under HS rules.
March 18, 2013
To clarify for future reference can you assist?
A free kick is awarded, however prior to the free kick being taken the defending team have a player who has some dirt/mud in his eye. The player is on his knee whist the players request assistance from the trainer however the trainer does NOT enter the field of play, instead the defending teams goalkeeper assists in removing the mud/dirt and the defender is then able to continue playing, however the referee speaks to the player and insists that the defender leaves the field of play as he has received treatment is this correct?
I have seen players assisting others who have cramp etc and I have never seen the referee send them from the field of play.
Answer (March 10, 2013): BELATED POSTING
According to the Interpretation of the Laws of the Game and Guidelines for Referees (in the back of the Law book), “a player is not allowed to receive treatment on the field of play.” However, “treatment” in this case means that someone has entered the field to administer to the wants and needs of the player. If someone is authorized to enter the field temporarily and quickly for these ministrations, then the player must leave when they are completed and may not return until the match has restarted and he has the referee’s permission to re-enter.
If, as in your situation, the referee has not stopped play for the problem (not exactly an injury) and has not beckoned any other person into the field to treat this problem, and no one is discommoded by the goalkeeper’s kind act, then the player does not have to leave the field. Unless (1) the treatment consumes an inordinate amount of time or (2) there is some local rule or rule of the competition that specifically prescribes an exit from the field, just as in cases of cramp treated by fellow players already on the field; the referee simply adds time lost.
Some referees remember only those parts of the Laws that they may require for their own convenience.
July 9, 2012
During the game where should the ref observe the game without getting in the way of play?
Answer (July 9, 2012):
You might try something I call The Magic Formula, which works for all situations, in both dynamic play and at restarts. You will have to modify it a bit if you do not have an AR to work with, but it still works.
x = a + b + c
Where x is the proper position in either dynamic play or at a restart and a, b, and c are conditions that must be met (or questions that must be answered by a “yes”).
a = I can see the possible problem area; i.e., where play will go next
b = I can see my assistant referee; i.e., I have play bracketed between me and my AR
c = I am not using space the players need; i.e., I am not blocking the passing lanes or in the way of either runners or players with the ball
That means that you may have to get outside the touchlines (and sometimes the goal lines) to be in the best position. You should also stay slightly behind play, rather than get too far ahead.
“The Magic Formula” was ibtroduced into USSF training materials in the mid-1990s, but even the folks at the English FA love and have “borrowed” it, just as we have borrowed a few things of theirs. However, because fads in training change, you and your colleagues may never have seen this information.
Team A gets a penalty in their favour and allows their keeper to take it. Team B now gets the ball to the centre, everyone in their respected halves, touches the ball, shoots immediately and scores before the Team A’s keeper reaches back in his post.
My question is, does the referee have to check with both goalies before blowing the whistle to resume play?
My answer: (May 5, 2012):
No, the referee need not check with either goalkeeper at ANY restart.
Interestingly, nothing is said in the scenario about the referee whistling to signal that the kick-off could be taken. There is no requirement in the Laws of the Game that the referee check with the goalkeepers to see if they are ready. Failing that, and given that the kick-off is always ceremonial, it falls entirely to the referee to determine when the kick-off can occur, subject only to the requirements of the Law that each team must be in its respective half of the field. The referee is empowered to allow a corner kick (or a throw-in) to be taken even though the ‘keeper has not returned to the field of play, so there is no reason to assume that the goalkeeper, in his joy at scoring, should not return to his normal kick-off position for the KO to take place.
However, in a different situation, it is customary (but not required by the Laws) to allow players who have been substituted in for other players to reach their normal positions before any restart. This would be especially true of the goalkeeper.
To illustrate the first point, observe this videoclip (http://www.askasoccerreferee.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Celebration-Too-Soon1.wmv):
March 28, 2012
I was the Center referee for an A division Co-ed match. There was a through ball for the attacking team, the forward run through to dribble into the penalty area. The keeper runs out to stop the ball, and missing it completely, and collided with the attacking player and took him out of play. I was near the top of the 18 yard, and had a clear view of the contact. I signalled a penalty kick, and issued a caution to the keeper. Since, it was his 2nd caution in this match, then I proceeded to show him the red card.
The defending team started screaming and said look at your assistant referee. He is standing firm around the 25 yard line, signalling an offside.
I reversed my call to an indirect free kick for the defending team, and took back the cards.
My reasoning is that I should have looked at my assistant referee first, and blown my whistle for the offside. If I had done that, it would have avoided the contact by the keeper and the forward.
Did I make the right call ?
USSF answer (March 28, 2012):
Your decision to use the information supplied by the AR was correct. Award the indirect free kick for the goalkeeper’s team. It is possible that the goalkeeper still engaged in certain behavior, whether it was during play against an opponent or during a stoppage resulting from the offside offense, so pleases consider the following:
Misconduct is separate from the foul (unless the foul was for serious foul play or denying a goalscoring opportunity through an act punishable by a free kick). Accordingly, the second caution which resulted in a red card should not have been withdrawn SOLELY because the referee accepted the advice from the AR and declared that the stoppage was for the offside. The ‘keeper’s act itself might warrant the caution (and red) or a straight red regardless of the change in the decision. If the goalkeeper’s act was purely careless, rather than reckless (caution) or done with excessive force (send-off), then there is no need to caution the ‘keeper.
March 13, 2012
When a player is injured and the referee stops play for the injury, is it acceptable for a referee to touch and handle the player? This referee (adult) is not a medical proffesional, I asked him. He seems to want to do a full medical exam on both youth boys and girls as well as adults. This referee will grab the players knee or ankles which ever is injured and pull, twist and poke the injury. This referee does not allow the coach on the field until he has done this with the injured player. Many coaches and parents are becoming extremely concerned over this practice. This has happened at least 10 times in 2012.
To sum it up, I guess my question is: Are referees taught to do a medical exam of the injured player by touching/twisting of the injury? And are they allowed to do this?
USSF answer (March 13, 2012):
We are pleased once again to emphasize the following principles regarding referees and players (most particularly youth players).
First, unless specifically certified by a public authority to provide medical care (i.e., doctor, paramedic, nurse, EMT, etc. — a Boy Scout First Aid badge does not count), no referee should be rendering any medical care to anyone, under any circumstances, at any time. This is a matter of law, the details of which can differ from state to state and we cannot therefore be more specific than simply … don’t do it. If a referee is medically certified, then the laws of the state where the injury has occurred are usually clear as to the duties to render assistance of certified medical personnel and, if such assistance is provided, the provider ceases to be a referee and becomes at least momentarily a doctor, paramedic, nurse, EMT, etc. until that responsibility for care is handed over to someone who is medically more qualified.
Second, USSF does not and has never provided training regarding the care of player injuries beyond what The Laws of the Game require. That care is defined solely in terms of deciding if an injury has occurred and then whether it is not serious, is serious, or is severe, and then recognizing what actions are proper depending on the answer to that question. These decisions and actions are summarized by the following quotes from the Laws of the Game and their Interpretations:
Law 5, bullet point 8 under Powers and Duties:
- stops the match if, in his opinion, a player is seriously injured and ensures that he is removed from the field of play. An injured player may only return to the field of play after the match has restarted.
Interpretation of the Laws of the Game and Guidance for Referees (pp. 69-70):
The referee must adhere to the following procedure when dealing with injured players:
• play is allowed to continue until the ball is out of play if a player is, in the opinion of the referee, only slightly injured
• play is stopped if, in the opinion of the referee, a player is seriously injured
• after questioning the injured player, the referee may authorise one, or at most two doctors, to enter the field of play to assess the injury and arrange the player’s safe and swift removal from the field of play
• stretcher-bearers should only enter the field of play with a stretcher following a signal from the referee
• the referee must ensure an injured player is safely removed from the field of play
• a player is not allowed to receive treatment on the field of play
• any player bleeding from a wound must leave the field of play. He may not return until the referee is satisfied that the bleeding has stopped. A player is not permitted to wear clothing with blood on it
• as soon as the referee has authorised the doctors to enter the field of play, the player must leave the field of play, either on a stretcher or on foot. If a player does not comply, he must be cautioned for unsporting behaviour
• an injured player may only return to the field of play after the match has restarted
• when the ball is in play, an injured player must re-enter the field of play from the touch line. When the ball is out of play, the injured player may re-enter from any of the boundary lines
• irrespective of whether the ball is in play or not, only the referee is authorised to allow an injured player to re-enter the field of play
• the referee may give permission for an injured player to return to the field of play if an assistant referee or the fourth official verifies that the player is ready
• if play has not otherwise been stopped for another reason, or if an injury suffered by a player is not the result of a breach of the Laws of the Game, the referee must restart play with a dropped ball from the position of the ball when play was stopped, unless play was stopped inside the goal area, in which case the referee drops the ball on the goal area line parallel to the goal line at the point nearest to where the ball was located when play was stopped
• the referee must allow for the full amount of time lost through injury to be played at the end of each period of play
• once the referee has decided to issue a card to a player who is injured and has to leave the field of play for treatment, the referee must issue the card before the player leaves the field of play
Exceptions to this ruling are to be made only when:
• a goalkeeper is injured
• a goalkeeper and an outfield player have collided and need immediate attention
• players from the same team have collided and need immediate attention
• a severe injury has occurred, e.g. swallowed tongue, concussion, broken leg
It seems pretty clear to me: If the referee considers an injury serious enough that someone is called into the field to treat it or see to the player, then the player must leave until the game has restarted, just as it says in the law.
March 5, 2012
In a U-19 game today, a fight broke after the game was over. It was at least 8 players from each team. Is it ok for an AR to grab a kid in a head lock and drag him away from the fight?
USSF answer (March 5, 2012):
Under normal circumstances match officials should not touch any player for any reason other than to shake hands before the coin toss or after the game is over. Breaking up fights should normally be left to the teams themselves. In most cases the only justification for an official to “step in” (particularly if that term is meant to include touching or holding a player) is for self-protection … and only to the extent needed for self-protection and only for as long as self-protection is needed.
February 28, 2012
I was out doing a club tournament and had a medical issue on the field not to the point where I couldn’t finish the match,but was having trouble breathing.It was u-11. I had hands on my hips and was bending over a little. I am in really good shape for my age.I have done a bunch of 45 minute matches in one weekend.I didn’t know that the assignor was having me assets.I don’t know why he was having me assessed on u-11 game.I have about a 5,000 soccer games under my belt with a variety of age groups.
Is there some procedure that he has to follow and shouldn’t he have said something to me?Shouldn’t he have asked for explanation? This assigner ultimate refused to give me anymore games.
This happen again this time I knew I was being asset at a referee academy.I was putting my hands on my hips and bending over a little bit.They asked me and we got into a bit of discussion.I said I am having trouble breathe.I went and drank diet coke or something and was able to breathe better.I was told do not put my hands on my hips and bend over.Is this really that critical of a problem me putting hands on hips and the other things and should I tell the tournament assignors and assessors?Should Assignors and assessors ask? This is the second incident of any kind that I have ever had.It would suck have an incident where I actually stopped breathing on the field.I know the chemical involved that set off the incident.They are Mold and corn.I usually just avoid them.Both times I was able to finish out my day and work the next day.I paid for it on Monday my lungs were on fire on Monday .Soccer people I talked to weren’t sure how to handle it.
USSF answer (February 28, 2012):
Yes, an administrator or assignor can request an assessment of any referee on any game under his or her jurisdiction. That is well within the duties of such a person. And assessors can ask if there is some problem they should know about, but only after the game is over; they are not allowed to interfere with the game before it is completed.
You don’t tell us how old you are — and we don’t really need to know — but the sight of a referee having trouble breathing, hands on hips and puffing, is not one that inspires confidence in players, whether young or old. in spectators and coaches, or in referee administrators of one sort or another who see it. If observers and players detect a weakness in the referee, they will exploit it to the detriment of the game. We can only suggest that you seek the advice of your physician on how to resolve this problem with mold and corn (and possibly other causes).
February 28, 2012
If a player is sent off (red card), he/she cannot play in their next game.
Question 1: if the referee does not include the send-off in the game report, or does not submit a game report, is the player still required to not play in their next game?
Question 2: It is VERY common for referees NOT to tell a youth player why (unsporting behavior, dissent, serious foul play, etc) a card is being displayed. When asked by the player or coach, the VERY common response is ‘I don’t have to tell you’. How are youth players to learn from a mistake when there is absolutely no reason given by the ‘professional offical’ as to what the mistake was? Are game reports accessible to coaches, players, and/or parents?
USSF answer (February 28, 2012):
1. Referees are expected to submit their match reports as quickly as possible, usually within 2-3 days of the game. If they do not do so, then technically the events described (or NOT described) therein did not occur — but see below.
Technicalities aside, realistically the game occurred: people were there; witnesses can be subpoenaed; the referee could be reminded of his report; the player who was red carded should, on his own initiative or by direction of his coach, sit out his team’s next regularly-scheduled match. All this should occur even without the actual filing of the referee’s report. An opposing coach could certainly note at the team’s next regularly-scheduled game that Player X should be sitting out and, if this is disputed on any basis (including the lack of a report from the referee), a complaint could be filed which would eventually trigger a demand upon the referee to get the requiredreport in. In real life, there are literally thousands of games that occur with no formal referee report going into a league or association office — of course, in most of these, nothing untoward has occurred, but no one has any problem accepting that there was a game, there was a score, and Team B won.
2. The referee is REQUIRED to tell a player that he or he has been cautioned or sent off for one of the seven reasons for either sort of misconduct.
They cannot refuse to tell this to the player and should be reported to refereeing authorities if they do so refuse. They are NOT required to tell the coach anything. In most states (we cannot speak for all of them) the reports are not available to non-refereeing or competition officials, but appropriate parties can be told of the contents regarding a specific person or incident.