What is the proper procedure for a player who is bleeding or is seen with blood on his/her uniform? I know the player has to leave the field of play and can not return until the Referee or A.R. has inspected the player ensuring that the bleeding has stopped or blood removed but what about the stoppage of play and substitution? I’ve seen referees stop play, send the player off, allow substitutions then restart with a drop ball. I’ve seen other referees send the player off, allow play to continue and no substitution.
USSF answer (March 24, 2009):
See the Advice to Referees, Advice 3.13 and 5.8
3.13 RETURN OF A PLAYER TEMPORARILY OFF THE FIELD
If a player has been instructed to leave the field to correct bleeding, blood on the uniform, or illegal equipment, the procedure for permitting that player to return to the field is described in Advice 5.8.
5.8 RETURN AFTER BLEEDING OR EQUIPMENT REMEDY
If a player is bleeding or the uniform is blood-soaked, the player must leave the field immediately to have the bleeding stopped and his or her skin and uniform cleaned as thoroughly as possible (replacing the uniform may be necessary to meet this requirement). Before the player can return to the field, the correction of the situation must be confirmed by an official-the referee or, if delegated by the referee in the pregame conference, the fourth official or, if there is no fourth official, an assistant referee. Once the correction has been confirmed, the player can be permitted to return to the field if beckoned by the referee, even if play is continuing. The objective is to bring the team back to its authorized strength as soon as possible.
To the extent that your question deals with substitutions, the only answer we can offer is that you review the rules of the competitions in which you are working. For example, if the match is using the so-called “youth substitution rules,” then certainly the team will want to put a substitute in for one of its players who is off the field dealing with a bleeding/blood on the uniform problem. If the match uses full Law 3 substitution rules, then more likely than not the team will NOT want to substitute (thus using one of its limited substitutions) for a player who might otherwise be ready to play in a few minutes.
It also depends on whether the player in question was ordered off at a stoppage (which might then also be a substitution opportunity under the rules of competition) or whether the player was ordered off during play with no stoppage.