What does Send Off mean if the player was on the bench, as a substitute when they received a red card? The match has started, but would it make a difference if the ball had been out of bounds at the time? My interpretation is that the team must play a man down, even though none of the players committed the Send Off offense and it was a substitute. As in the ruling, substitutes who receive a red card are treated as if they were players on the field. Just asking.

USSF answer (August 5, 2008):
You have confused the process of sending a player or substitute or substituted player off with the consequences of sending that person off. A player who has been sent off, whether on the field or off at the moment of the misconduct, may not be replaced as a player. The player must leave the field and its environs. In that case, the team plays with one fewer player. A substitute who has been sent off may not be replaced on the roster by any other person. As this was a substitute and thus not a player, there is no effect on the number of players on the field. The substitute must leave the team area and the environs of the field. The dismissal of a substituted player, no longer a participant in the game under any circumstances — except in competitions that allow substitutes to fly in and out of the game — must simply leave the team area and the environs of the field.

Note: For safety reasons, there are certain exceptions for youth players/substitutes/substituted players, but these individuals must not be allowed to interfere with the further progress of the game. If they do interfere, the referee should terminate the game.

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