(Originally published on 7/21/17, “Operation Restore”)
Murray, an adult amateur fan, asks:
If a Referee gets injured and there is no replacement, does the result at the time stand or does it depend on the time the game was stopped?
Yes, if the Referee is the only official assigned to and present at the match. Yes, if there are other officials but none is qualified to take the Referee position and responsibilities. No, if there is at least one other member of the assigned officiating team qualified and willing to take the Referee position.
In matches with a full crew assigned (Referee and two Assistant Referees), one of the Assistant Referees is often designated as AR-1 and this is usually for the purpose of identifying that AR as the official who takes over if the Referee is unable to continue (in which case a volunteer linesman could be sought for the AR-1’s position) or is unable to serve as the Referee but deemed able to swap places with the AR for the remainder of the match. Alternately, the local rules of competition may specify another method. If no method is specified and there is no prior designation of one of the ARs as “senior” or first in line to take over, the Referee would usually be expected to designate which AR (assuming that AR is amenable) would take over the Referee’s position.
Are you getting the feeling the assumption is that Referees are not expected to become sufficiently unable to continue to the point of needing a replacement? You would be correct. If you are not comfortable with that ambiguity, ask the Assignor or know in advance if there are any rules in place or traditional in your area which govern this sort of problem.
If none of these options is available or acceptable or workable, the match is terminated, after which the resolution of your question is in the hands of the local competition authority (the body under whose authority the particular game is being played). In any event, full details must be included in the match report.