This situation happened in a recent tournament (thankfully I was not involved in it!):

With 3 minutes left in the second OT of a tournament final and the score tied, one of Team A’s strikers (A1) is injured and is subbed out (unlimited subsitution rule in effect). He is thus not one of the 11 players on the field for Team A when time expires and the winner must be determined by kicks from the mark.

However, one of the AR’s does not properly do his job and Player A1 ends up going onto the field to replace the player who subbed in for him minutes before. (There is nothing particularly sneaky about this, and A1 may not have been aware of the USSF rule for kicks from the mark. In HS, of course, he could have legitimately taken one of the kicks.)

The kicks then proceed beyond the fifth players into “sudden death”, where A1 makes the kick that theoretically wins the match. However, the opposing coach immediately objects – stating correctly that A1 was not on the field at the end of the game. The CR, remembering the injury substitution, recognizes that the coach is correct.

So the question is:

1. Does the kick count, based on the theory that play has “resumed” since the illegal entry by A1, or is the goal negated, or does Team A get to re-do the kick with a legal kicker? Also, should A1 and his coach be cautioned?

2. Would there be any difference if A1 converted the first kick of the shootout, but his being on the field illegally was not noticed until several other players had taken their turns?

As always, thanks for your input.

USSF answer (June 3, 2008):
Other than the clear requirement that only players who are on the field or off temporarily with the permission of the referee are allowed to participate in kicks from the penalty mark, this situation is not covered in the Laws of the Game. The kicks may go no farther and the referee must include full details in the match report. The competition authority must determine what happens to this game.

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