Question # 58 on this test: A player injures himself/herself while taking shot on goal. As the ball is being retrieved, the player is being treated off the field. Just before the ensuing goal kick can be taken, the player is ready to return to the field. The referee may allow the player to return before the goal kick is taken. True or False. The answer key has true. When reading 2007/2008 Laws of the game page 16 under Powers and Duties 8th note 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.The question that I am asking you is can a player return prior to the restart of any play?
Answer (August 7, 2007):
While it is true that the referee ” 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,” as written in Law 5, it is clear from the question in the test that play was stopped not for the injury but for the ball out of play. Therefore Law 5 does not apply, but this series of statements in the USSF publication “Advice to Referees on the Laws of the Game” does apply: Only the referee may permit the return to the field of play of a player who was permitted to leave the field for treatment of an injury. This is not a substitution. The player who left the field for treatment of an injury may return during play with the permission of the referee, but only from the touch line. If the ball is out of play, the player may return with the permission of the referee across any boundary line.