I’m eager to learn how to correctly handle the following situation (NFHS Rules Set, whether that makes a difference):
Team A throw-in near Team A’s 18. Team A substitutes; Team B substitutes. Official signals for Team A to proceed with the restart.
With the ball now in play and being kicked about for some seconds, it is recognized by Official X that there are 12 Team B players participating on the field (yes, shoddy substitution management by the officials). A brief second *prior* to Official X sounding his whistle to address the discrepancy (yes, two whistles sound in unintended succession here), Official Y had sounded his whistle upon observing a Tripping Foul by a Team A player in Team A’s penalty area – clearly a PK for Team B. What to do now?
USSF answer (May 18, 2010):
A reminder to all readers: We do not answer questions on high school rules in this forum. We deal strictly with the Laws of the Game. Accordingly, we are answering the question based solely on the Laws of the Game. You will need to determine on your own whether any of the rules you are using would require a different answer.
This problem was caused by three related things: Having two referees with whistles on the field (against the explicit requirements of the Laws of the Game), failure to follow the guidelines in Law 3 regarding substitution, and failure to count the players after the substitution.
Despite the sequence in which the whistles were blown, the primary problem here is the excess number of players for Team B, so that must be dealt with first. The referee cannot know which of the players is the twelfth, so must caution (unsporting behavior) and remove one of the Team B players. Because the excess number of players existed before the “foul” that would lead to a penalty kick, there is no penalty kick. Instead, the game is restarted with an indirect free kick for Team A at the place where the ball was when play was stopped (for the illegal entry onto the field by the 12th B player). As for the “foul,” you could verbally admonish the player who committed it (since it won’t be punished in the usual way) but, depending on the player’s action, you could caution (e. g., unsporting behavior for recklessness or perhaps it was a tactical foul) or you could send off the player with a red card for violent conduct if the “foul” involved violence.
In other words, you retain the ability to card even if the player’s action can’t be counted as a foul