Soccer Referee Resources
Ask a Question
Recent Questions

Previous You-Call-It's

VAR (Video Assistant Referee)

Q&A Quick Search
The Field of Play
The Ball
The Players
The Players Equipment
The Referee
The Other Match Officials
The Duration of the Match
The Start and Restart of Play
The Ball In and Out of Play
Determining the Outcome of a Match
Fouls and Misconduct
Free Kicks
Penalty kick
Throw In
Goal Kick
Corner Kick

Common Sense
Kicks - Penalty Mark
The Technical Area
The Fourth Official
Attitude and Control
League Specific
High School

Common Acronyms
Meet The Ref
Contact AskTheRef
Help Wanted
About AskTheRef

Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

Panel Login

You Call It Q&A's - June 14, 2000

Dr. Wayne Wray 6/14/2000

Previous You Call It Q&A's - June 14, 2000
You are center referee in a game where the blue team has been bombarded with shots from the white team, the white team pushes forward and mounts an attack of its own. No score results and as the blue team comes back down the field you realize that there is a different keeper in the goal (wearing appropriate attire) than you last remember. What should you do?
Congratulations Mike Sherwin of Stoke-on-Trent Staffordshire, England this Weeks Winner

All correct answers that are submitted to this contest are entered into a random drawing. The winners are then randomly selected from the pool of correct responses. The most comprehensive answers will be posted to the web site as well as have a chance to be published in the Discussion Aid.
All submitted answers belong to please see our privacy policy.


Answer submitted by Afif Saad of Richmond Texas, USA

1. Continue play until next stoppage of the game (or when the ball is next out of play).

2. Caution and show yellow card to the players concerned (old and new goalkeepers), for changing places without your ( the referee's) permission (Law 3. LOTG, p. 14). You may want to check with the AR nearest to the goalkeeper's side to confirm goalkeeper changes if you have some doubt about what happened.

3. The new keeper can still continue in the game after the caution since he is wearing the appropriate attire.

4. Restart the game normally according to what stopped play.

Answer submitted by Ian Fradsham of Charlottetown PEI, Canada

As Law 3 says... Allow play to continue and at the next stoppage caution all players concerned. In this case two cautions would be warranted, 1 to the original goalkeeper, and the 2nd to the player now acting as the goalkeeper. Restart with the natural restart from the stoppage.

Answer submitted by Mike Sherwin of Stoke-on-Trent Staffordshire, England

It is an offence for the goalkeeper and another player to exchange places with each other without the permission of the referee. Also, this exchange may only be allowed at a stoppage in the game.

So, at the next stoppage in play, the referee should verify whether an illegal exchange has occurred, and if this is found to be in fact the case, he shall be required to caution and show the yellow card to both the original goalkeeper and the new goalkeeper. A player who recieves a second caution must also be show the red card and sent off for a second cautionable offence.

It is also important to note that if an illegal exchange of goalkeepers has occurred, then for the purposes of the game, the player who is wearing the goalkeeper's shirt shall be deemed to be the goalkeeper even though the referee did not grant the permission for the exchange. Therefore, the brand new goalkeeper may handle the ball within his own penalty area whilst the original goalkeeper may not legally do so.

Answer submitted by Sherman Whipple of Hingham MA, USA

While the question does not indicate whether it was the Blue or White keeper, this is irelevant. If, a field player has changed with the keeper during play and without notifying the referee, then the referee should wait for the next stoppage, caution both players for unsporting behavior, and allow play to restart with the new keeper. This is a manditory caution.

A Note From The Assessor

Some of you mentioned that had substitute entered the field of play without your permission you would stop play to administer a caution. That is correct. This question assumes that two player exchanged positions.

The referee must allow play to continue until the next time the ball is out of play. At that point he must caution and show the yellow card to both of the players involved in the switch (Law 3, LOTG 1999/2000). This is not discretionary, but one of the eight mandatory cautions.

Call for Papers

We are calling for papers on...

Funny Stories while refereeing

Managing the Sidelines (Parents, Coaches and Fans)

If you would like to submit an article for publication on please email your article to In the subject line put article submission.

Editorial Guidelines

Your article must be soccer referee, or laws related.

The article must be your work. Please do not send us articles that you do not have reprint permission for.

Please proof and spell check your work.

You must include a short BIO at the end of your article stating your name, licenses, affiliations and a brief history of your experience.

If you have any questions you may contact MrRef

Soccer Referee Extras

Did you Ask the Ref? Find your answer here.

Enter Question Number

If you received a response regarding a submitted question enter your question number above to find the answer

Offside Question?

Offside Explained by Chuck Fleischer & Richard Dawson, Former & Current Editor of AskTheRef

This web site and the answers to these questions are not sanctioned by or affiliated with any governing body of soccer. The opinions expressed on this site should not be considered official interpretations of the Laws of the Game and are merely opinions of AskTheRef and our panel members. If you need an official ruling you should contact your state or local representative through your club or league. On AskTheRef your questions are answered by a panel of licensed referees. See Meet The Ref for details about our panel members.