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

Question Number: 21212

Law 4 - Players Equipment 4/28/2009

RE: USL-1 Professional

James of Austin, TX USA asks...

This is a question about in-game uniform changes:

Recently at a USL-1 game an Austin Aztex player was asked to leave the field by a match official for bleeding. Once he left the pitch the trainer cleaned him up, stopped the bleeding, covered it and he came to the halfway line to return, only to be turned back by the fourth official who noticed blood down the side of the players jersey.

The player proceeds to take a jersey from a player who is on the bench and wear it. He is now wearing a jersey with a different number as well as a different name.

Is an in game uniform change acceptable and if so what is the procedure for the referee if the player changes numbers?

Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

Many teams do not have the wherewithall to have complete sets of duplicate jerseys. The 4th official will note the change in player number (and in this case name) and communicate it to the ref. In lower level games, the ref will have to be informed directly about a change in number before the player can enter.

Read other questions answered by Referee Gary Voshol

View Referee Gary Voshol profile

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

The process is one of courtesy and simple exchange of information. No official wants to delay a player from rightfully entering the game on a pretext of the jersey being changed. The recreational level informs the AR and referee. At the televised levels be sure everyone gets the message.

Read other questions answered by Referee Richard Dawson

View Referee Richard Dawson profile

Answer provided by Referee Michelle Maloney

USSF put out a position paper on Oct. 21, 2008 relating to Player Jerseys and what the fourth official or AR are permitted to do in order to get a player back into the game as quickly as possible, while still meeting the requirements of safety and the strictures of the Laws.

Wearing another person's jersey is the last permissible choice, with the name masked, and the number noted on the game report as now belonging to the player wearing it. Usually this will be the jersey of a substituted player, or a substitute who will now be removed from the roster for the remainder of the game.

Read other questions answered by Referee Michelle Maloney

View Referee Michelle Maloney profile

Answer provided by Referee Steve Montanino

This is the paper Michelle was talking about it. Keep in mind that this was a playoff match too.

Hope this helps.

Read other questions answered by Referee Steve Montanino

View Referee Steve Montanino profile

Ask a Follow Up Question to Q# 21212
Read other Q & A regarding Law 4 - Players Equipment

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.