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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 23211

Law 3 - Number of Players 4/29/2010

RE: Rec Under 18

Carrie of Indianapolis, IN US asks...

This may not be the right forum for this and I apologize in advance if that is the case. Opposing coach brought an illegal player to a game. I had spoken with the coach by phone and the coach asked me if he could bring a U15 player (the next division down). We were scheduled to play this team twice, I wasn't exactly sure which game was in question. I said it was fine with me knowing full well that if he wasn't properly registered the officials would not allow the player to participate. Game day came and went, nobody said anything to me about guest players. Fast forward a week and I find out that the team had brought a player that wasn't registered any where in their organization and the official allowed this player with no documentation to participate in the game and simply added his name to the game report (which I do not see). In the end, the coach of the other team and myself received the same punishment. A $25.00 fine and a one game suspension. My team will have to forfeit a game because I do not have any other coaches on my roster which in hindsight was not a great idea on my part. Wasn't it the officials responsibility to ensure that the players on the field were legal players by way of their pre-game check in duties?

Answer provided by Referee Steve Montanino

This question is hard to answer. It not really got to do with the laws of the game, but it does have to do with the referee.

First, let me say, coming to a panel of referees and saying that you admit a mistake, but then seek to mitigate some of the blame by placing it on the referee, doesn't go over well for me. Even if I answer you by telling you what you want to hear, what good does it do for you, does it make you feel better about the situation you now find yourself in?

With that out of the way... whether or not the referee is required to check passes, rosters, or any other form of credential is entirely up to the league you play for. Many leagues have a 'no pass = no play' rule. While others say, let anyone in a uniform play and they will sort out the mess later. So, I don't know your leagues policy. Investigating the answer to that question will provide you the answer to the question you pose of us.

Finally, you said, 'I said it was fine with me knowing full well that if he wasn't properly registered the officials would not allow the player to participate.' WHY? Don't you think that's a little rude to tell the opposing coach - sure go ahead and do something - that will in the end waste some 14 year old kid's day, and make the opposing coach look like a fool? You should have said no. It looks like both coaches got their comeuppance - and there you go again trying to put the referee on the hook for a problem you could have avoided by just being upfront in the first place.

You can be better than this Carrie!

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Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

It depends on the league rules. Many leagues provide by rule for the referee to check player passess and rosters. And, many have 'no pass, no play' rules. Some leagues expect the referees only to check that the person who is the player is the same person shown on the roster. Some don't use player passes. Some leagues put all of the burden on the coaches and do not provide for any checks by the referee.

Referees are expected to follow the league's requirements for matches they accept.

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