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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 29876

Law 3 - Number of Players 11/1/2015

Robert of Olympia, WA USA asks...

We have a league here that does a more advanced substitution method. In the first half, players cannot re-enter the game once substituted, but in the second half they are allowed one re-entry after being subbed.

Tracking first half subs is easy, but we have spent almost all season trying to determine the easiest way to track subs in the second half with the confusion of the 'one re-entry' policy. If you need to write the starting lineup, determining who can re-enter, etc

Have you guys ever had a policy like this that you have dealt with?

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Robert ,
All I can say is YIKES! and NO!
not sure why you utilize the term advanced but it is DIFFERENT! At least around here?> Any and all substitutions require quality procedures to avoid errors. Subs report to the 4th or senior AR or possibly a timekeeper/stats desk. The idea is those substitutes who which to become players are required to BE at the midline BEFORE any stoppage to be considered as ready to come on. Once the subs are at centre they must in fact enter upon the referee request at the next stoppage other wise they could be cautioned for delaying the restart. The idea of waving them in once the player they are replacing is left is important . If you are indeed forced to account who and when and how often then SOMEONE has to record these substitutes and they probably should occur one at a time. It will be easier to maintain the written aspects if there is a larger elements of officials taking part We used a small written sub sheet that had their name number and the player to be replaced which we kept in the card book. But this was a one time sub between 3 to 8 subs per match.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Robert
A strange rule and one that referees quite rightly will have difficulty with. We have recently been given a rule that players must play 25/30% of the game with re-entry substitutions. Referees have told the Leagues that we will track whether a player plays yet we will not track how long he plays. That is up to the clubs to manage.
Now in your scenario the only way to do this properly is to do up a substitution sheet with one to eighteen listed and three panels. A first half panel and a second half one and a re-entry one. If say # 8 is substituted in the first half his time of substitution goes into the first half panel. I then know that #8 can take no further part in the game as he is in that first half panel. If on the other hand #8 is substituted in the 2nd half his time goes into the second panel. I now know that #8 can come back in once and once he does so his entry time goes into the third panel which now tells me that he can take no further part in the game if he subbed is out. So simply first panel means immediate no further play for that player in the game and the second and third panel filled also means no further involvement for the player. An extra panel is required for the substitutions to cover their re-entry.
Here is my suggestion

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Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

It's common in Southern California and is the method used for NCAA college.

There are a couple methods to help.

Hand each team 7 reentry passes (not player passes) where the number of the player entering and leaving is written. That helps the senior AR keep track of the numbers, particularly with multiple subs.

The most common system is for the referee to write the number of each player who leaves and each substitute who enters during the second half. Once a substitute or player re-enters the match, circle the number. That indicates that once the player leaves the field again, he or she cannot re-enter later.

It can be delegated to the senior AR (particularly when jersey numbers are on the front and back), but it is often easier for the referee to see the number of the player who is leaving and get the number of the player who is leaving.

Mass substitutions present a problem to record all those who are coming in and leaving. So, the referee may want to have each substitute enter one - at a time.

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