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Question Number: 30656

The Technical Area 8/8/2016

RE: Amateur Adult

George of Parangarecutirimicuaro, CA Sacratomato asks...

A player approaches the technical area and the coach hands him a bottle with water. The player turns around to follow the play as he drinks. The ball is kicked hard from about the six in the direction of the player drinking water. As players are scrambling for the ball, the player drinking water tosses the water bottle off the field and sprints to meet the ball before others catch up to the ball. The opposing team started protesting that the player was off the field of play. He was not. He was standing right in front of me the whole time. At halftime, CR had a word with me. He said that a player who is drinking water cannot gain an advantage out of the situation, which the player clearly did. My question, is there anything in LOTG to support this?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi George
As the player did not leave the field of play there was no issue and the referees comment was incorrect. A player is entitled to come to the sideline to take water or speak with the coach. He may not leave the field of play and it is a decision for the AR to make in this regard.
It is up to the opponents to factor in the players position into its tactical calculation. Sure if the player just positioned himself close to the sideline in that location what would the opponents do? Complain about the players position!!

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Answer provided by Referee James Sowa


The only potential complaint here would be that the player threw the water back to the bench instead of handing it to the coach. You can have a word with the player/coach about this but there is no infraction to call at this point. The player is entitled to drink water as long as they remain on the pitch. In this case they did so there is nothing wrong with your scenario presented above.

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