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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 32471

Law 3 - The Players 5/25/2018

RE: Competive Other

terrie d of oakton, va usa asks...

At what age does youth soccer limit substitutions? or is that only in the pros?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Terrie
IFAB the lawmakers now says that the age limits for youth has been removed from the Laws of the Game– national FAs, confederations and FIFA have the flexibility to decide the age restrictions for this category.
In the past it was set at Age 16 although I know that Youths up to Under 18 had concessions at local level on substitutions.
In our competitions up to Under 16 has unlimited substitutions along with return substitutions while up to Under 18 it is now 5 substitutes with no return possible. That may change next season although any limits that are put in place will be to prevent abuse of the process through delaying the game and possible wasting time.
the game wishes to encourage participation yet it also wants to ensure that it is done in the spirit of which it is given.

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Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Terrie,
Limits on substitutions is not dependent on age so much as level - and the rules set by the competition organisers. According to the laws, in addition to being permitted in youth, veterans and disability football, unlimited substitutions are also allowed at any age in what is called 'grassroots football', although all variations on the basic substitution law are: ''subject to the agreement of the national football association, confederation or FIFA.''

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