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: 32756

Law 3 - The Players 9/29/2018

RE: Youth to adult, comp and rec.

Barry Stewart of Chilliwack, BC Canada asks...

This question is a follow up to question 32750

In regards to an offensive opportunity on a corner kick or a dfk from, say, within 30 paces of the goal: if the offence is ready to go immediately, should they not be allowed to proceed?

A crafty defence coach will want to ask for a sub, to stall the play. Is it their right - or does the referee need to protect the rights of the offence to get on with it.

Of course, an obvious injury would take precedence.

Thanks again for your advice.

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

HI Barry,
Absolutely the team wanting to take their restart is entitled barring unforeseen circumstances. It could depend on the association bylaws as much as the referee's decision to allow a substitution. Many local venues or certain tournaments place restrictions due to time constraints and to the practicality of how much unlimited substitution can use up vast quantities of playtime. The most often used bylaw or extra bit is sub ONLY on your possession & or if the other team goes on theirs you can too. Procedures: Players MUST BE AT CENTER midline BEFORE THE SUB opportunity occurs. This ensures alerting the officials the team is actively wanting to sub as well as keep the cries of SUB REF from echoing around the pitch at every stoppage plus ensures a quick in & out when it does occur. In point of fact IF they ARE at center & the referee calls in for the sub they can not refuse as it is in effect delaying the restart. No coach needs to ask for a sub only to FOLLOW the protocols in place that permit a substitution to take place! As you noted an INJURY is different here we can have a substitute come in directly off the bench through the midline but technically we should not be permitting substitutions unless they are at the midline waiting . TIME is USED UP that is a fact, we owe it to the players to limit the wasting of the non-playtime.
Proceedures make substitutions less confusing but only if they are understood by all.
Cheers .

Read other questions answered by Referee Richard Dawson

View Referee Richard Dawson profile

Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Barry,
Under the IFAB's Laws of the Game there is no mention of referees being allowed to deny substitutions based on whose restart it is. However it does say that:

''the referee must be informed before any substitution is made''

And that:

The substitute only enters:
after receiving a signal from the referee''

So the referee does have some discretion to control how and when substitutions are made. I would say that if a 'quick free kick' situation occurs in the way that it normal does, the team having committed the foul would be unlikely to have a substitute ready to come on at that precise point in time and most referees would be unlikely to be looking to allow a substitution at that point.

'Quick corners' are not such a particularly widespread phenomenon and it is also a widely held view among coaches that it is not a good idea to make a substitution when facing a corner so I'd be a little surprised if the defending team did want to make a substitution at a corner kick but if they did and if the substitute was fully ready to come on, I'd be inclined to allow it. However, if the attacking team were already going ahead with the corner in an expedited fashion, the referee again might well choose not to interrupt proceedings to signal for a substitute at that very instant.

Read other questions answered by Referee Peter Grove

View Referee Peter Grove profile

Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Barry,
You are absolutely correct that the attacking team has the right to a quick free kick, unless play needs to be delayed for a particular reason.

And you're correct that a coach could choose to call for a sub if they can see a quick free kick is about to occur (this often happens on a quick attacking throw-in, as well).

I tend to think selective deafness is a good tool in any referee's arsenal. I get a big hard of hearing at quick restarts......same in the final minute of play in a game without stoppage time.

The technical, LOTG answer is that the defence has the right. But if the restart has already occurred by the time you realised they were asking for a sub....well, not much you can do about it, is there?

Read other questions answered by Referee Jason Wright

View Referee Jason Wright profile

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Barry
Yeah that is possible yet the referee has the discretion based on the circumstances to go with the quick restart. Remember it is the quickness of the start that makes the difference.
In my game last week the home team wanted to make a substitution and the away team took a quick restart so I just allowed play to continue with a shout * Next stoppage*
I was on the line this week in a high level game and the defending team requested a substitution on a corner kick. My first reaction was that the team was using the substitution to regroup as they were out of position. The CR allowed it as the attacking team while keen to retrieve the ball and get on with play was not ready to play. Denying the substitution with the restart not happening quickly is likely to cause a problem for the game.

Read other questions answered by Referee Joe McHugh

View Referee Joe McHugh profile

Ask a Follow Up Question to Q# 32756
Read other Q & A regarding Law 3 - The Players

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.