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Soccer Rules Changes 1580-2000

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Question Number: 33711

High School 10/15/2019

RE: High School

Stephen Swan of Elizabethtown, KY United States asks...

This question is a follow up to question 33707

Three responses and two interpretations. The intent of the rule is to allow for the trailing team to have access to the time remaining without a game delay by the lead team substituting. If the training team subs by itself, the clock is not stopped. If both teams sub, by one interpretation, the clock is stopped. This is regardless of the score differential or number of subs. While this is a safe procedure in the context of removing judgement on what is or is not time wasting (delay of game), the rational of removing time wasting is null and void. The rule change is to promote continued competitive play, versus just running the clock out. Dont know any refs who think the rule change is unpopular, but it seems, given the differences in interpretation, the more correct change would be to stop the clock regardless who is or is not subbing. Thanks for the replies.

Answer provided by Referee Peter Grove

Hi Stephen,
I'd just like to make it clear that there are not two interpretations in the responses given. The clock is stopped whenever the leading team makes a substitution during the last five minutes of the second period. This is true whether the trailing team is substituting or not. All three responses are consistent in the interpretation of the scenario.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Stephen
The important part that was left out of the question was *at the same time*.
So all three answers are the same with the same interpretation. If the leading team is substituting then the clock is stopped. If the team that is behind is substituting on its own then the clock does not stop. If the leading team is substituting at the same time as the trailing team it is still substituting.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe Manjone


As indicated in the comments on rules changes, this rule was put in to prevent time wasting by the leading team. A result of this rule, as you indicate, would be continued competitive play.

The reason it is not popular with the officials is because officials did not see this as a problem so 'why fix something that is not broken.' Also, the previous rules allowed the officials to stop tactics that would result in time wasting.

I should have indicated in my response that I did contact the Kentucky High School Rules Interpreter to make certain that my interpretation of the rule was correct and being enforced in Kentucky. He assured me that it was.

I do like your idea of stopping the clock when there is a substitution. If this were done throughout the game, it would allow for more play and cut out the time that is wasted getting substitutes on and off the field.

I see that you have been working high school soccer games in Kentucky for 13 years. I do hope that you get to work the playoffs.

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