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: 34734

Law 5 - The Referee 10/10/2022

RE: 5 Adult

Mark Smith of Wolverhampton , West Midlands England asks...

If a physiotherapist/medic is called on to the pitch to treat an injured but doesn’t actually treat the player, does the player still have to leave the pitch ?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Mark
Thanks for the question

If the mechanics are handled correctly the issue should not arise.
I always made a point of asking players if they needed treatment or not. If the answer was yes then the medic was beckoned on to the field of play and then both would be asked to leave before the restart of play. If the answer was no then a signal not to come on was made.

In case where a medic entered the field of play without the referee's permission then most times I advise that the medic "assess" the player and both would be asked to leave. In the case of a head injury that was always important as a player may not want treatment yet could still be injured. If blood is visible then the player must leave and the player can only re-enter when the wound has been checked.

Referee Wright has outlined the instances when a player is not required to leave the field of play

Read other questions answered by Referee Joe McHugh

View Referee Joe McHugh profile

Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Mark,

The trigger for leaving is when the medic is authorised to come on. So even if they don't actually come on, the player is still required to leave the field. On the reverse side, if, the medic comes on without permission, then the referee will still require the player to leave.

Another aspect of the laws which I think a lot 0f referees don't know, is that if play is stopped purely for an injury (ie when you have a player staying down), they're required to leave because play was stopped - so the medic may as well be called on.

Exceptions to leaving are:-

a goalkeeper is injured

a goalkeeper and an outfield player have collided and need attention

players from the same team have collided and need attention

a severe injury has occurred

a player is injured as the result of a physical offence for which the opponent is cautioned or sent off (e.g. reckless or serious foul challenge), if the assessment/treatment is completed quickly

a penalty kick has been awarded and the injured player will be the kicker

Read other questions answered by Referee Jason Wright

View Referee Jason Wright profile

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Mark,
My colleagues have covered the topic well so little to address in the ways of protocols.
just a reminder that grassroots kids matches we are resilient shall we say to the established protocols,, given limited match times, schedules, free flowing subs and safety as the number 1 concern. Essentially if treatment is required, a sub occurs, even if directly off the bench and the player treated or recovers on the touchlines once carried or moved off the FOP in a safe expedient manner If all they needed was a hug and some reassurance , many adults will hurry on in a stoppage without the referee saying it is necessary so why fight the safety 1st concept.

If the kid needs a nose blown or a tear wiped, and we can get going given the next match is up in an hour, forcing the issue lacks credibility yet I say this with 1st hand knowledge.

Get the kid to PROPER treatment if you guts say this dude or duddette is hurt. I have witnessed tragic consequences where players should have gone to the hospital, particularly head injuries! A broken bone SNAP , free flowing blood, or knee or ankle swell I have carried both adults and kids off the FOP directly into cars, trucks and even ambulances onto the field as the injury was apparent not just a bit winded or cramped twist or strain or a small trickle of blood from a scape. After crunching tackles where blackout loss of consciousness even few moments unaware of the surroundings where the kids like to say put me back in coach ready to go then massive trauma shows up later. I you we are not doctors but if your guts are screaming at you make the effort to point out the harsh realities! Just be proactive and communicate. Are you ok, can you continue? I know there are things like players all dropping to a knee to force a stoppage but realistically kids get quicker care just because mom and dad are watching ,

Read other questions answered by Referee Richard Dawson

View Referee Richard Dawson profile

Ask a Follow Up Question to Q# 34734
Read other Q & A regarding Law 5 - The Referee

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 free 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. While there is no charge for asking the questions, donation to maintain the site are welcomed! <>