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Question Number: 20938

League Specific 3/7/2009

RE: High School

Carlos Costa of Woonsocket, Rhode Island USA asks...

This question is a follow up to question 20921

According to your answer the referee does not have to wait for the exiting player to cross the line to restart the game. Consider the following scenerario: A team subs 10 players at once. I bet that ref will wait for all to leave and then even recount the number of players on the field. This gives the unfair opportunity for a numerous team to delay a game. Shouldn't there be uniformity? Wait for all exiting players to leave and then allow the on-going players to enter? I hate to beat a dead horse here but I don't have a big team but play against very large teams who frequently sub 10 at a time. There is no level playing ground if the rule is as you say it is. Thank you.

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Your preaching to the converted here laddie, we know the issues, which is why we said High School is NOT how FIFA does it!
That said, USB for delaying the restart could be a consideraton as it is a referee's discretion what constitutes dawdling versus a reasonable exchange. Plus the referee could stop the clock if time added is not an option.

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Answer provided by Referee Chuck Fleischer

Carlos, NFHS High School Soccer rules are written the way it is for reasons unknown to the rest of the world. It is just the way it is. Go with the referee on this one and prevent the odd caution or disqualification for yourself.

When substituting that many players I deal with it in the easiest way I can under the rules. I also count the number of players on the side and add time.

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Answer provided by Referee Keith Contarino

What we tried to point out is you need to abide by the rules of your competition. When the referee beckons your players to come onto the field you MUST let them. Unfortunately for you, the referee is 100% correct in his handling of substitutions as per NFHS rules. I don't understand, however, why you feel your team is disadvantaged if another team subs 10 at a time per NFHS rules. If you played by FIFA rules it would take even longer for 10 to come on as we would have to wait for 10 to go off. It seems to me that by NOT having to wait for the 10 to go off as per NFHS rules, the delay would be shorter. Regardless, the take home point for you should be that what we told you about substitution rules for high school is correct. The sub becomes a player when he is beckoned onto the field by the referee and the player ceases to be a player even if he's still on the field. While this sets up all kinds of horrible scenarios, that's what the rules are and you must abide by them.

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Answer provided by Referee Michelle Maloney

Carlos, even in the NFHS rules, the referee can stop the clock if it is deemed necessary for the good of the game. Normally substitutions don't take very long, and even in USSF games, the time is not added back into the game unless the substitution takes an inordinate amount of time (for instance, many players at once or many, many substitutions meant to eat time). Unfortunately, the referee cannot add time to a HS game like they can a USSF game. The only other choice is to stop the clock.

In your scenario of 10, the prudent HS referee will stop the clock until the substitution is complete, and he's counted all the players. Then the game restarts on his signal. This has at least two benefits: 1) it keeps the coach who isn't subbing large numbers from losing his cool and 2) lets the other coach know that time wasting is being watched and dealt with appropriately under the rules.

You might politely ask the referee to stop the clock if it appears your opponent is using subs to waste time. You can't make him/her, but most referees are very reasonable if approached correctly.

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