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Question Number: 21264

Law 3 - Number of Players 5/3/2009

RE: Competitive Under 13

Mike Janeck of Portsmouth, RI USA asks...

In the middle of the second half, I decided to substitute our goalie. I sent the replacement goalie to the half line, with another player playing forward. At the next opportunity, a throw in, I called for substitutions and the lineman held the flag appropriately. Two substitutions were made. A few moments later, the other coach called the referee over and complained that the goalie had not 'checked in' with the referee. Very shortly thereafter, the first time the goalie touched (caught) the ball with his hands, the referee stopped play and awarded a direct kick to to the opposing team five feet from the goal. They scored. I have several questions. First, how is the referee to be informed of a goalie substitution? Is is more formal than another substitution? Second, should the goalie have been yellow carded as soon as the infraction occurred and not as soon as he touched the ball with his hands. By the way, he was obviously the goalie, with a goalie shirt and gloves on.

Answer provided by Referee Michelle Maloney

Ack!!! Protest this game immediately!!

Misapplication of the Laws of the Game! Ack! Send this referee back to class - he missed some very important information in Law 3!!

You went through the appropriate procedures to change out your goal keeper. By allowing the substitute goalkeeper to enter the game, the referee has been informed of the change. That's all that is needed.

Regardless of whether the referee is informed or not, the proper procedure if a goalkeeper change has taken place is to wait until the next stoppage, then to caution both the new and the old goalkeeper. Play is NOT stopped for this infraction of Law 3. And the new keeper IS the keeper, so s/he cannot be whistled for deliberately handling the ball inside the penalty area.

Major error by the referee here - even if it is too late to protest the game, you MUST get in touch with the referee assignor and/or the youth association person in charge and get them to re-educate this referee. Please.

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Answer provided by Referee Debbie Hoelscher

Oh dear, oh dear....not a good showing by the referee crew. Not only did the referee really make a blunder, but his crew let him down significantly. Under no circumstances should an AR allow his/her referee to make that kind of mistake. Not only should the referee be brought to the notice of the referee assignor, so, also should the rest of the referee team for leaving their referee in the lurch.

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Answer provided by Referee Keith Contarino

Blatant misapplication of the Law by what appears to be a clueless referee team! I agree, protest asap. So many mistakes. Where to begin? First every referee and soccer coach knows there's no such thing a direct free kick inside the attacking penalty area. DFK infractions by the defending team inside their own penalty area MUST result in a penalty kick. The Law requires the referee be notified of a keeper change. This referee, however, stood there and WATCHED the keeper change. If he was going to be a pinheaded, anal retentive referee, he should have cautioned both players immediately. He would have done an incredibly needless and stupid thing but at least would have been within Law. His watching the change and doing nothing was his tacit acknowledging the change. That should have been the end of it. But, let's suppose that a keeper change did occur that the referee did not see. The 'new' keeper is STILL the keeper and can never be guilty of the direct free kick foul of deliberately handling the ball inside his own penalty area. Had the switch occurred unnoticed by the referee until the new keeper caught a ball, he should follow the Laws Of The Game which tell us:

If a player changes places with the goalkeeper without the referee's
permission before the change is made:
? the referee allows play to continue
? the referee cautions the players concerned when the ball is next
out of play

I'd also like to know exactly when the opposing coach called the referee over. Was it during play after the throw-in took place? If it was, he can't even caution the 2 keepers as he has allowed play to restart. Further, what in the world was he doing talking to a coach during play? If he spoke with the coach BEFORE the throw-in, then, if he was going to to anything, he should have acted immediately

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