Soccer Referee Resources
Ask a Question
Recent Questions

RSS FEED Subscribe Now!

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
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
Panel Login

Question Number: 24245

Law 3 - Number of Players 10/27/2010

RE: Competitive Under 19

Aubrey Waddell of Maryville, TN USA asks...

If a substitute or substituted player enters the field of play while the ball is in play and without the referee's permission, is the substitute/substituted player considered a player or is he considered a substitute/substituted player for purposes of fouls and misconduct that he may commit while he is on the field?

Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

The substitute/substituted player who enters the field in this situation is not considered a player. He cannot commit a foul (which by definition must be an act by a player), but should be cautioned for unsporting behavior (entering without permission). He could be sent off if he commits other acts of misconduct while on the field of play (either a second cautionable offense or a sendoff offense), but his team would not play short.

Read other questions answered by Referee Dennis Wickham

View Referee Dennis Wickham profile

Answer provided by Referee Debbie Hoelscher

A substitute becomes a player only when:
1) the referee has recognized the substitution
2) the player being replaced has left the field of play
3) the substitute, AFTER being beckoned onto the FOP by the referee, enters the FOP. It is that point that the substitution is complete and the substitute becomes a player.

There are no other times for which a substitute is, or is even considered, a player.

A substitute can and should be sanctioned for misconduct if they participate in such an act. A substitute can never be penalized for a foul, as by definition fouls are committed only by players against their opponent, on the field of play, while the ball is in play.

Read other questions answered by Referee Debbie Hoelscher

View Referee Debbie Hoelscher profile

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Aubrey
The substitute or substituted player would not become a player in the situation of entering the field of play without permission. As a result he can only commit misconduct and he cannot commit a foul. A substitute or substituted player is cautioned if he commits any of the following three offences:
# unsporting behaviour
# dissent by word or action
# delaying the restart of play.
Note the exclusive of the other 4 cautionable offences which relate to participation in play.
The substitute or substituted player can be sent off but his team does not play short. Any goal scored while there is an extra person on the field of play by the scoring team would be disallowed.

Read other questions answered by Referee Joe McHugh

View Referee Joe McHugh profile

Ask a Follow Up Question to Q# 24245
Read other Q & A regarding Law 3 - Number of 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.