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Question Number: 28738

Law 8 - Start and Restart of Play 9/16/2014

RE: rec Under 15

David of LA, california USA asks...

hi all. my question is the offical restart in regards to an injury.

Say blue team has the ball and i blew the whistle because a red player is down because of a recent play. what would be the restart ?


Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

Under the laws of the game, when the referee stops play to address an injury, the restart is a dropped ball. The location of the restart is where the ball was located when play was stopped.

Note: high school (NFHS) and college rules (NCAA) differ.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi david
If play is stopped solely to deal with an injury then the restart is a dropped ball from where the ball was when play was stopped.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi David,
Occasionally a player will be writhing or laying on the pitch injured or at least appear to be injured with no foul attributed to the incident.

A referee who STOPS play with a whistle solely to deal with an injured played has created a drop ball restart from where the ball is located on the field of play at the time of the stoppage subject to law 13 the special circumstances within the goal area!

Just a point about NFHS high school rules on a drop ball, if one team is in clear possession, indirect free kick, otherwise drop ball and there must be a player from either team participating.
Goal can be scored from a drop ball. So this could be really important to the restart location, when you blow for a stoppage! Plus I believe the clock is stopped while the injury is being assessed as well as the injured player even if it is the keeper MUST leave and be substituted

Under FIFA law the player if receiving treatment he must leave the field with the exception of the keeper. Personally if we are stopping play I am sending this guy off to the touchlines for at least a bit to contemplate especially when they jump right back up saying, they are good to go.

The dropped ball occurs where play was stopped by referee/ Goal cannot be scored directly from a dropped ball and anyone or no one from either team could chose to participate at the drop ball ! The referee could drop it solely to the team that had ball possession or one team could indicate they will give back the ball possession by kicking the ball( usually into the opposing half )to reward the fact that the team with ball possession retains it, given it was the other team's player who was injured!

More often than not when a player is squirming on the ground with a real or imagined injury the opposing team with the ball will deliberately kick the ball out into touch to stop play as a courtesy or sign of respect and sportsmanship rather than wait for a referee to decide whether the injury is serious enough to stop play. That restart (usually a throw in) then is often returned back to the team that had the original ball possession in direct response to their sportsmanship displayed earlier!

A word of caution, although the opposing team can choose to return the ball they are under no obligation in law to do so. A referee can allow play to continue, if in his opinion, the player is only slightly injured. Any obvious serious injury you stop play immediately to get the medical attention.

The trouble is as a referee, you are not positive play should be stopped or whether you can wait till a natural stoppage to see how the injured player is doing. It could be a cramp, a bit tired or winded, a sore spot from being kicked or a traumatic heart failure! If the teams are choosing, not to recognize the concept of sportsmanship and take the decision to stop play instead of you this is your call to stop play and find out how serious the injury really is! .


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Answer provided by Referee Joe Manjone


If this were a high school game, the restart would be an indirect kick for the blue team from the spot of the ball when the referee blew the whistle to stop play. (See Rule 9-1- 2c on page 38 and Rule 13- 2-3b on page 62 of the NFHS Rule book.

I hope you have a successful season.

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