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Question Number: 28852

Law 18 - Common Sense 10/14/2014

RE: High School

tom kolon of warren, ohio usa asks...

During an injury can the ref. give permission to the others to leave the field for water ? What are the problems created by such action ?

Answer provided by Referee Joe Manjone


3.3.2 Situation I on page 19 of the NFHS Rules book lists four examples of what players and coaches may do during an injury suspension of play. None of these match the example that you presented.

Rule 12 -8 -a does allow a player to leave the field with the permission of the referee so what you indicate is legal. However, it is recommended that players stay on the field and get coaching and water while standing on the field or touchline. Bench personnel should stay in the team area. This allows the referee to beckon in substitutes and distinguish the players from the bench personnel.

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Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

While water breaks are not addressed in the high school (NFHS) rules, many local federations have adopted rules dealing with water breaks during heat advisories. It is best, IMO, that players remain on the field and have water bottles handed to them at the touchline. First, it makes it easier to identify who is a player and who is a substitute (a critical distinction in case of misconduct). Second, it makes it easier to manage the restart of play when the injured player has been removed. All of the players are on the field so the referee doesn't have to count for stragglers. Third, it reduces the chance of injury when someone at the bench throws a water bottle onto the field.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Tom
Player should not leave the field of play to take water. They can come to the touchline and be handed a water bottle without the need to cross a boundary line.
In a FIFA game a player that leaves without permission can be cautioned. Does it happen? Most times for going into the technical area for a water bottle there is no caution but I have seen it happen.
Senior player are careful about this and don't allow the question of a caution to arise.

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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Tom,
the only real problems that might occur are likely separating who is a player from a substitute or bench staff if an incident occurs while they are intermingled . I concur with the idea going to the touchline to get water without the need to go over it to do so is the best alternative.

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