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Question Number: 28998

Mechanics 11/22/2014

RE: Intermediate Under 13

Phil of Tarzana, CA United States asks...

This question is a follow up to question 28983

This is a Follow Up Question to Q# 28983. I had a U12 game where the green team took a goal kick & her teammates got the ball and were in good attacking position. As the kicker ran forward, she slipped & hit the ground (not her head) & didn't get up. She was holding her ankle.

I allowed play to continue until the defenders got the ball (all the way near their goal) & then blew the whistle. A senior referee (who was my AR) told me later that the best way to handle this would be to not stop play, BUT motion the coach onto the field to look at the player. The coach would not be interfering with the game because the ball was way on the other side of the field. Then I could stop the game when either the attacking team scored or defenders got the ball.

In hindsight, this seem like a good way to handle such a situation. What do you think?

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Phil,
Bad information by senior AR. Interesting situation! Do not really like the idea you allow play for the green team but stopped it for the opposition. The green team upon realizing their player is injured should stop on their own and knock it out, in my opinion. The opposition can also choose to stop play if they felt it was within Fair Play guidelines but they should be allowed to play on given you allowed Green to play on especially because they did not foul or cause the injury!

In youth we do tend to be more proactive to any injury as requiring a stoppage or treatment. However there will be issues, if we allow for what might seem like a common sense solution, allowing the coach, trainer coming in may be helpful in facilitating the treatment or examination process given there is no interference of ongoing play and it likely to dry tears for a boo boo then any serious injury..

It is not impossible for an injured player to receive treatment upon exiting the FOP during play but allowing treatment on the FOP as play is ongoing is not within the ROC or LOTG. I often ask. 'Are you ok, can you continue?' to gauge the cognizant ability of a downed player. If the player can hobble off the field under their own power but if it was break or fracture or dislocation a cracking or popping sound usually accompanies any cry of pain indicating it is of a more serious nature thus we stop ASAP. Stopping play solely for injury is a drop ball and remember anyone can compete for the drop. If the injury is not serious allow play to continue let the players sort it out but better to stop when the team with ball is the same as the injured party.
Tis what I think

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Phil
In my opinion this is not good advice from a senior referee and it is contrary to the Laws of the Game. The referee has to decide whether the player is seriously injured or not and that is a judgement call based on the circumstances. If the player is deemed to be seriously injured then the referee stops play and allows the physio to assess the injury. It is not possible for an extra person to be on the field of play during play. If play is stopped to do deal with the injury the restart is a dropped ball.
Now my attitude on injuries at underage is to err on the side of caution by stopping play when a player is down and stays down. Perhaps on an immediate goal scoring opportunity I will allow that to quickly finish out and then stop play.

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Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

There's at least two problems with bringing in the coach while play continues. First, what happens if play switches ends quickly, and now the coach is in the way? Second, if the coach's team scores, they have now scored a goal with an extra player on the field (the coach) and the goal must be disallowed. Ugg.

I'm not sure why you decided to let play continue as long as the downed player's team had the ball, but then stopped play when the opponents got it. To me it seems that negatively impacts the opponents. If the player is seriously injured, you need to stop play to take care of that. If it's not a serious injury, then you let play continue - the seriousness doesn't change when possession of the ball changes.

You said it was a U12 game. You should err on the side of caution and stop play sooner than you would for older youth or adults. If it looks like the player isn't getting up, stop play. If it turns out that she was just taking a breather (or worse, was simulating the seriousness) then she has only hurt her own team when play is stopped. And if it turns out she was injured, then play has been stopped and she can be attended to. Remember, because you stopped play for the injury, she has to leave the field until after the restart. The team may wisely choose to send in a substitute for her. But if not, you can beckon her in from the sideline when you know she's ready to go.

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